Just Say No to More Government Control

President Obama has been talkinig nonsense again. Remarks by the President at the National Urban League Convention:

And when there is an extraordinarily heartbreaking tragedy like the one we saw [in Aurora, Colorado], there’s always an outcry immediately after for action. And there’s talk of new reforms, and there’s talk of new legislation. And too often, those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.

Pooh yi. Because when people start clamoring for government to do something, it is always a shame when someone or something stops that. Except, no, it is not. A legislative body should be slow to action and not react with immediate rush to do something just to do something. Thank God most of those “reforms” and proposals for new legislation are defeated. The last thing we need is a legislature subject to the whims and fears of a mob mentality. We get enough foolishness passed into law as it is.

But what I said in the wake of Tucson was we were going to stay on this, persistently. So we’ve been able to take some actions on our own, recognizing that it’s not always easy to get things through Congress these days. The background checks conducted on those looking to purchase firearms are now more thorough and more complete. Instead of just throwing more money at the problem of violence, the federal government is now in the trenches with communities and schools and law enforcement and faith-based institutions, with outstanding mayors like Mayor Nutter and Mayor Landrieu — recognizing that we are stronger when we work together.

Translated: You are safer when government has more power over your life. Pretty much any time President Obama mentions working together, he means more government control. If you are wondering upon what do I base that conclusion, it is based on what the President has said in other speeches and what he has done argued for as President.

But even though we’ve taken these actions, they’re not enough. 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.

So I’m going to continue to work with members of both parties, and with religious groups and with civic organizations, to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction — not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence and keep our children safe -– from improving mental health services for troubled youth — (applause) — to instituting more effective community policing strategies. We should leave no stone unturned, and recognize that we have no greater mission as a country than keeping our young people safe. (Applause.)

Yes, people were actually applauding this not terribly veiled argument that government needs even more power. This is kind of scary stuff, and people are applauding.

President Obama says “the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms.” Then he says “hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.” Clearly the man thinks the Second Amendment is about hunting and shooting as a hobby or a sport. As I have already point out here at this blog, the Second Amendment is in the U.S. Constitution to protect the right of people to have weapons to defend themselves against government tyranny. That Obama refuses to acknowledge this should already make you concerned.

Then President Obama basically says “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals”. Again, he is not allowing that the ordinary, law-abiding citizen would even want to own such a weapon.

“I believe,” the President continued, “the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons”. I hope not. For example, repealing the Second Amendment, while not probable, is possible. I do hope that the majority of gun owners would agree such a plan would be not just undesirable, but also stupid. Hopefully most gun owners understand that doing everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons is not actually advisable, and would harm law-abiding weapon owners far more than the criminals and fugitives.

President Obama then said, “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.” I am now going to say something controversial. A person with a criminal record in most cases should not be prevented from owning a firearm. Committing a crime does not rob a person of his right to defend himself. In most cases, when a person has served his time in jail and been released, he should regain legal protection for all his rights including voting and owning a firearm. As to trying to keep guns from mentally unbalanced people, it sounds admirable, but mentally unbalanced according to whom? Decided when?

“These steps shouldn’t be controversial,” said the President. “ They should be common sense.” What should be common sense is that the right of citizens to bear arms as a check on the power of government. But clearly, President Obama does not share that common sense.

Then the President promised to work on “violence reduction — not just of gun violence, but violence at every level, on every step, looking at everything we can do to reduce violence and keep our children safe”. How? By “improving mental health services for troubled youth, to instituting more effective community policing strategies”. Why? “We should leave no stone unturned, and recognize that we have no greater mission as a country than keeping our young people safe.”

No, no, no, no, no. This is complete foolishness. Is trying to keep people safe foolish? No that is not what I am saying. The notion that there is nothing we should not do to keep young people (or anyone else) safe is foolishness. In particular, you cannot leave this to government. For example, perfectly ordinary people who happened to be under the legal age when they had consensual sex with someone else under the legal age have been forever branded as sex offenders because of asinine enforcement of laws by the government. And honestly, do you really want people with political motivations establishing mental health criteria?

So what have we got here? A President who either does not understand or refuses to acknowledge the fundamental nature of the Second Amendment arguing that, in the name of keeping children safe, government ought to have more power to interfere in people’s lives. Does this not worry you at least a little?

Do not misunderstand me. I want people to be safe. But the notion that every time something bad happens we ought to give the government more power to do something is not going to make people safe. It is going to make us all less safe. The harder getting and carrying and owning firearms is for law-abiding citizens, the more law-abiding citizens are at the mercy of those who do get and carry and own firearms. Which is to say, the government and the criminals. That makes us all less safe.

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