Thoughts following the election

The election is done and the future for gun owners has become clearer. Whatever our political leanings in other matters, we can be certain that the reelection of President Obama means gun owners should be concerned.

It’s not all doom and gloom for gun owners. The dominant issue in the presidential and congressional campaigns was the economy. Very few if any candidates dared to challenge the current American consensus that gun ownership is a right. Gun control is still a losing proposition in the national political arena.

But the federal government has three branches, and in effect only one of them—the legislative— is subject to direct control by us, the people. President Obama indicated in the debates that he wants to reinstate the “assault weapons” ban and to go after handguns too. He is not likely to mount direct assaults against gun owners through legislation. The attacks will come from the vast and obtuse administrative bureaucracy mostly under his control—BATFE, EPA, and other regulatory agencies. Remember too that Obama is likely to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice and numerous federal judges during his second term. We already know that the two justices he has appointed are anti-gun rights to the core, and one more appointment like them will put the Second Amendment in jeopardy again.

He is likely to find support from his friends in the medical and public health establishment. In fact, it’s already happened, as we reported a few weeks ago.

Over the next few years gun owners should keep an eye toward the executive and judicial branches of federal government for such attacks as:

1) increased import regulations on firearms

2) increased taxes and fees on firearms and ammunition; regulation of online ammunition purchases

3) appointment of federal judges and Supreme Court justices who will work to erode gun owners’ rights

4) renewed advocacy “research” and policy statements from public health agencies, medical organizations,  and academic departments supporting Obama’s anti-gun rights agenda

Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership will continue to monitor and expose this last category of attack on gun owners. Help us by becoming a member if you haven’t already. Let’s keep the faith. Remember that public opinion is on our side. And as Lincoln told us,

“…public sentiment [i.e., opinion] is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who moulds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.”—First debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858


Dr. Tim Wheeler

—Timothy Wheeler, MD is director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. 

All DRGO articles by Timothy Wheeler, MD