It Only Takes One

The President’s gun violence plan seems pretty reasonable. It doesn’t strike me as executive power too far. Without boring you the history, executive orders are constitutional, especially where they are made within the context of some explicit or implicit congressional authorization, see Dames & Moore v. Regan. Here, the President has tweaked the efficacy of certain already existing gun controls, especially as they relate to sharing applicant and background check information. While the plan makes an appeal to Congress concerning a ban on assault rifles, the orders themselves do not purport to accomplish any such thing. The plan provides for some additional gun violence research, and it appeals to more responsible gun ownership. It also appropriately emphasizes the role of mental health in this discussion focused mostly on weapons. But, precisely because this set of executive orders seems largely uncontroversial they are at the same time probably more gesture than change. And, that’s okay.

Of course, the NRA would, in a brand new ad, call the President a hypocrite because his daughters’ private school enjoys the security of armed guards.

I doubt they’ll recant even as his plan provides for:

School resource officers [who] are specially trained police officers that work in schools. When equipped with proper training and supported by evidence-based school discipline policies, they can deter crime with their presence and advance community policing objectives.

It would make too much sense for the two sides of this conversation, equally vested in growing the rate of non-deaths and un-kills, to see common ground where they are standing on it.

People would point to other first-world successes in violence free society. Europe, Canada, that awesome jungle moon in Avatar.

But, America’s just different. We have a deep gun identity.

We conquered with a gun.

We were colonially liberated with a gun.

Our union endured by the gun.


Annie Oakley.

John Wayne.



Gang bangers.

Yosemite Sam.

Separating us from our guns is more than an exchange of rationale arguments no matter how rationale they may be. It will take a weening not a divesting.

In today’s blong, I would simply add song to my prior point that the collusion of a gun-free society means we will always be susceptible to the threat of just one. But, I think I would rather live with that risk in mind than a kind of Home Room Saloon.

Performed by ipoetlaureate. Music produced by Dave Santos.

Today’s blong here:

High Noon