President Obama is set to outline his new executive actions to improve gun safety Tuesday and, despite his rather modest effort to expand background checks among other things, Republicans are already having a coronary.
Not only have 2016 hopefuls decried the move ("Pretty soon, you won't be able to buy guns," says Trump), Congressional Republicans have pounced. Paul Ryan called it “a dangerous level of executive overreach” even though he totally supported expanded background checks in 2013. And Rep. John Culberson of Texas sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday—before the proposal's details were even released—threatening to shut down the Justice Department over the matter, reports Tim Devaney.
"The next twelve months will be an especially dangerous time for Americans who treasure our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Culberson said.
"I have formally notified Attorney General Lynch that I will aggressively protect our Second Amendment rights using Congress' power of the purse,” he added. "I notified the attorney general that if the Department of Justice attempted to create new restrictions on our Constitutional rights that I would use every tool at my disposal to immediately restrict their access to federal funding.”
How about the next twelve months will be an especially dangerous time for Americans hoping not to be shot by a gun, since more than 100,000 people are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts each year.
In any case, absolutely, let the GOP shut down the government over expanding background checks since the vast majority of Americans—including most gun owners—support expanded background checks for gun sales in America. That's a great issue heading into 2016, Culberson, and I wholeheartedly support Republicans' shortsighted impulses here, just like on immigration and LGBT rights and every other issue with which they have a suicide pact.