I don’t want to belabor this–President Obama’s self-referential, political diatribe instead of a eulogy at the memorial service for a murdered police officer in Dallas yesterday–but this requires clarification. As with so much that Mr. Obama says, this idiotic statement is a lie.
Some have tried to apologize for it, suggesting that Mr. Obama wasn’t really saying what he said. He was only making the point that it’s easier for teenagers to get guns than computers or books. Sure he was. Sure it is.
Let us then, gentle readers, examine Mr. Obama’s statement. We turn first to USC 922(b)(1)(2) where we find that it is a federal offense for anyone under 18 to buy a handgun or handgun ammunition. It is also illegal for anyone to sell or otherwise transfer such to someone under the age of 18. These facts alone render Mr. Obama’s comment a lie.
Fun Facts To Know And Tell: “Glock” refers to the brand name of a line of very popular polymer-framed handguns in various calibers. The first Glock, the Glock 17, remains a best seller today. The “17” does not refer to the 17-round magazine capacity of the handgun, but to the fact that the Glock 17 was the Glock company’s 17th patent. Glock uses that scheme to designate all of its handguns. “Glock” is not a generic term for “handgun.” Most Glock models retail for something over $500.00.
If one is old enough to lawfully purchase a handgun such as a Glock, the process can actually take days, though it is usually not so drawn out. Purchasing any firearm at a licensed dealer minimally requires presenting valid identification and personally completing a federal form that not only requires in-depth personal information, but asks many specific questions. Providing the wrong answer to any invalidates the sale. After completing the form, a federal computer check must be run and completed, clearing the prospective buyer of any disqualifying conditions, such as a felony conviction or a mental health adjudication. Only when these conditions are met may the sale be completed. The idea that anyone can walk into a dealer, drop money on the counter, and immediately walk out with a firearm is false.
The computer check normally takes only a few minutes, but if it can’t be completed for any reason, the sale will not be made. The paperwork filled out for the purchase of each individual firearm is kept–essentially forever–by the dealer.
Now we turn to the supposed difficulty kids have in accessing computers or books. Let us consider that smart phones are computers, providing nearly every ability of a laptop or desktop machine with the exception of a large internal storage capacity. Smartphone are ubiquitous, and Mr. Obama has also provided, at public expense, Obamaphones. But let’s ignore the smartphone factor.
Even if a given child does not have a laptop or desktop computer at home, every child has access to public libraries where computers are readily available at no cost. And of course, during the school year, kids have free access to computers in their classrooms, computer labs, and school libraries.
While one might concede that many kids are not readers, let alone avid readers, there is no federal paperwork involved in obtaining books, and despite the efforts of various politicians to restrict free speech, books are still freely and cheaply available everywhere. Libraries loan books at no cost, and at regular book sales, provide books for a pittance.
Even if we consider Mr. Obama’s comment to be some sort of ill-considered analogy or metaphor, its inherent falsehood is evident, as is the inappropriateness of that kind of commentary at the memorial service for a fallen police officer.
I have performed at the Myerson. It is a beautiful and solemn place. Particularly when used for a memorial service, only the most crass opportunist would think to inject politics. But keeping people at each other’s throats and using any lie necessary is what community organizers do. It’s what they are.
We’ve had nearly eight years to learn that.