Carol Costello advised folks like Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge to chill on their overreactions to reports that the White House is considering “executive action” on gun violence. Alongside images of Stalin and Hitler, the Drudge Report reported, “WHITE HOUSE THREATENS ‘EXECUTIVE ORDERS’ ON GUNS.”

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh (Associated Press) Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh (Associated Press)

Why would the White House contemplate a gun-related executive order or two? Limbaugh said that the motive “could only be to take guns away from people.”

Costello pointed out that Obama couldn’t possibly use an executive order to overturn the Second Amendment. “Executive orders are meant to execute existing laws,” she noted. The titles of recent executive orders would appear to bear out Costello’s E.O. worldview: “Adjustments of certain rates of pay“; “Reestablishment of advisory commission“; “Closing of executive departments and agencies of the federal government on Monday, December 24, 2012“; “Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.”
At the same time! Executive orders aren’t always so tepid and procedural. Consider the Emancipation Proclamation.