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President Obama’s threatened “executive actions” on guns in January turned out to be all sizzle and no steak, and actually served to clear the path for citizens to obtain NFA items, such as sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and machine guns more easily.

Now we’re getting word that some military experts actually laughed at Obama’s mandate that the military waste time, money, and energy researching “smart gun” technology that is universally regarded as technologically immature and unwanted.

Wartime U.S. presidents have taken keen personal interest in picking the most lethal gun for the military.

But in President Obama’s first foray into small-arms procurement for the armed forces, his Jan. 4 executive order on gun control directs the Pentagon to find ways to make not so much more lethal firearms, but safer ones.

His direct order has brought a few snickers among retired combatants who argue that the commander in chief is issuing his directive at a time of more pressing small-arms priorities. The military, critics say, fields a flawed personal rifle and has spent more than a decade selecting a new off-the-shelf pistol, with no winner yet.

John F. Kennedy, considered a founding father of the Green Berets, pushed the Army to give up the M14 for the new AR-15, which became the venerable M16. Kennedy envisioned the automatic rifle as the perfect counterinsurgency weapon in South Vietnam.

With that White House history, Mr. Scales said, “I had to laugh” at Mr. Obama’s priority — smart guns.

“Presidential involvement in small arms has been strategic and game-changing in our history,” said Mr. Scales, a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College. “Obama comes along and tells the Army that, in this administration, money is going into small arms to build — not a deadly weapon, not an effective weapon, not a dominant weapon, not a lifesaving weapon, not a technological cutting-edge weapon — but a weapon that prevents accidental discharge. Give me a break.”

Obama’s executive orders are political theater from an impotent lame duck concerned far more with manufacturing a legacy than he is helping the American people. His (frankly moronic) edict that the military should be developing firearms that are less rugged and reliable than existing firearms simply shows how far out of touch with reality the President truly is.

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As for that “off-the-shelf” pistol procurement program that has dragged on for a decade, well, it’s dragging on some more.

Companies vying for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract were supposed to have their systems (handguns, holsters, ammunition, other accessories) submitted last week, on January 28.

That deadline has now been pushed back to February 12.