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“Now there are some things he can probably do in regard to the actions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or some other governmental agency in its operations,” Mr. Meese told Newsmax. “But to impose burdens or regulations that affect society generally, he would have to have congressional authorization.”

That’s why Mr. Obama is urging Congress to enact a flurry of gun restrictions, from banning so-called “assault weapons,” to prohibiting people from buying guns from private sellers without undergoing background checks, outlawing high-capacity magazine clips and a few other things that the anti-gun lobby wants.

Finally, there’s this open-ended executive order: “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.” I’d like to think this would mean that Justice Department officials responsible for loss of life due to the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running program would be prosecuted. Yet the order also gives federal officials in the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security a lot of incentive, if not actual legal authority, to intervene whenever and wherever they want.

All of this adds up to a mega-increase in federal law enforcement power and will require billions of dollars and thousands of new bureaucrats. Will it make us any safer? Don’t bet on it.

The strategy is not that hard to discern: Shoot the Second Amendment to pieces with high-velocity magazines full of executive orders and questionable legislation. While you’re at it, use some kids as political human shields in order to demonize your opponents.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.