President Obama's press conference on gun control is barely a day old and already, the reactions have been fierce. Naturally enough, most of the more entertaining reactions have come from the president's supporters, who, judging by what we've seen, seem to think the best way to engage in a level-headed debate is to act as non-level-headed as possible. The following are the top five responses to the President's proposal.
#5. Toure makes a point. We think.
Maybe we should say it in English, maybe then they'll understand. No one is talking about taking away all civilian guns. No one but the NRA.
— Touré (@Toure) January 16, 2013
#4. E.J. Dionne complains about the NRA
Too often, moderation has become a synonym for cowardice. Too often, moderates lack the guts to define the sensible middle of the road themselves -- as Obama has done on the gun issue -- and then defend it. Instead, they yield to the temptation to calibrate where everyone else stands before deciding what they believe. This allows extremists who lack any shame to drag our discourse off the road entirely, into a ditch of unreason, fear and invective.
After the NRA's vile new advertisement that uses Secret Service protection for the president's daughters to make a small-minded political point, can anyone take the organization's arguments seriously again? Aren't politicians who continue to bow low before the NRA complicit with a crowd that lacks any sense of decency?
It tells us all we need to know that the gun lobby is deeply afraid of the facts and the evidence. This is why one of the most important actions the president took was to end the ban on research into gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the weapons lobby had forced through a compliant Congress.
#3. Bob Schieffer makes odd comparisons
Let's remember: there was considerable opposition when Lyndon Johnson went to the Congress and...presented some of the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in the history of this country. Most people told him he couldn't get it done, but he figured out a way to do it. And that's what Barack Obama is going to have to do...what happened in Newtown was probably the worst day in this country's history since 9/11. We found Osama bin Laden. We tracked him down. We changed the way that we dealt with that problem. Surely, finding Osama bin Laden; surely, passing civil rights legislation, as Lyndon Johnson was able to do; and before that, surely, defeating the Nazis, was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby.
#2. Piers Morgan is "sick"
The pair of you would like the right to have a tank and you don’t agree with a single–a single one of President Obama’s proposals for gun control. And you know what? It makes me sick when I hear people say that kind of stuff.
#1. Charles Krauthammer points out inconvenient facts
Democrats are going to be the ones who stop this. Harry Reid would like to put the blame on the Republican House. He said he's not going to present anything to the Senate that won't actually pass the House which is another way of saying, 'I don't want to force Democrats in the Senate who are from red states who are opposing this legislation to make a suicidal vote in support of this if it's not going to pass.' It is a Democratic issue, it is a Democratic problem.
I give the president credit for sincerity of this. There's not a lot of political advantage in this as there is in a lot of other stuff he's pushing. He didn't have a plan to do this. This was not what he campaigned on last year, it wasn't on his agenda. It was, I think, a genuine response to the massacre in Newtown which, I think, moved him.
The problem is he doesn't know what to do and no one knows what to do. The things he signed today, the executive orders, are useless. It's the appearance of motion. I think it's sincere, he wants to do a little at the edges; a little research here, a little encouragement here. But everybody understands it's not going to make any difference. So, he is saying that the three big items are the ban on assault weapons, on the big magazines and the idea of having the background checks. I think they are not going to pass. I think he will expend some capital, but the country simply isn't ready to do anything near that.