While I completely agree that the real danger in executive orders is precisely what is detailed herein - precedents being set which then become the
"new normal" - sadly, those precedents have been being set for a long, long time now. It's good that people are becoming aware of this and taking
issue with it in my opinion, and I agree completely that which administration (or party) is in office should not be considered irrelevant to the issue
However, unfortunately, it is
relevant to just enough people that partisanship becomes sufficient in such discussions to either cause people to
dismiss the danger of the precedents set, or focus on one set of precedents in lieu of others. For decades (probably longer) people have been
screaming from the hilltops of the danger of expanded executive power and the dangerous precedents it could set. For years people have warned of the
looming potential risks in pursuing the unitary executive theory. The same things were said: that these precedents would have ramifications far into
the future, affecting the lives of countless hundreds of millions of citizens for an indefinite period of our nation's continuing existence.
Without fail, every such warning has been heard only by a few, dismissed by most, ridiculed in mainstream media, and even among those in communities
like this where such issues are most commonly accepted as worth discussing soberly, divisive along partisan and ideological lines. Routine rebuffs
included, "slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies," (which admittedly they can be and often are,) "unfounded paranoia," "you aren't
actually losing any rights because of (insert law or legal doctrine here,)" and others.
This and other recent issues bring to mind this Thomas Jefferson quote:
...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within
the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Meaning, I believe, that because something is legal does not make it consistent with liberty. It's easy to say we aren't losing any rights or that a
president has the power to do what he or she decides to do, if the law is written in such a way that those statements are true. But those statements
being true does not mean that those laws or actions are in fact consistent with liberty.
I say this as someone who can't stand guns, personally. I have never held a gun, I don't like guns, I'm a pacifist, I feel they're dangerous, and
my best friend was savagely killed by one. But I still believe in the right of responsible citizens of sound mind to possess essentially whatever
property they want to. And more to the point of this topic, even if
gun restrictions are necessary, I do not believe they should be conducted
via executive order personally.