President Barack Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on January 4 to discuss prospective executive actions to regulate firearms further. He said on December 31 that addressing gun violence is the "one piece of unfinished business" that he wishes to address during his lame duck year in the White House. The president’s announcement on executive actions is due on January 5. He intends to address the issue in an event styled as a town hall meeting scheduled for January 7 on CNN. The White House is calling it “Guns in America.” On the next day, Obama will note the fifth anniversary of the Tucson shooting by a deranged killer that resulted in the death of six and the severe wounding of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).
 
On January 12, Obama will deliver a State of the Union Address to Congress. He is expected to announce his gun control measures at that time. In Hawaii, where Obama was on vacation, White House Deputy Press Secretary Erick Schultz told the media, "The president has made clear the most impactful way to address the crisis of gun violence in our country is for Congress to pass some common sense gun safety measure.” Schultz added, "But the president has also said he's fully aware of the unfortunate political realities in this Congress. That is why he has asked his team to scrub existing legal authorities to see if there's any additional action we can take administratively." Moreover, said the spokesman, "The president has made clear he's not satisfied with where we are." 
 
While Obama cannot re-write gun legislation, but Lynch can enforce the laws aggressively. The so-called "gun show loophole" that allows gun buyers to bypass federal background checks by purchasing weapons at collectors’ events, is an area where Obama wants to strike. His administration could redefine sellers at gun shows and thus require background checks for purchasers. On January 2, Obama said in his weekly radio address that his executive actions will not stop with just mass shootings. He said, "We know that we can’t stop every act of violence.  But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something — anything — to protect our kids from gun violence?" 
 
In response, Republican candidate Jeb Bush said on Fox News Sunday, "To use executive powers he doesn’t have is a pattern that is quite dangerous," while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the president is behaving like a "dictator." Regarding Obama’s as-yet unknown executive action, Donald Trump told a rally in Mississippi that as president he would  "unsign that so fast." once he becomes president.
 
The leftist “Mother Jones” website opined that Obama’s proximate declaration of executive action will do little to change how guns are purchased. “Moreover, Obama's renewed push will bring another bonanza for gun sellers,” said the website. “It's been a sure-fire formula: The National Rifle Association declares that the White House is poised to strip Americans of their constitutional freedoms, and gun sales soar. Various Republican presidential candidates are now in on the act.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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