The president’s new year

It is the lame duck year for President Barack Obama and he is starting the year with some new more of the same. Did you get that? It wasn’t a misprint — just poor English to make a point. Obama is still intent on trampling freedoms set forth in the Constitution.

I can always tell when I touch a raw nerve with a liberal. It results in a letter to the newspaper or a rather rude email that invariably attacks minutia in a column rather than the crux of the issue, as if the minutia negates the whole argument. They never attack the main point. Is that because they can’t?

The point of that comment is that there seems to be two touchy issues with liberals. First is gun control and the second is climate change. Neither of these is on the radar of most people, ranking last if at all in polls of serious concerns.

I have written on both issues in the past, at times in an admittedly satirical manner. It is now getting serious.

Both issues are being acted upon by Obama, mainly because he has nothing to lose. Climate change was first in late November. I will address this in another column.

He just announced another executive order, this one to infringe on your Second Amendment rights once again. It attempts to redefine the criteria to be a gun dealer in a much more restrictive way. Depending on the interpretation of ATF or Homeland Security, you could be classified as a dealer if you sell one firearm.

But he didn’t stop there. The Social Security Administration is now being given the authority for a rule-making process to include information from a background check for “mental competency.” One pundit noted that this could include the inability to manage finances. Maybe a stretch, but in this environment can you trust any government agency? Compare that to a literacy test for First Amendment rights. Such a test might get rid of a lot of media people.

It goes further. You will no longer have the right to doctor-patient privilege. The executive order calls for doctors to report mentally ill patients to the FBI. It removes the requirement for patient consent. That is innocuous on its face, but who defines mental illness? According to liberals, you are insane (mentally ill?) if you don’t subscribe to climate change. Perhaps you are slightly deranged (mentally ill?) if you support the Tea Party. Is suspected racism a mental illness? It could be. So much for the Fourth Amendment. You no longer have any right to privacy.

Another aspect of this is that reporting is supposedly voluntary, but if a doctor wants to be paid by Obamacare, it will most likely be “voluntarily mandatory.” In other words, you won’t have to report if you don’t like getting paid.

This comes on the heels of an action to ban gun ownership if you are on Homeland Security’s no-fly list. Never mind that anyone for any reason can be placed on that list, even mistakenly, with no due process ... like if your doctor reports you. It would be strictly the doctor’s opinion whether you are fit to exercise your Second Amendment right, with no way to correct a wrong diagnosis. That tramples on your Fifth Amendment right to due process, a speedy trial, and the right to face your accusers.

This executive order is nothing more than a further central government grab for control in an environment where big government has proven itself repeatedly to be untrustworthy. If this were legislation that was debated, discussed, and passed by the Legislative arm of government, it might be more acceptable. But again, that arm has proven itself to be untrustworthy as well.

Fact: Violent gun crime is higher in states and municipalities that have stricter gun laws.

Fact: Existing gun laws, with some additions for clearly defined mental capacity, are adequate IF they were enforced, which they are not.

Fact: There are as many instances of potential mass shootings that are stopped by armed citizenry as there are of those succeeding in “gun-free zones.” It is just that the stopped ones never get reported nationally or sensationally.

The steps Obama is taking eerily parallel those in Socialist countries. There you can be silenced, without cause or due process, for disagreeing with prevailing politics. Kind of like seen in today’s IRS and now SSA and medicine. And one of their first steps is to disarm the citizenry. Happy New Year.

Tom Riggins’ column appears every other Friday. He may be reached at


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