“Shame on us if we have forgotten.”

I am warning you now: this is a post that somewhat angrily responds to the attempts by President Obama to verbally bully people into agreeing with him about gun control legislation. If that offends you, too bad. 

On March 28, 2013, the President of the United States said this:

And I want to make sure every American is listening today. Less than 100 days ago [the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut] happened, and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten. I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.

Shame? Shame on you, Mr. President. You argue for policies that would have done nothing to stop the shooting in Newtown, and oppose policies that could indeed save lives in such a situation.

Shame on us if we have forgotten? I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten the stories of gun control laws that were intended to keep firearms out of the hands of people whose skin was too dark. I have not forgotten the story told to me by a gay man of how he prevented himself getting beaten because he had a firearm. I have not forgotten.

I have not forgotten that in history liberty has often won by people with firearms.

I have not forgotten that the previous “assault weapons” ban did essentially nothing to prevent gun violence, and that when it expired the dire warnings of all the rampant violence that would surely result all proved to be untrue.

I also have not forgotten your lies, Mr. President. For example, you claimed the other day that the shooter in Newtown used a fully automatic weapon. Not true. As Jacob Sullum pointed out:

Not only is this gun not “a fully automatic weapon”; it did not even qualify as an “assault weapon” under Connecticut law (or under the federal “assault weapon” ban that expired in 2004, which used similar criteria).

I have not forgotten the way you continually attempt to portray your opponents in this matter as people who do not care about the safety of children, and imply that unless they support your gun control policy they are condoning murder.

Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on you for trying to use fear and emotional rhetoric to convince people to support bad policy that is useful for nothing except politics, despite all your protestations to the contrary.

And don’t you tell me I have forgotten about those children. No, I have not forgotten. I will tell you what else I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten that the school in Newtown and the cinema in Colorado where mass killings took place were supposedly gun free zones! Yet instead of trying to find ways to make self-defense more common, you argue for more restrictions on the liberty of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.

Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on you!

How can you care so little for people’s lives? You say if we can do something to save even one life, we should do it. Then why are you not trying to do that? Why are you not arguing against restrictions on firearms that needlessly interfere with the liberty of law-abiding citizens? Why are you not using your “bully pulpit” to make the case to Americans that supposed gun free zones are targets for people intent on violent crime? Why are you not opposing the “war on drugs” that fuels so much of the gun violence in our nation? Why are you not trying to do something that would actually save lives? Why are you instead engaged in an attempt to accomplish something useless and in the denigration of anyone who opposes you?

No, Mr. President, I have not forgotten. And no, I do not want nothing done about keeping our children safe. What I want is sensible, rational policy that protects the liberty of people who can actually do the job of keeping our children safe. Clearly, you do not respect that, Mr. President, so shame on you. Shame on you, sir.

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