Today, President Obama unveiled his plan to stop murder and badness in America and heal the fundamentally flawed nature of man that leads to violence in the first place. Apparently, that can all be accomplished by causing a few extra hassles for law-abiding gun purchasers.
In a extravagantly theatrical speech, surrounded on stage by the families of murder victims who he'd turned into human props for political purposes, Obama railed against the gun lobby, Republicans and dumb Americans who care too much about the Second Amendment. And he cried. And he lied.
The new executive decrees boil down to a few main initiatives. With an authoritative stroke of his magic law-making pen, Obama expanded background checks for private sellers — now, even if you sell one gun in the span of five years, you must become a licensed gun dealer and submit to all of the federal interference that comes along with that designation — and he instituted other roadblocks, like stripping gun rights from old people who need help handling their finances (which will hopefully put an end to the scourge of elderly women committing mass homicides), and investing more money in "smart guns," which are clever contraptions that nobody wants to buy.
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, unveiled controversial gun control executive actions Jan. 5 in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Aside from those life-saving measures, the executive orders will also introduce several other irritations for legal gun sellers and buyers, and give doctors increased abilities to report their patients' mental illnesses to the FBI. Finally, Obama will require that anyone purchasing a gun be compelled to watch a 47-minute video of Obama wagging his finger and saying "tsk, tsk" over and over again. Experts predict that alone will prevent 900 homicides a year, at least.
All told, the proposals are some mixture of ridiculous, redundant, unnecessary, unconstitutional and ineffectual. I won't get into dissecting each point in detail, mostly because plenty of other conservative writers have already done a fine job of that, but also because the real danger in Obama's "gun control" push is not in what the provisions are designed to do, but in the precedent they're designed to set.
We don't yet have universal background checks, and it's not yet at the point where your therapist can summarily remove your Second Amendment rights if you mention that you're feeling a bit depressed or anxious at the moment, but these measures lay the groundwork for those eventualities. Most of all, they lay the groundwork — or I should say they fortify the already existing groundwork — for presidents to hurtle right over the legislative branch and make laws all on their own.
With that said, there are some broader points I'd like to make after reading Obama's executive orders, and particularly after watching his weepy gun-grabbing speech:
In the history of the world, paperwork has never stopped anyone from committing acts of evil.
Now, I have little to no experience murdering people, but it strikes me that almost all murderers fit into three basic categories:
1. People who plan and carry out premeditated acts of carnage (terrorists, school shooters, serial killers, etc.)
2. People for whom murder is a feature of their occupation or lifestyle (gang-bangers, abortionists, etc.)
3. People who suddenly lash out in a moment of anger or passion (road ragers, jilted lovers, etc.)
The problem with Obama's "expanded background checks," and most other forms of "gun control," is that it can do nothing to prevent or hinder any of the folks in these three categories.
Often, the evil and deranged men who carry out mass casualty events at schools or churches or wherever have no history of violent crime. Surprisingly, background checks check only your background, not your future. But even if the would-be murderer has a criminal record, it's extraordinarily unlikely that he'll be dissuaded from his dastardly plot just because the government made it more difficult to legally purchase the weapon. If he's willing to murder 18 innocent people next Tuesday, something tells me he won't have any moral qualms about stealing a gun, or borrowing it from a relative, or obtaining it on the black market.
The second category consists of people who are already criminals by trade or choice. They already cannot buy weapons legally, just like they cannot legally do most of what they do with their time, yet they still get their hands on them and they still shoot each other on our nation's street corners every day. The major cities in this country have very strict gun control laws and very strict laws against drug dealing and drive-by shootings, yet none of it seems to cause much of a hindrance to the people responsible for all of this mayhem.
The third category accounts for people who, again, were not violent criminals before shooting their annoying neighbor or their cheating wife. "Gun control" can do nothing here. Anger control would be a better solution.
So if Obama wants to prevent "gun violence" by enacting "gun control," he must admit that his measures automatically exclude mass killings, terrorist attacks, inner city gang violence and murders sparked by rage or passion. That accounts for, what, like, all murders in a given year? There you have it. Gun control prevents murder, with the exception of all types of murder.
The truth is, there's not a lot anyone can do to proactively stop people from attempting to kill other human beings. You can put a dangerous man in prison after he's demonstrated that he is, in fact, dangerous. But what can a society reasonably do to stop him from providing us with that initial demonstration?
I think part of the problem is that liberals do not understand human nature. They do not comprehend that evil is the result of a spiritual sickness, not a lack of regulations or policies. All people are capable of evil. The only thing that really stops a person from committing evil is their own choice to turn from the temptation and embrace love, kindness, charity and God. Tragically, we live in a society that largely rejects God, which means we live in a society where evil inevitably flourishes.
I'll put it this way: The primary thing actually impeding me from, say, shooting my mailman, is that I do not want to shoot my mailman. I know that shooting him is wrong, but even that isn't what's really stopping me. The first line of defense is that I just don't have that desire (my mailman is actually a very nice guy, so I'm sorry I'm using him as an example here).
Now let's say I developed the desire. I've never had an actual desire to kill anyone, and I imagine most people have never actually, really, intently wanted to end another person's life, so it's hard for us to imagine what that feeling is like. But if that first line of defense is breached and suddenly I find myself truly smitten with the idea of annihilating a postal worker, the next defense is my own moral sensibilities. But let's say I don't care that it's wrong, or I find a way to reason that it's right, then the final obstacle is my fear of going to prison.
OK, let's say I'm not afraid of prison or I believe I have the opportunity to carry out the deed and not get caught. After I've developed a desire to kill, rationalized my way around the moral problem, and either accepted the possibility of prison or convinced myself I can get away with the crime — what then? Does President Obama seriously think, despite all of this, I might finally be dissuaded because I don't want to fill out paperwork or buy the murder weapon under the table? After all of that, gun regulations will turn me from a would-be assassin back into a law-abiding citizen? Really?
Absurd. It just makes no sense. When a man is intent on doing harm, he will do it. That's why we have prisons after the fact, and that's why we have guns so that the object of those dark intentions might stand a chance. After all, I guess the true last line of defense in the mailman scenario is his own ability to protect himself.
Our rights are not in competition.
This is another one of the fundamental truths that liberals seemingly cannot digest. Obama got choked up right around the time when he started listing all of the rights that guns have allegedly infringed upon:
All of us should be able to work together to find a balance that declares the rest of our rights are also important. Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them, because our right to worship freely and safely — that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina.
And that was denied Jews in Kansas city, and that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They had rights too.
Our right to peaceful assembly, that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our inalienable right to life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high-schoolers in Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown.
We do have the right to peaceful assembly, religion, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but the Second Amendment does not conflict with or contradict those rights. On the contrary, it's meant to protect them.
We don't need to "strike a balance" between my Second Amendment rights and your First Amendment rights. We don't need to calibrate my right to bear arms based on your right to go to school or the movie theater without getting shot in the face. I have the right to bear arms, you have the right to not be shot in the face, but if I infringe upon that right, it is not the fault of the Second Amendment. Again, it goes back to the flawed nature of man, not the flawed nature of constitutional liberties.
My rights did not infringe upon yours just because I used a gun to kill you. I'm the one who did the infringing, and it didn't happen because our two competing claims to rights suddenly came out of balance. It happened because I'm a murderous scumbag and you got in my way. It happened because I'm out of balance, in other words.
We don't have to find a "balance" to accommodate my rights and yours. We all simply need to respect the dignity and inherent worth of one another. But, seeing as how the world is filled with people who lack that respect, you should feel even more incentivized to exercise your Second Amendment rights.
In the end, our rights don't mean much in a practical sense if they aren't protected. And if the government can't or won't do it — or indeed, if the government is the threat — then we need to take that burden upon ourselves. That's where guns come into play.
Mr. Obama, stop pretending to care about dead children.
The transcript shows that Obama mentioned "kids" and "children" about five or six times each during his speech. When he recalled the children killed during the Newtown massacre, he openly wept.
In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. (AP/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks)
I wouldn't usually begrudge a man for crying while talking about murdered first-graders. I admit I sobbed bitterly when I first heard about it on the news two years ago. Even now, I feel a sinking in the pit of my stomach whenever I think about that monster walking into an elementary school and slaughtering dozens of beautiful, innocent little kids.
But I cannot take the president's tears seriously. Sorry. I just can't. For one thing, he knows damn well that none of his proposals would have stopped Adam Lanza from killing those kids. Bringing them into this conversation is manipulative at best. Obama has been using the Sandy Hook victims as mascots for his gun control push since the day it happened, and I simply can't stomach it. He knows what he's doing. He knows "gun control" did not prevent — and could not prevent — that heinous crime. He knows it.
Beyond that, where were those tears when he breezily dismissed and ignored the babies and women abortionist Kermit Gosnell butchered in Philadelphia? Where was this concern for "kids" and "children" when he refused to even watch the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, revealing how the organization murders and sells babies like livestock?
In a moment of staggering hypocrisy, Obama called us to have the "courage" to protect children:
I'm not asking people to have that same level of courage or sacrifice or love, but if we love our kids and care about their prospects and if we love this country and care about its future, then we can find the courage to vote, we can find the courage to get mobilized and organized, we can find the courage to cut through all the noise and do what a sensible country would do.
Courage. Love. Sacrifice. This coming from the same man who voted against a bill that would have required abortionists to provide lifesaving care to infants born alive after a botched abortion. This coming from a president who has given more money to Planned Parenthood than any before him. This coming from a man who wishes good fortune and "blessings" upon death doctors.
Obama has funded, facilitated, and celebrated the mass killing of millions of babies. He has lacked even the basic courage to strongly denounce abortionists who went to jail for murdering countless live infants. When it comes to the unborn and the recently born, he has shown no mercy, no love, no compassion, no willingness to sacrifice or risk even a few harsh words from his pals in the abortion lobby.
And yet he wants us to believe that his tears are sincere when he weeps for dead children who he would have thrown to the side like dirt had they been murdered only a few years earlier? How can we? How can anyone witness a man justify the genocide of 50 million precious children and then listen with respect and understanding when he pretends to care about the lives of children? It's not possible. I can't do it.
His call for gun control is not logical or legal or constitutional. It is emotional. But unfortunately for him and for every other liberal, we must put their emotional appeals into context. And the context is that these are proponents of mass baby murder. They are Nazi sympathizers wailing only over the tragedies that might be politically useful to them. For that reason, nothing they say can really be taken seriously, especially when they start crying about dead children and the "right to life."