President Obama and the left wing of the Democratic party have framed the issue as gun owners versus gun control. NY Senator Chuck Schumer, for instance, asked Walmart to stop selling legal guns and supplies until Obama's actions are announced and implemented. He follows in the vain of Obama by demagoguing opponents as evil profiteers and wingnuts. Opponents are not worth dealing with for this president. He'd rather go the easy route and sign Executive Orders - my way or the highway.
Obama cites booming gun sales as a bad thing. It is a cause and effect result, though, whenever liberals start ratcheting up the gun banning rhetoric. Using horrific tragedies as a platform for political agendas is wrong but standard operating procedure today. Immediately after the killing of young schoolchildren in Connecticut, politicians jumped in to use social media and television cameras to promote knee jerk reactions via demands of legislation.
The NRA is the whipping boy organization for the gun grabbers. The NRA executive leadership was heavily criticized - and frankly, openly mocked - in the media for a valid suggestion after the Newtown school shooting massacre. They suggested armed security guards in every school across the country to protect the children and teachers. While this appears to be a common sense solution, it is probably financially prohibitive for many communities. Some school districts are already using armed guards for schools - I know that the Houston Independent School District uses armed security at the high school level. That wouldn't help an elementary school, though.
The liberal leaning Washington Post published the findings from a recent poll, which shows that the NRA was on the right track in the minds of most Americans:
"A majority (55 percent) of Americans in the poll support the idea of putting an armed guard in every school in the country, including 65 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats."
I hesitated to write about this subject because I am not a gun person. I've never shot a firearm of any kind, nor do I have a desire to do so. I do have an item on my bucket list involving learning to skeet shoot, but that is the extent of my interest. My husband is a military veteran and was awarded the expert marksmanship ribbon. He was raised in a hunting family and his father collected guns. He possesses firearms. He is not, however, a member of the NRA. His father was a life member of the organization. So, guns are around me and many friends and family are gun owners. I don't have a problem with any of that.
All that said, the true meaning of the Second Amendment is not about hunting or about sport shooting. It revolves around the ability of Americans to protect against tyranny. A tyrannical president or the overthrowing of our government by a nefarious group is why we have the protection of the Second Amendment.
As has been written in judicial opinion:
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
The problem with painting this as a partisan issue is that people of all political ideologies and those with no interest in politics can all find common ground in the Second Amendment issue. Those elected as Democrats from "red" states are at a real risk, should they voice strong support for Obama's more overreaching actions, in the next election cycle. Barack Obama has a strong tendency to overreach and is too self centered to care about future elections of others. For him, it is all about legacy making headlines.
Wednesday President Obama delivered his talking points before signing into place 23 executive actions on this subject. He surrounded himself on stage with several children and some young adults. To me, it is despicable when politicians use children as props but it frequently happens. He read quotes from some of their letters sent after the Newtown massacre. Did it take that tragedy to awaken the president on the need for reform? Apparently so, as he did nothing on the subject during his first term though tragedies happened then, too. Did his own political hometown, Chicago, the most dangerous city in the country due to gun violence, not compel him to work on the problem? Apparently not.
A new action was introduced as part of the 23 executive actions signed Wednesday. The CDC will launch a study into gun violence. This study will include the effects of violent videos and games. Will another government funded study by government bureaucrats solve the problem? Also, I think there is a legal issue with this action.
President Obama is fond of Executive Orders, now that he is President Obama. As Senator Obama he enjoyed criticizing George W. Bush for using them in governing. Now Obama frequently signs them. He does so without cameras, audiences clapping, or human props surrounding him on stage. Today's theatrics were solely to pull at the heartstrings of politicians and the viewing audience. It was unnecessary and exploitative. Most importantly, sadly, his actions will not prevent the next mass murder.
It was all much ado about little. It was lots of heart tugging rhetoric and bluster against the NRA and others who may oppose his actions. The real question remains with the assault weapons ban. When it was in effect in previous years, it was shown to have little strength in preventing gun violence. It is an issue if you believe in the real meaning of the Second Amendment and the right to fight against tyranny. This is a part of the debate that warrants further debate. Real debate, not phony ideological battles.