The conservative discord in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre went up another octave on Monday when Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) threatened to file articles of impeachment if President Obama uses an executive order to try to reduce gun violence.“The White House’s recent announcement they will use executive orders and executive actions to infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms is an unconstitutional and unconscionable attack on the very founding principles of this republic,” Stockman said in a statement. “I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment.”
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden reiterated the White House’s determination to see something done about gun violence following the Newtown shooting by confirming the White House is considering using executive orders. Obama also said he’s on board with the idea at his press conference Monday.
“I’m confident that there are some steps that we can take that don’t require legislation and that are within my authority as President,” he said. “And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence then I want to go ahead and take it.”
Mother Jones reported 14 actions the White House could take related to guns without Congress. None affect the possession of any kind of firearm or ammunition currently allowed by law. Obama specifically mentioned “how we are gathering data, for example, on guns that fall into the hands of criminals, and how we track that more effectively,” when asked about executive orders during the presser.
Nevertheless, the news the White House is considering executive orders has raged through the gun rights community and conservative politics. Last week, a Tennessee firearms instructor lost his handgun carry permit after he threatened to “start killing people” if the White House took executive action.
Additionally, a South Carolina Republican congressman said any executive order about guns smacks of “tyranny”
Stockman joined those ranks Monday, issuing his impeachment threat with the image of flag from the Texas revolution favored by gun rights supporters for its image of a cannon and the words “come and take it.” Like many in the doomsday prepper end of the gun rights community, Stockman sees the possession of firearms as the only protection against a rogue government. He called the talk of executive order “an existential threat to this nation.”
“The President’s actions are not just an attack on the Constitution and a violation of his sworn oath of office – they are a direct attack on Americans that place all of us in danger,” Stockman said in the statement. “If the President is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist.”
Stockman served one term in Congress after the Republican takeover in 1994. He was re-elected to the House in 2012, running in the new 36th Congressional District. He’s among the more conservative members of the House GOP — in one his first votes, he declined to vote for Speaker Boehner to retain the gavel earlier this month, choosing instead to vote “present.” Here’s the flag image he posted online with his press release: