Commentary: President Obama’s gun dilemma
The Orlando horror not surprisingly has Obama liberals screaming gun control. Those who’ve followed Mr. Obama’s journey see his comments as incredibly self-serving given a 2008 campaign speech. There Obama lamented people clinging “to their guns and … religion.” In Orlando’s aftermath this reminder suggests Mr. Obama’s rhetoric has little to do with the tragic loss of life and more to do with the anti-gun ideology that has guided his career.
Listen as the refrain of gun violence falls from his lips. He paints a portrait of the despicable gun clawing its way into the hands of the assassin. This otherwise peace loving Muslim is lured to violate his faith and commit this horror. Where does the fault lie? In the mystical power of that awful firearm. Blame the gun. God forbid we blame the extreme ideology of the shooter. Under the narrative of not offending our 2 percent Muslim population, Obama demonizes gun owners who, by most official estimates, total almost fifty-percent of American homes.
This isn’t to deny our problem with gun violence. But the liberal solution of eliminating guns period, is simply not a realistic option. Consider the challenges.
First there’s that pesky little document called the Constitution. Yes, it can be amended but only with ratification by 34 states. And legislation passing Congress? Recall Obama’s super majority when he took office. Where was gun legislation then? It was as impossible then as now because almost half the population are gun owners.
Second, even if there were broad bi-partisan support, how would this legislation be enforced? The president’s immigration policy has repeatedly declared that we can’t find 15 million people living in the county illegally. We’re to believe the same government capable of finding and confiscating 300 million (legal) guns from half the population. The same people repealing drug laws that aren’t preventing substance abuse, insist passing more legislation will eliminate guns.
The president apparently sees gun owners passively submitting to his directive and surrendering their firearms. He hasn’t noticed the national trend of rejecting anything he suggests. A movement that has grown under his administration. And when gun owners refuse, what then? Armed confiscation? That seems to be the plan.
Consider the comments of Department of Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson, depicting gun confiscation as a form of national security. An agency founded to defend America talking about removing the average American’s ability to defend themselves. A chilling prospect? For millions of Americans the answer is yes.
At this point liberals offer their threefold rebuke. ISIS is not a threat, the government will keep us safe, and we’re only talking about assault weapons. San Bernadino and Orlando quash the first two, and everyone knows the third is a cover.
The real hypocrisy in this idea of seizing weapons comes in where this confiscation would take place. If we’re honest this wouldn’t begin with street gangs in Los Angeles or Chicago. An administration repulsed by Muslim profiling will never search and seize guns from those communities. Every thinking person realizes it will begin with law-abiding citizens, the average American who’s never misused his weapon will be the target of liberal ideology. ISIS and the resulting gun black market will leave firearms in the hands of terrorists and criminals. While the real threat grows, the president will travel the country declaring we’re safer because he took Grandma’s Moses’ gun.
In short, Obama is powerless to eliminate guns. Instead of leading, he demonizes by placing the blame where it does not belong and creates the very thing his 2008 speech lamented. Every gun control lecture sends gun sales rocketing, making his goal more elusive than ever. Nothing makes people cling more than the threat of taking it away. Especially when the threat uses a smoke screen to justify abuses against citizens. It wasn’t a gun in Orlando, Mr. Obama. It was an ideology. For our safety’s sake, try talking about that.
William Shifflett is an Edinburg resident.