“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” —Theodore Roosevelt
In Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star, President Obama sounded off on this country’s hotly contested gun control debate with an Op-Ed calling for a re-examination of our nation’s gun control laws. The President makes a superficial attempt to set common, law-abiding gun owners’ hearts at ease by identifying them as “highly responsible” and “our friends and neighbors” but, despite the transparent rhetoric, his agenda is clearly not in favor of loosening the gun control laws in this country. Obama is interested in getting “beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place”, which is political-speak for adding more gun control measures than are already in place. What the President doesn’t seem to understand is that the country is already a much “safer and stronger place” since he took office. With record gun sales and more common, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to carry since the news that Obama would likely take office, the violent crime rate, according to the FBI, has dropped dramatically, even in the face of the worst economy since the Great Depression (historically, violent crime rates climb during times of economic crisis).
In addition, President Obama’s understanding of the critical issues surrounding this debate appears to be lacking as he makes a number of serious errors that my colleague, Dave Workman, covers extensively in his own assessment of Obama’s Arizona Daily Star piece. Apparently, Obama is either ill-versed on the subject of gun control or he attempts to take his spin on diplomacy regarding this hot-button issue too far. What this discussion needs is a close and detailed examination of the facts and evidence and not a half-hearted stab at redefining the terms used in this discussion to somehow make the issue more palatable to the general public.
My colleague, John Longenecker, accurately describes that there is no such thing as the common sense reform of gun control laws. As illustrated above, it is no coincidence that, as gun control laws are being loosened all across the country, the violent crime rate has seen a corresponding and dramatic drop. This phenomenon is explored comprehensively and in extensive detail by highly-regarded academics like Dr. John R. Lott, Jr. and confirmed by the majority of other academics in economics and criminology, the fields of study relevant to the gun control question.
What is most disturbing is that the President is weighing in on this issue during a time when his Administration is coming under heavy attack for the BATFE’s “Project Gunrunner” scandal that cost at least one US Border Patrol agent his life along with the lives of a significant number of Mexican nationals. While Mexico is demanding answers about how “Project Gunrunner” added fuel to the fire of the drug cartel wars and played a significant role in the deaths of her innocent citizens, Obama is busy bringing attention to the speck of gun control in our nation’s eye while completely ignoring the log of an international gun-running scandal in his own. How about coming clean about the BATFE’s “Project Gunrunner” scandal before trying to preach to the American people about making the country a “safer, stronger place” with addiitonal gun control measures? Many Americans would give the President’s Op-Ed piece more credibility and consideration if he did not have the lingering questions about the BATFE’s improprieties hanging over his head. Do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do is not a philosophy that the President will find to be popular with Americans in general and with critical social issues like gun control that could have a debilitating effect on an individual and his or her family’s capability to protect themselves, Obama’s inability to practice what he preaches on an internal and international level is certainly going to be even less well received.
The President’s hypocrisy on this gun control question is already making its way around in many 2nd Amendment Rights circles. The NRA has weighed in on this controversy with a letter to Obama. In addition, my colleagues, Dan, and Kurt Hoffman have also published excellent articles covering this topic. The President would be well-served to reverse the course of his Administration’s deniability on the BATFE’s “Project Gunrunner” scandal and come clean regarding the federal agency’s involvement in this program since 2008 before making blanket statements regarding additional gun control measures being introduced in this country to “make the United States of America a safer, stronger place”.