1:06 pm CST - January 31, 2013
Posted under Opinion
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas — President Obama could never have done this in his 1st Term.
If he’d tried to pass a slate of gun-control measures such as the ones recently announced, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would have joined forces with Republicans and gun rights organizations to stop him. But with no election in his future, the President is operating with new “flexibility.”
Senator Reid may still try to stop him, but the President has come up with a long list of items that won’t work. Mr. Obama knows that. So we’re dealing with emotion here – and possibly a long-term strategy to – what? If the President’s goal is to eliminate gun violence, he will have to find a way to take away guns, no easy task.
So like everything else progressives do, it has to be done incrementally.
And with incrementalism, there must also come great emotion. So the President surrounded himself with children and used their letters as the basis for national policy. What the children suggested in their letters was likely just as useful as what the President proposed: essentially, “make people safer.”
Emotion tells the President that ten-round magazines will save lives. Logic says it won’t make any difference.
In the unlikely event that many of these initiatives get passed, and the even more unlikely event that any of them work, Obama also set the stage for the next level. The one-time constitutional lecturer explained that there are “rights” in our founding documents that might override the Second Amendment.
For example, the right to worship safely. The right to assemble peacefully. These rights, the President told his TV audience, are threatened by the right to bear arms. The reasoning is tortured, but it works if one is predisposed to reading the Constitution as a living document. Darn near anything is in there if you just look. And Obama has learned that if he repeats things over and over, a great deal of people start to believe them. Obama will not come for our guns. But some future progressive president might, and might have Obama to thank.
The long and the short of it is that there are only a few ways to curb gun violence short of confiscation, and Obama is not interested in most of them.
The quickest way to make a real difference would be to do away with gun-free-zones such as schools, and arm some teachers. We could lock up more people who have already committed crimes using guns and keep them off the streets. Or we can address the availability of guns to the mentally ill, but face it: virtually all families know which of their relatives are not quite right, and not all are going to turn in their own kin. We saw that in Newtown.
Ironically, President Obama is uniquely situated to foster actual change. His hometown of Chicago had more than 500 murders last year, making it the gun violence capital of the United States. The bulk of these deaths occurred in communities in which guns are plentiful, but fathers are not.
The President enjoys unprecedented support in the inner city. He could begin a program to rebuild families so that young black men could learn respect for firearms from a dad instead of from a street gang. Unfortunately, the President is more interested in fixing climate change than in rebuilding the traditional family.
The fact is that we will never cut back on gun violence by placing restrictions on types of guns or making it harder to get large-capacity magazines. The very definition of “criminal” means that evil people will circumvent those laws. So we either look at the few things that might actually work but that liberals don’t like, or we look down the road to a time when gun confiscation might be a reality.
Maybe that’s why President Obama spent so much time undermining the Second Amendment.
Lynn Woolley is a Texas-based talk show host who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.