Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Obama’s Ungracious Exit

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Obama’s Ungracious Exit

For at least a moment, it seemed as if Barack Obama might gracefully acknowledge the wishes of the voters who had elected Donald J. Trump as president. Obama gave a statesmanlike address in which he remembered with gratitude George W. Bush’s efforts to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of power in 2009 and pledged to do the same for the incoming Trump administration. Obama even hosted Trump at the White House in an apparent show of good faith.

True, any sitting president should be expected to put the needs of the nation above partisan politics or the bruised egos from a heated campaign. But it seemed like a rare and welcome occasion in which Obama appeared willing to put the country’s welfare above his own ideology.

Obama’s later actions would unfortunately show those words and overtures to be little more than the empty rhetoric and gestures that so characterized his White House tenure. For during the waning days of his presidency, Obama worked furiously to throw as many roadblocks as possible in the way of Trump achieving the reforms for which he was elected. 

Many of Obama’s last-minute actions can and will eventually be reversed. But those actions revealed a toxic combination of arrogance and pettiness, as well as a disregard for how blatant political decisions hurt ordinary Americans who find themselves innocently caught in the partisan crossfire. 

Two examples in particular illustrate how Obama was willing to advance his liberal social agenda, no matter the consequences.

First, case-by-case executive clemency has historically been a safeguard against extraordinary injustices or the recognition of exemplary rehabilitation. Obama, however, used his clemency authority to commute a record number of sentences – more than the last 11 presidents combined – of serious and dangerous criminals, including many who were serving life terms or who used firearms in further of drug trafficking offenses. 

For a president so single-mindedly focused on gun control, Obama was notably lenient toward those who had violated existing federal firearm laws. He pardoned offenders who convictions included knowingly disposing of a firearm to a felon; falsification of firearm background check forms; use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense; unlawfully transporting firearms; possession of a stolen firearm; and felon in possession of a firearm. 

Presumably, most of these prisoners will go back to the same neighborhoods they once tormented with their violent crimes. It won’t be Obama’s high-dollar donors and cheerleaders who will have to deal with the consequences of his decisions – it will be the innocent residents of those communities.

Second, Obama’s Social Security Administration (SSA) finalized a rule that the White House estimated would annually strip some 75,000 disability and Supplementary Security Income beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights.  His proposal relies on a contorted reading of who counts as a prohibited “mental defective” under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, and primarily affects those without any demonstrated violent tendencies, much less any violent or criminal history.

Indeed, the SSA simply brushed aside empirical evidence the NRA submitted to show the rule would have no public safety benefit. “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence,” the SSA wrote. Rather, the SSA asserted it was simply following a bureaucratic duty, urged on by Obama’s Justice Department.

That’s because when Congress rejected Obama’s gun control agenda, he pledged to go it alone. He acted simply because he could. Targeting vulnerable people with disabilities, rather than actual violent criminals, apparently does not matter to the outgoing president.

Thus, even as Obama was releasing violent criminals from prison for serious firearm offenses, he was once again stretching federal gun laws to restrict the rights of innocent Americans. 

Thanks to your efforts last November, America has a new president in Donald Trump who will uphold the constitutional freedoms of law-abiding citizens, while making our communities safer by getting violent criminals off our streets.  

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

News  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

Courts are telling gun owners that they must choose between their Second Amendment-protected rights and their other constitutional rights. 

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

New Evidence against Gun Confiscation

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Evidence against Gun Confiscation

We recently discussed the selection of input variables for statistical modeling and how such choices can alter one’s findings. New research published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology examines how the choice in methodology can alter one’s findings. 

Revolving Door Of Wrong Solutions

News  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Revolving Door Of Wrong Solutions

There are plenty of pundits who also seem more enamored with the idea of doing something big than doing something that works. The Boston Globe recently devoted space to the argument that “if gun-control advocates really want to stanch the blood, there’s ...

Less Complaining And More Encouraging

News  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Less Complaining And More Encouraging

It seems a little dramatic to blame these fine folks for the entire five hours. It can be assumed that there was no camera covering the specific area where the killings occurred and some period ...

Free Beacon  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gabby Giffords’s Gun Control Group Releases Report Warning of Muzzleloaders, Other Firearms

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords's gun control group released a report on Wednesday warning of the dangers of muzzle loading rifles, a number of other firearms, and some firearms accessories and calling for new gun control ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Congress Needs to Hear from YOU on National Right to Carry!

News  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Congress Needs to Hear from YOU on National Right to Carry!

With the clock ticking, it’s now more necessary than ever to ensure Congress prioritizes action on national reciprocity.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.