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Our Constitution must be respected, not abused by a king

Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor Credit: Annette Ko/Art Editor
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

In the wake of the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama issued a series of 23 executive orders designed to act in place of gun control legislation. While they may be well intended, these executive orders are completely unconstitutional, incorrect, and abhorrent.

Here’s a fun fact: The words “executive” and “order” never appear together in the Constitution. Executive orders came about as a way for higher-ups in the executive branch to tell others in the executive branch, like the U.S. Department of Justice, how to better execute the will of the legislature. They are not and were never intended to replace legislation.

Imagine this hypothetical scenario that Charles Krauthammer, a Washington Post columnist, brought up when President Obama used executive orders to essentially bring the failed Dream Act into being.

Consider if former presidential candidate Mitt Romney had won the election in November — say he makes it his first priority to eliminate the capital gains tax. Legislation is created and brought to Congress. It passes the house and then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid never brings it to the floor in the Senate, where it dies. A frustrated Romney then issues an executive order to the IRS, a part of the executive branch, saying that collecting the capital gains tax is not a priority and people won’t be audited or persecuted for failing to pay it.

The liberal uproar would be deafening. People left and right would slam Romney for bypassing the Constitution and creating his own legislation. They would be right to do so.

We elected a President and a Congress, not a king and some jesters, even though it feels that way sometimes. There is a reason the President is given no legislative power other than a veto, which can be overruled. The Constitution clearly outlines a path for laws to be created. This is not that path. This is a dangerous slippery slope to a government that is not representative of the people. Founding father John Adams is famous for wanting “a government of laws and not of men.” This is the opposite of that. One man should not have the power to legislate anything under any circumstances.

That this is the second time the President has significantly gone around Congress to legislate is disgusting.

This is a president who ran against former President George W. Bush, calling his an imperial presidency. This is the man who said that all laws before Congress would be put online for the people to read before they were passed, and then celebrated the passage of Obamacare within a week. The hypocrisy of Obama’s presidency should enrage every American citizen, and these executive orders should be greeted with disdain, not approval.

In my mind, our President may as well have gone into the National Archives and vandalized the Constitution. Throughout our history, we have let times of crisis destroy the liberty that made our nation great. We’re doing it again.

There is a way for appropriate legislation that prevents guns from getting into the hands of people like Adam Lanza to come about. Our government should be allowed to work the way it was designed to and not be bypassed by politicians who clearly have no respect for our founding principles or for representative government altogether.

In my mind, our President may as well have gone into the National Archives, passed the statue with “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” written on its base, and vandalized the Constitution. Throughout our history, we have let times of crisis destroy the liberty that made our nation great. We’re doing it again. There is a way for appropriate legislation that prevents guns from getting into the hands of people like Adam Lanza to come about. Our government should be allowed to work the way it was designed to and not bypassed by politicians who clearly have no respect for our founding principles or for representative government altogether.