COMMENTARY | The controversial anti-gun sculpture in front of the United Nations, is a reflection of President Obama’s attitude on guns, according to conservatives who accuse Obama of planning an executive order on gun control. Now that the U.N. Small Arms Treaty has failed yet again, conservatives are fearful that an executive order will be Obama’s next move against private gun ownership.
The proof, according to conservatives, is in the comments made on August 7, 2012, by Press Secretary Jay Carney. The White House Press Secretary was discussing the August 6, 2012 shootings at the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee, that resulted in the deaths of six temple worshipers. After stressing the need to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of disturbed citizens and calling for a renewal of the ban on assualt weapons, Carney closed by saying, “The president’s approach is that we should work with Congress where possible — and administratively where allowed — to advance common-sense measures that enhance our security, that keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have them, under existing law, but that protects Second Amendment rights, which the president thinks is an important goal as well.”
Despite the fact that Carney and the President have mentioned their support for the Second Amendment in just about every comment they have made on the recent outbreak of gun violence, conservatives are convinced Obama is lying. This shows just how great the divide is in our country, when it comes to public opinion on President Obama. His supporters believe that he is the best thing that has ever happened to this country and his critics think he is the virtual Anti-Christ.
Obama certainly does favor some restrictions on gun ownership and it is true he wants the assault weapon ban re-instated. Despite the fact that the President has yet to call for a ban on all gun ownership, his enemies are convinced that he is out to destroy the Second Amendment and totally ban private gun ownership. However, most experts on the Constitution are adamant that Obama lacks the authority to override the Second Amendment by executive order. Any attempt to use an executive order to ban gun ownership would lead to political chaos in the United States.
Libertarian Ron Paul has also said that Obama is planning to ban guns. Paul has accused Obama and his Secretary Of State, Hillary Clinton, of trying to do an end run around the Constitution by supporting the U.N. Treaty On Small Arms Trade. Paul has repeatedly lambasted Obama for deceiving the American people on his true position on gun ownership, claiming, “As sure as government health care will be forced on us by the Obama administration through whatever means necessary, so will gun control.”
How a ban on private gun ownership could ever be enforced, with hundreds of millions of guns presently in private hands, inspires talk of impending doom. Some gun rights activists even believe that banning guns would lead to a second American Civil War. They point to the fact that the Department Of Homeland Security has purchased over 750 million rounds of ammunition as proof that the Obama Administration is planning to move against private gun ownership.
Conservatives also feel that Obama’s understanding of the Second Amendment is fundamentally flawed, since he never refers to a gun owner’s right to self defense. He told the National Urban League, ” We recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation…that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.” When Obama ran for president in 2008, he said he would, “protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.”
Even notorious rapper, Ice T disagreed with the President, when he told the BBC, “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.” While most gun owners, would politely disagree with Ice T on the matter of the police, they would agree that Americans are constitutionally allowed to own guns for self defense.
Just what Obama has planned for the future, remains to be seen. He is certainly not likely to make a major pronouncement against gun ownership before the 2012 elections. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication in Philadelphia, pointed out, “The likelihood that a president in a closely contested election is going to do anything to mobilize the other candidate’s base approaches zero.”
Americans are becoming numb to the tradition of politicians never speaking openly and honestly about important issues. Supporters of private gun ownership remind us that Obama told Sarah Brady, “I just want you to know that we’re working on it [gun control.] We have to go through a few processes but UNDER THE RADAR!” While we still do not know what Obama may have planned for gun control, believers in the right to bear arms are sure the best way to support the Second Amendment, in the short term, is to defeat Obama in 2012.
All Americans, no matter what their opinion on guns, are horrified by the recent bloodshed in Aurora, Colorado and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We must find better ways to keep firearms of the hands of emotionally disturbed citizens. While many gun rights activists will hate me for saying this, I really don’t have a problem with doing a background check on gun purchasers. Is waiting a few days too great a price to pay for the privilege of owning a deadly weapon?
What do you think? If Americans are to continue to have the right to bear arms, is a background check too great a price to pay for the privilege?