Obama’s Futile Tantrum over Gun Bill


usa-guns-obama-statementDuring his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran as a great uniter. ”I don’t think there is anybody in this race who’s able to bring new people into the process and break out of some of the ideological gridlock that we have as effectively as I can,” he said at the time. Yet after his party’s resounding defeat on gun control legislation, the president may have pulled the final piece away from a facade that has been crumbling for quite some time. In his Rose Garden speech Wednesday, unity, above all else, was the most obvious casualty.

“Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders–not just to honor the memory of their children, but to protect the lives of all our children,” said Obama. “And a few minutes ago, a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery.”

What the president fails to mention is that “these families,” relatives of the Newtown victims, were in the gallery because he flew them down from Connecticut aboard Air Force One, precisely for the purpose of using them as props to persuade senators to vote for the bill. Yet the president angrily denied that reality. “I’ve heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced,” he fumed. “‘A prop’, somebody called them. ‘Emotional blackmail’, some outlet said. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?”

Relevancy is a two-sided coin, and the president sidesteps an obvious reality: are people whose lives have been shattered by gun violence the only ones with the moral authority to weigh in on the debate? In a recent column titled “Fact Free Crusades,” Hoover Institute fellow and noted author Thomas Sowell cites a Cato Institute estimate that postulates as many as 100,000 defensive uses of guns occur on a yearly basis. Moreover, in an earlier column, Sowell notes that “most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.” He then offers a viable counterpoint to progressive sensibilities. “The lives saved by guns are no less precious, just because the media pay no attention to them,” Sowell contends.

Or the president either, for that matter. None of those Americans were flown aboard Air Force One to Washington, D.C. to offer senators “advice” on how to vote. Don’t they have the same right to “weigh in on this issue”? Charles Krauthammer, like many Americans, objected to the use of “emotional blackmail” for the purpose of getting legislation passed. “The question is: Would it have had any effect on Newtown?” he asks. “If you’re going to make all these emotional appeals–he’s saying you’re betraying the families–you’ve got to show how if this had been law it would’ve stopped Newtown. It would not have. It’s irrelevant.”

The president was further incensed that while “90 percent of Democrats in the Senate just voted for that idea…it’s not going to happen because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea.” Once again, while Obama’s effort is to portray Republicans as the ultimate bad guys, the more important factoid is that members of his own party defected, a move the president attributed to the politics of intimidation and fear. “And so they caved to the pressure, and they started looking for an excuse–any excuse–to vote ‘no,’” he claimed.

Yet it is the job of the president to convince members of Congress, especially those of his own party, that such critical legislation is worth voting for. Instead, the president once again believed that a media-abetted campaign of high profile speeches given around the country was a viable substitute for the hard work of convincing members of Congress he would stand behind them in exchange for their vote. Since the five Democrats who voted against the legislation come from red states where support of it may have imperiled their reelection chances, it should have behooved the president to offer them something in return. Yet if there is one thing the 2010 election proved, the rout of moderate Democrats who supported Obamacare meant little to a president far more interested in his own agenda.

That may have been the best excuse of all for these Democrats to vote no on this legislation.

Obama put a great amount of emphasis on the 90 percent support this package had, undoubtedly referring to a Quinnipiac University poll that showed 91 percent of Americans support universal background checks. Yet a Gallup Poll revealed that only 4 percent of Americans think gun control is an important issue, and a survey of more than 15,000 law-enforcement professionals shows overwhelming resistance to gun control legislation. Furthermore, the same Quinnipiac poll that showed support for background checks revealed that American voters, by a 48-38 percent margin, believe the government could use those checks to confiscate legally owned firearms. Among gun owners that suspicion grows to 53 percent, versus only 36 percent who believe it won’t happen.

The latter poll numbers suggest that a greater number of Americans are beginning to grasp the left’s overwhelmingly successful use of incrementalism to eventually get what they want. Several Democrats alluded to that reality. ”It might be inconceivable to the NRA that [gun control] might happen; it’s inevitable to us,” said Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a warning. “Make no mistake, this debate is not over,” said Reid, as he further contended that a successful gun package is “more important than preventing imagined tyranny.” Obama upped the ante, making it clear that congressional resistance was no impediment. ”Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities,” he promised. Joe Biden echoed that intention. ”Number one, the president is already lining up some additional executive actions he’s going to be taking later this week,” he told supporters.

Obama also reserved some of his more divisive rhetoric for people who shared such concerns, contending that “the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn’t matter,” he added.

But it did matter to those concerned about the erosion of freedom taking place in this nation. NRA spokesman Chris Cox explained that universal background checks “would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution.”

Yet even Cox misses the point, to a certain extent. If this administration and its allies wish to change the parameters of the Second Amendment, the Constitution provides the precise method for doing so. Moreover, if 90 percent of Americans really are for such changes, a constitutional amendment ought to be a slam dunk. That the administration and Democrats would rather bypass that process completely, is precisely indicative of their real, not imagined, tyrannical impulses.

President Obama typified the progressive arrogance that invariably accompanies such impulses. “So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” he insisted.

Hardly. As the Washington Times put it, it was a “good day” for the Second Amendment. “The president raged. The mayor of New York frothed. Joe Biden cried. But at the end of the day, common sense prevailed,” the paper explained. “The Senate killed the effort to unreasonably expand background checks for buyers of guns.”

Better still, other amendments cherished by progressives fared even worse. A proposal to limit ammo clips garnered only 46 votes, while the assault weapons ban got only 40. An amendment inimical to progressive interests, cutting aid to state and local governments that release information on gun owners, was approved 67-30. And perhaps the most effective means of cutting gun violence, a boost for federal mental health programs, sailed though on a 95-2 vote.

The only “shame” that occurred was owned by the president, perhaps the most divisive individual to ever occupy the Oval Office. Reading the excerpts of his speech presented here cannot possibly convey the combination of petulance, anger and arrogance exhibited by a man more than willing to embrace the Saul Alinksy tactic of polarizing and demonizing one’s enemies for political gain. In short, his speech was little more than a tirade, made even more despicable by the fact that it occurred during a period of national mourning for those brutalized and killed by a terror attack in Boston.

“When good and honest people have honest differences of opinion about what policies the country should pursue about gun rights…the president of the United States should not accuse them of having no coherent arguments or of caving to the pressure,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Cornyn is naive. “Good and honest” are irrelevant terms. In this president’s lexicon, everyone can be reduced to “us” or “them.” Those in the latter category are beneath contempt.

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  • Chezwick

    It is exactly like Rush pointed out on his radio show….the main source of Obama's anger is that the Democrat-led Senate couldn't pass the bill….otherwise, his party could have benefited politically by laying the defeat solely at the feet of the Republican-controlled House.

    Poor Barry….sometimes things just don't go his way, even with the deck stacked in his favor. Time for another vacation, I suppose.

    • Alan

      that's completely misinformed and stupid; the Dems in the Senate couldn't break the filibuster, moron–even if they all voted for it. you need to get some facts in your empty head..

      • Boogies daddy

        The purpose of a filibuster is to delay a vote. Since there was in fact a vote taken the filibuster had ended.

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  • Nanis

    He needs to quit whinning and get his feet on the ground with what happened in Boston.
    The culprit of the slaughter in connecticut is dead. Now get to work obummer because all you are doing is warming up the chair, and if that is the best you can do than stick the chair to your A** and get out, let someone else do the job because you are just a disgrace.
    If I was your daughter I would be ashamed of you.

  • cedarhill

    A diversion seized as it made itself available. The real big one is the immigration open-door, get them registered to vote for Democrats bill that will be passed, without reading, in the Senate next week.

    • BEN JABO

      Nobody is talking about the crappy economy & the people that can't get jobs

  • pinnie

    Now we know his deceitful ideology..we have certainly heard his hateul rehtoric………what if anything is R congress prepared to do about it???………………………………………………………..crickets………………………..chirp……………..chirp………chirp.

  • pierce

    Obama has a way of chiding people who don't agree with his point of view.
    There are quite a few examples of this, and it is not particularly becoming, at least from my point of view.
    He is not all knowing, although he thinks he is.
    He does not lack in self confidence, which I think detracts from his overall performance.
    Amen

  • Asher

    We never saw such sour pusses on a President and Vice President, Obama-Biden took the prize, pouting and fuming because they couldn't disarm and dismantle the 2nd amendment and citizens rights. Think about it, pouting because We the people keep our rights!

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The only reason that Congress squashed the gutting of the Second Amendment was because they understood their seats are on the line. Moreover, many people are waking up to the fact that the Radical-in-Chief is dangerous in the extreme, therefore, they are placing their own red line – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/02/americans-the

    Rest assured he is planning an end run…stay vigilant!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • izzyabby

    This guy pulls the same con every time things don't go his way. The blaming and cold blooded lies are always prevalent, but in this case, negative raw emotion flowed after a major effort to manipulate another incremental diminishment of our rights in general and our Constitution in particular.

    This childish tantrum involved a disappointed narcissist, not someone upset that children would be any less safe.

    This guy is a national embarrassment and is proof just what damage an idiot electorate can do.

  • kasandra

    Speaking about lies, Obama said "This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text." If I understand the bill, and someone can correct me on this if I'm wrong, what was outlawed was for the Department of Justice to keep a registry. If this is the case, does anyone think that a registry wouldn't have been kept elsewhere in the government? Also, while decrying opponents characterization of his use of Newtown families as "props," I notice that he didn't address that he only used families who supported his views to "advise" Congress. I guess those who didn't agree with him had nothing useful to add to the debate.

  • tagalog

    First, the MSM is reporting that 90% of those polled are in favor of expanded background checks. So how come the Democrat-controlled Senate voted against it? And if 90% of the U.S. public was so all-fired eager to put expanded background checks in place, where the hell were they?

    When the gun-control crowd, the Democrats, and the MSM thought the tide was moving their way, they trumpeted the gun-control movement from the rooftops. It's nearly all we heard for weeks.

    Now we have the Boston Marathon bombings and the Texas fertilizer plant explosion to occupy the MSM. But at the same time, there's a new movement afoot to float new gun control legislation. Now that the gun-control crowd, the pols, and the MSM know what the lay of the land is, they're not saying anything about this new push. I suspect it's because they think that if they keep it quiet they can sneak new legislation into place without fuss, get it passed and signed by our Fearless Leader.

    So please, keep an eye on them. They can't be trusted to do the peoples' will.

  • NHTom

    Pardon my naivete, but if a background check is not recorded by the feds, how can someone who sells a firearm prove that such a background check was made?

    • tagalog

      The present interpretation of the Second Amendment in the area of background checks is that the government can (indeed, by law must) pass on the qualifications of an individual to purchase a firearm,but it can't keep a list of names of gun owners. So when you buy a gun, the gun dealer has you fill out a BATF form, then they report your name to the state bureau of investigation. If the state bureau clears you, you get the gun and the BATF form is destroyed. If you are NOT cleared, you don't get the gun and the BATF form is destroyed, leaving you a new bite at the apple the next time you try to buy a gun. The assumption is that background checks are made for every purchase from a dealer (including at gun shows, by the way), and indeed to the best of my knowledge they are, at least by reputable gun dealers. The BATF is very active in regulating and inspecting gun dealers' records. The gun dealer has to keep the BATF form until the BATF inspects his records, which they do often.

      I'm told (by my gun dealer) that all people who have access to the BATF forms actually do destroy them. Thank God that there are still government bureaucrats who act in good faith.

  • Penny Haulman

    Obama is futile first last and in between. It’s WE THE PEOPLE who are NOT futile. Never give up! AMERICA, Love it it leave it!

  • gee59

    I believe in gun control – not government people control.

    What do I consider gun control one might ask? Well to me it is using both hands when firing a Smith and Wesson 500, has a hell of kick

  • aggreen

    ***Two days ago, a liberal Gallup poll showed that only 4% of the American people consider gun control an important issue. So, when Obama says that the Senate thwarted the will of the people, he lies. The Senate did the will of the people. End of story.

    • Stan

      I wonder how they explain that the one poll said that 90% wanted background check with registration and the Gallup poll said that only 4% thought gun control was worth working on? The figures shows that the 90% poll was a fraud. It's pretty hard if not impossible to get 90% of people to agree on anything especially when they think it is not important enough to work on compared to the economy. When you see his lips moving, you know he is lying.

    • tagalog

      The gun-control people get around that by claiming that gun people take gun control seriously all of the time while gun-control people only become concerned about gun control when some high-profile shooting incident occurs.

      If that's true, it would explain why the MSM focused on every single shooting incident after Newtown up to now.

      But you know, if there's going to be gun control law, the people who are interested in it need to be on it all the time. I guess those of us who support the Second Amendment should be thankful that those gun-control folks are pretty lukewarm about pursuing their ends.

  • Moishe Pupick

    F., 04/19/13

    Our Beloved Chairman Barack Husein Obama has thrown a hissy fit because the Senate didn't go along with his "reasonable, common sense" gun control bill. I read that 1 of the 2 Boston jihadi brothers has/had a Facebook page on which he advocated FOR "gun control!" Flash bulletin– Not all "gun violence" is criminal. Maybe he was absent that day from class at Harvard Law School.

  • mcmorrowpc

    In response to Obummer's rhetorical question ("Are the serious?") the answer is a resounding "Yes" for me. The shameless POTUS is not a trustworthy individual and repeatedly tosses out lies, misrepresentations and half truths as gospel. Government has recently proven that it is an institution that cannot be trusted (Japanese American citizens locked up in internment camps by a Democratic President and the outright seizure of guns of the citizens of New Orleans ordered by the police). Yes, I am serious, Mr. President. Try being honest for a change. You resemble a facist propeganda minister who fathered many children he had murdered before taking his own miserable life in April, 1945.

  • Alan

    good story on Perry in Texas since you left it off your website…lol…I wonder why? More and more people everyday are learning what wingnuts are all about: http://www.politicususa.com/flashback-ted-cruz-le

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris_Shugart

    I heard Obama's response. It was a cartoonish rant that would have sounded right at home coming from Doctor Evil or any number of James Bond super-villains. This man is not a serious leader.

    • Maxie

      This man, President Cleuseau, is a hyper-narcissistic incompetent who has no business being where he is.

  • Cathy

    Obama taking executive action on guns after Senate vote
    Published April 19, 2013
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/19/obama-

  • Tim

    Is he serious? Does he think the thousands of families whose lives have been touched by abortion don't have the right to weigh in on this issue?

    Doesn't he think the thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by islamic jihad have a right to weigh in on this issue?

    Doesn't he think the thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by criminals and they weren't armed and couldn't defend themselves have a right to weigh in on this issue?

  • Dean

    I received a booklet today from David Horowitz titled Rules For Revolution, "The Alinsky Model". I had never really understood "The word 'Progressive" until now although in the back of my mind watching Obama felt that there was more about him than originally thought. Now after reading this panphlet I have a totally diffrent understanding of the afore-mentioned word "Progressive." While attending a Sunday School Lesson a while back, a young School Teacher made the statement that He was not a Democrat or a Liberal but rather he was a proud Progressive. So what he was proudly saying was that they are now teaching our children. Whether he knew what he was saying….I don't know.

  • tagalog

    If Obama approves of Massachusetts' gun-control laws, we can clarify our view of what he's actually after with the gun-control issue:

    He supports government outlawing certain firearms seen as more dangerous than other firearms.

    Then he is in favor of issuing those outlawed firearms to the police. If the cops use them, aren't they also acting criminally? Evidently not.

    Then he'd be OK with the government ordering people to stay indoors while the police roam the streets with their illegal "assault weapons."