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Ted Y.
Republican FL 3

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  • Gun Control and Americans’ Second Amendment Rights

    by Representative Ted S. Yoho

    Posted on 2016-01-06

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    YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, Mr. Stutzman, for putting this important Special Order together.

    Yesterday, President Obama moved unilaterally, via executive order, in a misguided attempt to curb gun violence in America. He stated he had to take unilateral action because the Congress refused to support his initiatives. That is true, somewhat, but not because this Nation wishes to curb gun violence that has fallen upon innocent victims of America--victims like Kathryn Stienle.

    This young lady was murdered in San Francisco by a person here illegally--a person that had been deported over four times and should have been deported once again, but instead was allowed to stay in this country illegally because of this President's policies and the policies promoted by sanctuary cities like San Francisco.

    Obviously, I cannot speak for her family, but I would venture to say her family would have had a very different holiday this year than the one they experienced had the justice system not failed them and the man who murdered her had been deported. She would be here today if the President and his administration had chosen to simply enforce the laws on the books.

    President Obama's executive order will not curb this kind of violence. Only the enforcement of the laws will. And, Mr. President, you know this.

    Please abide by article II, section 3 of our Constitution: The executive shall faithfully execute the laws of the land.

    Now, I agree with the President that we should appropriate more money to mental health, as has been talked about here tonight. The lack of resources for those seeking mental health in this country is abysmal. Thirty years ago, this Nation had over 500,000 hospital bed facilities for mental health care. Today, there are less than 50,000. This is inexcusable.

    I also agree with the President that we should increase the number of ATF inspectors to process background checks more quickly and more efficiently. We can work this out through the legislative process--the way it should be done--and not through, again, executive fiat.

    With all due respect, Mr. President, your phone and pen are not a substitute for the other two branches of government.

    Aside from sidestepping Congress again, your other initiatives encroach on Americans' personal liberties and freedoms. Take, for example, your plan to revoke gun ownership from folks whose oversight of their finances are turned over to someone else--specifically, those receiving disability through the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For reasons beyond their control, sometimes additional help is needed in managing one's finances. Sometimes they do it voluntarily. This does not mean they are incapable of making sound, moral decisions, and certainly does not mean their Second Amendment rights can and should be infringed upon.

    As an aside, I want to highlight how this President's administration allowed for Syrian rebels to receive military grade weapons and they supplied Mexican drug cartels with weapons through the failed Fast and Furious program administered under Attorney General Eric Holder at the time. All of this has been done irresponsibly and without conducting background checks.

    This administration's gun policies have killed innocent people. Customs and Border Security Agent Brian Terry was a victim of this. Yet this President's solution to gun violence is to restrict law-abiding American citizens from one of our most basic rights of American freedom and liberty. It simply does not make sense.

    The Second Amendment of our Constitution is very clear and concise. Allow me to read it: ``A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'' This amendment was not added in the early years of our Nation's founding for hunting or sporting purposes, but for personal protection to fend off an overbearing, tyrannical government. It is very clear and has consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Mr. President, I understand and sympathize with your frustrations, but please uphold the Constitution and come to Congress. Let's work together on those areas where we agree upon to curb gun violence. And let's preserve the Second Amendment. Let's all respect and revere the Constitution for all Americans.

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