One the surface, President Trump’s proposed ban on flavored vaping solutions doesn’t look like it would have anything to do with the Second Amendment. After all, vaping isn’t exactly classified as “arms” or anything, right?
However, there are some aspect of it worthy of note by Second Amendment advocates and something we definitely need to talk about.
First, let’s talk about how this ban is being handled.
The president isn’t calling on Congress to act. He’s making the call unilaterally by ordering the Food & Drug Administration to yank the authorization for these solutions.
If you’re reminded of how bump stocks were banned, there’s a reason for that. When the executive branch of government is given regulatory authority, all it takes is a stroke of the pen for the president to outlaw certain items. Just like he did with bump stocks.
That’s a significant issue, one that didn’t just start with the Trump administration by any stretch of the imagination. Over the decades, Congress has been handing its regulatory responsibilities over to the executive branch by passing laws giving authority to various departments such as the ATF and FDA. It’s been that way so long no one can really fathom it not working that way.
None of that even touches on the real issue here, and that’s the lousy political timing.
Recently, vaping has been linked to six deaths throughout the United States. Now, these deaths also appear to be linked to cartridges containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. These deaths haven’t apparently been relegated to states where the sale of such items is legal.
Yet the Trump administration’s decision to jump on this is worrying to some in the gun community. After all, how difficult is it to turn this logic against guns?
I can hear it now. “Guns are used in far more deaths than vaping. If you’re going to regulate that so heavily, why are you so apprehensive about a few common-sense gun reforms?”
It’s already happening.
Now do AR-15s. https://t.co/HNJmxIuCrr
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 11, 2019
What. A. Shock.
Look, I don’t vape and so I don’t get overly concerned about that industry. I’m not even writing this to oppose the “vape ban” necessarily. My personal views on such things aren’t relevant.
But I will point out that this is a slippery slope, one that is already being turned to use against guns and gun rights. It will continue to be used as such, all because President Trump decided that now was the time to make a statement.
Well, precedence has been laid. Even if Trump decided tomorrow to stop this kind of thing, the groundwork has begun. Now, someone else will use this to regulate away gun rights with a signature. Why else does Kamala Harris think she can regulate guns out of existence with Executive Orders? Why does Elizabeth Warren want to do the same to the oil industry?
The answer is simple. They’ve seen what Trump did and think they can do the same.
Realistically, they’re talking about going much, much further than the president did, to be fair, but that doesn’t mean they won’t push the boundaries. A ban on vaping products won’t silence this brand of stupidity, it will only embolden it.
And the Second Amendment will feel the pain.