Mr. President: What About Guns?

January 26, 2011

in guns,Obama

You missed the boat Mr. President.  Big Time. You gave a great State of the Union Address, but you shrank from leadership when it came to one of the critical issues plaguing the country:  every year tens of thousands of deaths by firearms.

The National Rifle Association and many members of Congress favor easy access to guns, any kind of gun.  There are little ones that can be hidden in a purse or a pocket.  Big ones can fit neatly in a briefcase or duffle bag.  How stupid is America to allow any nutcase to purchase a 9 mm glock in Tucson with a magazine that can fire off 30 death-dealing bullets in seconds?

President Obama, why didn’t you say something about getting rid of guns in your State of the Union speech?  Couldn’t you have even called for putting more restrictions on the purchase of guns and ammunition?  Does the NRA have you running scared like so many other politicians it pays off, uh, rather, contributes millions of dollars to their campaigns? 

During your speech, Mr. President, you couldn’t miss every member of Congress wearing white ribbons in honor of the victims of the murderous rampage in Tucson, Arizona. (Probably, it was merely lapel-service.)  And right in front of you in the public gallery above the House floor were people you invited to the speech:  the parents and brother of murdered Christina Green; Daniel Hernandez, the intern who tried to stop the bleeding from the bullet wound in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ head; and a doctor and nurse who have been taking care of her. You couldn’t miss Giffords’ empty seat in the middle of the Arizona delegation.  But you said nothing, not one word, about gun control.

I believe, Mr. President, that you spoke about the issues I think the American people wanted you to address at this difficult time in our history.  Your delivery was flawless.  You looked and sounded presidential.  Just like most members of Congress I heartily applauded when you said, “We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”  I heard in my head, “USA, USA, USA!!”  Our “Sputnik moment,” you called it.    It was a rallying cry for the American people to be optimistic and dismiss fears that, under the first black President, America would end up a bankrupt, humiliated, second-rate nation.

I especially appreciated the portion of your speech devoted to better education for our children, and higher pay and more respect for teachers. How can we have a competitive global economy if our people lag behind those in other nations in academic achievement?  I was glad to hear about job creation, energy efficiency, making things in the USA again, repairing our infrastructure.  Our troops will start coming home this year from the Middle East, thank God.  The foreign policy plans sounded good.  As I said before it was an eloquent speech promoting unity and cooperation and an end to national divisions.

You like, sir, to refer to the progress you’ve made on your presidential campaign promises:  health care reform; “don’t ask don’t tell;” and a myriad of less ambitious programs that you persuaded Congress to pass.  All good legislation.

But Mr. President, on the campaign trail you also called for restoring a ban on the sale of assault weapons, which Congress let expire in 2004.  You have not moved an inch on that campaign promise.  White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about your position on guns after the speech and he is quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t rule out that at some point the president talks about the issues surrounding gun violence.”  Oh, puh-leeze. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

President Obama, I hope you are not neglecting the safety of the American people because you’ve got your eye on your 2012 re-election campaign.  God forbid you mount a fight with Congress for gun control.  But if you don’t, we can expect the blood of more innocents to be spilled by some sociopath, who can pick up the gun and ammo of his choice at the local Walmart.

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