Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer 

Obama vs. The Second Amendment 

In response to the tragic Sandy Hook shootings last month, President Obama today unveiled a series of proposals aimed at limiting Second Amendment rights. Some, like expanded background checks, enjoy broad support in most polls. Others, like banning certain guns, are more controversial. The public generally wants the laws already on the books to be enforced, not more laws passed. 

When it comes to the use of executive orders, President Obama appears to be cautious -- for now. Obama announced that he was acting on 23 proposals recommended by Vice President Biden's task force. Politico reports that Obama's executive orders will likely focus on "anti-bullying measures and additional training for school counselors and mental health professionals." Obama is also ordering the Centers for Disease Control to study ways to prevent gun violence. 

While some of these measures are limited in scope, it is infuriating to many that Obama's default position is to end-run Congress at every opportunity. In reaction to these executive orders, Senator Marco Rubio said, "President Obama is again abusing his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat instead of allowing them to be debated in Congress." 

I was struck by the president's repeated references during his announcement to statistics involving handguns. Obama remarked that 900 people have been killed since Sandy Hook. But virtually all of those deaths were from handguns. He lamented the children who are too frequently denied their "right to life" in Chicago neighborhoods. (He said nothing about the million-plus children in the womb who every year are denied their right to life.) 

But the president was using statistics that have virtually nothing to do with so-called "assault weapons" to justify his proposals that will make it harder for hunters, sportsmen, collectors and other law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. 

The thugs and gang members running Chicago's streets are by definition not law-abiding citizens, and probably won't be affected in any way by anything Obama proposed today. If they aren't obeying current laws, they won't obey new ones! 

What was most glaringly absent from the president's remarks was any discussion about cultural influences that may be contributing to the disturbing degree of random violence today. The left has relentlessly attacked the sanctity of life, the belief that we are all children of God, and that we will one day be judged by God. 

Liberalism vs. Reality 

What ultimately matters in this debate is that we preserve the right in this country for law-abiding Americans to own firearms. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. Our Founding Fathers had firsthand experience with a tyrannical government. If you would like a quick refresher on the Second Amendment, I recommend this column by Dr. Walter Williams. 

The push for more gun control, like so much of the left-wing agenda, contradicts reality. If you are inclined to debate someone, keep these statistics in mind: 

  • Banning guns may not work. As Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a former prosecutor in Washington, D.C., writes in the Wall Street Journal

    "The D.C. gun ban, enacted in 1976, prohibited anyone other than law-enforcement officers from carrying a firearm in the city. Residents were even barred from keeping guns in their homes for self-defense. … Violent crime increased after the law was enacted, with homicides rising to 369 in 1988, from 188 in 1976 when the ban started. By 1993, annual homicides had reached 454. … Since the gun ban was struck down, murders in the District have steadily gone down, from 186 in 2008 to 88 in 2012, the lowest number since the law was enacted in 1976."
  • In recent years, gun ownership has surged, as has the number of states with right-to-carry laws. Liberals warned that we would return to the Wild West days of gun slingers having shootouts on every street. It did not happen. In fact, crime rates have gone down. 
  • While assault weapons make headlines, FBI statistics tell us that more people are killed by clubs and hammers.
  • According to the Congressional Research Service, assault weapons were used in roughly 2% of crimes. 
  • There isn't significant public demand for gun control. A recent Gallup poll asked respondents to identify the "most important problem" facing the country. Only 4% said "gun control." The issue tied for sixth place behind the economy, the federal budget deficit, dissatisfaction with government, unemployment and lack of money. 

    Left-wing Hypocrisy 

    I couldn't leave this topic without a few words about left-wing hypocrisy. After the Sandy Hook shootings, the NRA suggested that we should consider putting armed guards in schools to protect our children just as we protect our money, our presidents and other things we consider valuable. 

    Our political and media elites mocked the idea. But the public supports it, and school districts across the country are doing it. 

    The NRA isn't backing down. It has produced an ad noting that the president's daughters attend a school with armed guards. In fact many of Washington's elites send their children to private schools that have armed security guards. The White House and the left-wing pundits exploded with rage. "How dare the NRA drag Obama's daughters into this debate." A White House spokesman denounced the ad as "repugnant and cowardly."

    But dragging children into the debate is exactly what Obama did at his press conference today. He used children as rhetorical shields to advance his agenda. The implication was clear -- anyone who opposes his efforts to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms must want more kids to die. 

    The left is also howling about a target practice app recently released by the NRA. MSNBC's faux conservative Joe Scarborough went on a tirade about the app on his show this week. Contrast the left's screeching about the NRA's target practice app to its silence about an online game that allows players to shoot NRA President David Keene in the head. 

    Conservatives are not supposed to fight back, and liberals just can't stand it when they are confronted by their own hypocrisy.