Our Opinion: Obama's hand forced on guns


President Obama hadn't even announced the specifics of his executive actions to reduce gun violence in America before Republicans were expressing their outrage. That reinforces what the nation already knew.

It's all about politics for the GOP, which opposes the president's initiatives even before knowing what they are. And when it comes to the American gun slaughter, Republicans have made it clear they are OK with it.

Executive actions are not unconstitutional, no matter how Republicans will spin the president's proposals this week. Every president has used them, and in this case, the Republicans' refusal to take action on gun violence and their efforts in Congress to block any initiatives left the president with no option. Indeed, he would have been derelict had he not acted.

Polls indicate that a majority of Americans support tougher gun laws in light of the nation's daily shootings and routine gun massacres, but congressional Republicans don't answer to the people. They answer to a special interest group, the National Rifle Association, which in turn answers to gun manufacturers, gun dealers and the other dues-paying members feeding America's gun sickness.

Islamic terrorists aren't nearly the threat to Americans as are other Americans. Armed, angry white men, as personified by the pro-arson domestic terrorists holed up in an Oregon wildlife refuge, are the greater danger. More weapons are not the answer to the problem they pose, nor are armed civilians firing away in restaurants and movie theaters Wild West-style. It has been apparent since the massacre of school children in Newtown, Connecticut that the GOP won't act. That made it President Obama's duty to do so.


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