Thursday, July 26, 2012

The president's gun grab pitch

Deeper restrictions on our right to bear arms are common sense. That's what President Barack Obama told members of the National Urban League in New Orleans on Wednesday night. The president started into the pitch by bragging on programs to create youth summer jobs and those aimed at steering kids away from gang life. But then he went on:
Other steps to reduce violence have been met with opposition in Congress.  This has been true for some time -- particularly when it touches on the issues of guns.  And I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms.  And 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. 
But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals -- (applause) -- that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.  I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller; that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily.  (Applause.)  These steps shouldn’t be controversial.  They should be common sense.
What kind of so-called common sense steps would the president propose to keep arms out of the hands of a guy like grad student James Holmes in Aurora? On paper, the guy was squeaky clean. The National Institutes of Health deemed him sane enough and brilliant enough to award him a $26,000 grant to study neuroscience. Yet some clerk working a gun counter is supposed to spot a guy like Holmes as potential trouble and stop the sale?

No, Mr. Obama isn't speaking incremental or case-by-case trip wires to stop a sale. Mr. Obama seems pretty clear, his agenda is to ban guns he deems inappropriate in our society. The only thing he hasn't done is tell us exactly how deep his list of forbidden arms would go, or the specific strategy he plans to use to make it happen when he and his team believe they see an opportune moment.

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