I’ve often written about President Obama’s hypocrisy and his casual relationship with the truth, but on gun control, he has more than lived down to my expectations, descending below Marianas Trench levels. Mr. Obama, remember, during his first term, repeatedly assured Americans he supported the Second Amendment. But as part of the eternal campaign, Mr. Obama has been on the road, more recently to Colorado and Connecticut, to stir up what he hopes will be public pressure sufficient to browbeat the Congress into enacting his anti-freedom agenda.
Ben Shapairo at Big Government writes about Mr. Obama’s Colorado speechifying:
In his big pitch in Colorado on Wednesday for further gun control, President Obama made an astonishing statement about gun rights advocates’ fears of governmental gun seizures. He said that such worries would just feed ‘into fears about government. You hear some of these folks: ‘I need a gun to protect myself from the government. We can’t do background checks because the government’s going to come take my guns away.’ The government’s us. These officials are elected by you … I am constrained as they are constrained by the system that our founders put in place.
And Nicholas Ballasy at PJ Media chronicles Mr. Obama’s comments in Connecticut:
I’ve also heard some in the Washington press suggest that what happens to gun violence legislation in Congress this week will either be a political victory or defeat for me; Connecticut, this is not about me.
This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. … Let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.
If our democracy’s working the way it’s supposed to and 90 percent of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy, you’d think this would not be a heavy lift and yet some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms’ Obama said to boos from the audience.
They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter — and that’s not right.
In the face of a promised filibuster against anti-gun legislation by an unusually large number of Republican senators, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) accused Republicans of being afraid to debate the issue:
There is no better place than the United States Senate to begin a national conversation about such critical issues — even if they are divisive issues. We should not stifle debate, run from tough issues or avoid difficult choices. This body — the world’s greatest deliberative body — has a proud tradition of such robust and constructive debate.
So I am deeply troubled that a number of my Republican colleagues plan not only to oppose stricter gun violence laws, but to prevent the Senate from even voting on those measures. This flies in the face of a Senate tradition of spirited discussion that began in the first days of this institution.
According to Reid, this is all about democracy and debate:
The least Republicans owe the parents of 20 children murdered with guns at Sandy Hook Elementary is a thoughtful debate about whether stronger gun laws could have saved their little girls and boys. The least Republicans owe them is a vote,’ argued Reid.
Incredible. Barack Obama, the man who has proclaimed that he can’t be bothered by waiting for Congress to actually legislate so he’ll act alone to mandate his agenda, an agenda significant parts of which he can’t get though even a senate controlled by Democrats, is claiming to be constrained by the Constitution? Isn’t this the same Barack Obama who has appointed bureaucrats to the National Labor Relations Board in violation of the Constitution? Isn’t this the same Barack Obama who seeks to infringe on the Second Amendment in such a blatant manner than even the ACLU–never a friend of the Second Amendment–is now speaking out against his legislation?
Mr. Obama’s dismissal of those who fear tyrannical government, who fear government confiscation of guns, and who believe they need guns to defend against such tyranny, is equally cynical and constitutionally tone deaf. The government is not, as Mr. Obama suggests, us. It is an elite political class that has, under his rule, seized powers not granted it by the people, and Mr. Obama wants to seize even more.
Mr. Obama and his supporters make much of his past status as a “constitutional law professor,” but this too is a lie. Mr. Obama was never a professor, nor did he hold real academic rank. He has not a single academic article to his name, despite being President of the Harvard Law Review, and his brief term as a teacher was in a position specifically created for him for racial—diversity, you know–and political reasons. He was a lecturer, a part-time, adjunct teacher, never a professor. It is unsurprising he knows so little about the Constitution and obviously cares for it even less.
The Second Amendment is, first and foremost, about resisting and overthrowing a tyrannical government. Following Mr. Obama’s example, New York Governor Cuomo enacted “emergency” anti-gun laws in Obamacare-like haste and secrecy and had not the slightest fear of bragging about considering confiscation or the euphemistic “mandatory sale to the state.” He is hardly the only Democrat politician with those designs.
This—Mr. Obama’s lunatic and expensive campaign to pass any gun control legislation he can get—is in fact all about him. Suggesting that it is not about politics is the height of deception and hypocrisy, for Mr. Obama is all about politics. Mr. Obama’s concern is clearly for his legacy, for amassing as much power for his Marxist vision as possible. Mr. Obama’s administration is the most blatantly political in modern memory. He does nothing unattached to political calculation.
Claiming to be doing the “right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence,” is a base and disgusting deception. It’s a extension of the idea that if one child can be saved, we must enact whatever legislation Mr. Obama favors. Keep in mind that even Vice President Biden has admitted (oops!) that the legislation about which Mr. Obama speaks would not have prevented the Newtown killings or any other school attack, nor would they do so in the future. What then is the “right thing” about which Mr. Obama speaks?
No decent American can help but feel sympathy for the families that lost children in Newtown, but there is no such thing as “gun violence.” Guns, like any inanimate object, are as incapable of doing violence as they are of doing charity. They were killed by a human being, a human being who violated our most sacred and meaningful law prohibiting murder, and who was not in the least constrained by violating Connecticut’s onerous anti-gun laws. Using the term ‘gun violence” does violence to the English language and serves only to trick and inflame; it is the refuge of the demagogue, men like Mr. Obama who cruelly manipulate the bereaved and play on their raw emotions for political gain.
Mr. Obama also lies, as he often has, with the “90%” bit. He never identifies the source of that statistic, and if “almost all Americans support” Mr. Obama’s ideas, why is he spending untold millions of the taxpayer’s money crisscrossing the nation, misrepresenting his opponent’s arguments and lying about his intentions? If even 51% of Americans actually supported him, he’d have the votes to impose his agenda.
He also completely misrepresents the nature of our system. It is set up to avoid acting “in the wake of a tragedy” when inflamed emotions are certain to produce ill-considered and harmful legislation, and any “political stunts” employed will be under the legitimate rules of the Senate and House, by legislators doing their best to prevent Mr. Obama from stealing essential freedoms from the American people. Preventing votes on such matters is the inevitable and laudable result of preserving liberty and the orderly, non-panicked process of legislation.
The opinions of all Americans matter, but this is a representative republic, not a direct democracy, or as Mr. Obama would hope, a dictatorship. Preventing votes and legislation by the legitimate tools of the representative republic is indeed “right.”
Senator Reid is no better. What any American should fear is legislation passed by trickery, intimidation or underhanded tactics. A man who has ruthlessly used the filibuster to prevent a vote on Republican judicial nominees hasn’t a leg to stand on in complaining about a possible Republic filibuster (which is actually unlikely, certainly in the classical sense of the term) on unconstitutional and completely ineffective legislation.
Would it be surprising to learn that Senator Reid actually wants to avoid debate? Powerline’s John Hinderaker reports:
However, as Jennifer Rubin notes, it doesn’t appear that the Republicans intend to filibuster. (I suppose they can’t be sure until they see the bill.) What is odd about this is that a filibuster occurs in the context of a cloture motion, for which 60 votes are required. ‘Cloture’ means cutting off debate, but the Democrats aren’t planning on having a debate–any debate. They apparently intend, in keeping with their recent practice, that senators should read Reid’s bill and vote on it simultaneously. It is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who would relish a debate on the Left’s harebrained gun control schemes.
And it is Senate Republicans, not Democrats, who are happy to put their votes on record. The senators who wish the whole issue would go away are red state Democrats like, Mary Landrieu, Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Kay Hagan and Mark Pryor. For those up for re-election next year, a vote in favor of gun control could be the last nail in the coffin.
No “thoughtful debate about whether strong gun laws could have saved their little girls and boys” is necessary. The administration has already admitted it would not, and the utter failure of the earlier Clinton Gun Ban that had most of the provisions Reid and Obama seek, despite the fact it was in effect for a decade, speaks eloquently to Reid’s lack of understanding of history, human nature and logic.
Most disturbing is Mr. Obama’s shameless “let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.” He knows the legislation he wants would do no such thing, but would steal freedom and harass the law-abiding. In addition, he is opposed to any rational measure that would actually save the lives of children and staff in a school attack, such as armed security and allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons.
And who, pray tell, actually wants to make it easier for kids to be “gunned down?” This is the very direct, obscenely insulting, and crude implication of this particular bit of demagoguery. Once again, Mr. Obama does nothing to help America and Americans. He seeks only to harm America and to divide Americans and set them at each other’s throats. Defending and upholding the Constitution is a far cry from hoping for the deaths of children.
In this, as in all else, Mr. Obama’s only concern is himself. The Newtown parents are nothing more than the police in Denver: political props useful for photo opportunities, to be discarded and forgotten when it’s time to move on to the next opportunity to aggrandize himself and diminish liberty for others.
The victims of Newtown can be best honored by ensuring children are actually protected in the future. Anything less is feel good political posturing.