Another Anti-gun Kook Joins the Obama Administration

Just when you thought the news coming from Washington couldn’t get any worse, we learn that another radical voice will be joining the President’s inner circle.

First, there was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who blamed the U.S. for the 9-11 attacks and later screeched “God damn America” in a sermon.  Then there was the self-avowed communist (Van Jones) who was nominated for the Green Jobs Czar, but later had to step down in disgrace.  Now, there’s an extreme animal rights activist who wants to take away our guns and get Bambi to sue us in court.

That’s right … this latest czar wants animals to sue people in court for the creatures’ pain and suffering!  No doubt, he holds some of the kookiest views you will ever hear.

His name is Cass Sunstein, and he is a friend of Barack Obama.  They go way back to their days in Chicago together.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sunstein as the President’s “Regulatory Czar,” which is the nickname for the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  His views are way out of the American mainstream.

For starters, Sunstein believes in regulating hunting out of existence.  He told a Harvard audience in 2007 that “we ought to ban hunting.”  And in The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer (2002), he said:

I think we should go further … the law should impose further regulation on hunting, scientific experiments, entertainment, and (above all) farming to ensure against unnecessary animal suffering.  It is easy to imagine a set of initiatives that would do a great deal here, and indeed European nations have moved in just this direction. There are many possibilities.  (Italics are his emphasis.)

If that’s all Sunstein believed, he would be dangerous and extreme, but not necessarily kooky.  Unfortunately, when you look at WHY he wants to restrict hunting, this is where he goes beyond extreme. 

In Sunstein’s world, animals should have just as many rights as people … and they should be able to sue humans in court!

“We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are persons, or that they are not property,” Sunstein said on page 11 of Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (2004).

Well, that’s a relief … he is at least willing to concede that animals are not persons!  But he would still have animals suing humans, apparently with more enlightened humans representing the cuddly critters.

Imagine returning from a successful hunting trip … only to find out that you’ve been subpoenaed for killing your prize.  Who knows, maybe Sunstein would have the family of the dead animal serving as witnesses in court!

By the way, if you’re wondering what he thinks about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, you won’t be surprised to know that Sunstein is a huge supporter of gun control. 

In Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts are Wrong for America (2005), Sunstein says:

Almost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine…. [O]n the Constitution’s text, fundamentalists [that is, gun rights supporters] should not be so confident in their enthusiasm for invalidating gun control legislation.

Hmm, what part of “shall not be infringed” does Sunstein not understand?

Imagine the power that Sunstein could have as the Regulatory Czar.  He could bring about changes in the regulations that affect hunting, gun control and farming.  In short, he could make life hell for many Americans.

As the Regulatory Czar, Sunstein will provide the final touches on new federal regulations.  No firearm or ammunition needs to be banned outright — that would be too transparent.  As the coauthor of Nudge (2008), Sunstein has already laid out how “choice architects” should carefully guide (or nudge) Americans into making better choices.

So with a little regulation here … a little regulation there … Sunstein can strengthen the iron fist of the federal gun police (otherwise known as the BATFE).  Or, he can implement additional federal requirements which will result in firearm and ammunition manufacturers paying more for their merchandise. 

Of course, these costs will be passed on as new “taxes” that will “nudge” consumers away from purchasing firearms or engaging in the shooting sports.

Cass Sunstein is way out of step with the American people, and his radicalism could greatly impact the lives of millions.

It seems that the more things change in Washington, the less spare change — and fewer rights — Americans will be able to enjoy.