Republicans and pro-gun advocates are outraged over President Obama’s 23 executive orders to curb gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Though executive orders have always been a standard element of the presidency, invocations of dictators like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein are becoming commonplace in the right-wing blogosphere. In reality, Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any other American president in the last century. The executive orders signed today focus on strengthening background checks, making it easier for law enforcement to track guns used in crimes, and ending the freeze on gun research.
Regardless of the facts, the movement to impeach Obama over these executive actions is spreading from fringe conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and taking hold among lawmakers and Republican activists. Here are five people calling for Obama’s impeachment:
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
Stockman plans to introduce articles of impeachment, calling Obama’s anti-gun violence efforts “an existential threat to this nation.”
Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL)
Following Stockman’s lead is Florida Congressman Trey Radel, who said impeachment “should be on the table” and falsely claimed that Obama wants an executive order to “ban guns.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Gohmert, a Tea Party favorite who recently claimed an assault weapons ban would have to include hammers, charged that the president’s action is “illegal” and grounds for impeachment. “The American Revolution was all about fighting such a monarchy — and that is not what the Constitution anticipates. It’s not something a Constitutional president would do,” Gohmert lamented.
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese (R)
Edwin Meese, former Reagan Attorney General and current Heritage Foundation official, is also taking up the call for impeachment. In an interview with Newsmax, Meese claimed Obama may have “really tried to override the Constitution itself.” Congress, he said, would have to take action, “perhaps even to the point of impeachment.”
The head of Gun Owners for America urged Republican lawmakers to stop being “spectators while the country is being torn apart” and impeach Obama. Pratt also attacked all gun safety laws as “the most pagan of paganism” because they assume guns and other “inanimate objects as possessing their own will.”