President Obama appeared on Meet The Press Sunday morning. On this last Sunday of 2012, host David Gregory asked the President about his goals for his second term. Gun control was not mentioned. Gregory pointed out the missing topic from the President's list of priorities. What was number one? Immigration. Why? According to pundits and the President, immigration is something both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Immigration is not going to solve America's debt problems or reduce the number of mass killings by AR-15.
Gregory asked the President what his "single priority" of his second term would be. He listed immigration, the economy, energy, and fourthly, the tax rates of the middle class. Gregory responded, "Those are four huge things and you didn't mention after Newtown, although I know you're thinking about it, new gun regulations." Only after David Gregory specifically asked about gun control did the President vow to put his "full weight" behind legislation to ban assault weapons and high capacity clips. That statement is one of the singlemost meaningless statements he has ever made. He can't even throw his "weight" around to get a budget passed! He talked in the interview as if going over the cliff is an absolute! Even going so far as to say that on January 4th he will propose new legislation to cut taxes on the middle class. Sounds as if the legislation is already written just waiting to be submitted after the deadline expires.
In fairness to the President, it is mostly the fault of the Republicans who refuse to compromise on taxes for their wealthy constituents. You can show a Republican a sensible financial plan, but you cannot make him comprehend it or sign it. There are limits to what Obama can do when it comes to dealing with Republicans in Washington.
And it is typically those identifying with the Republican party that are obsessed with their weapons. As Tom Brokaw said during the round table discussion, if you are worried about the government knocking on your door and taking away your gun, you don't realize you would have much bigger problems in that scenario. If that happens, as Brokaw says, "We're in anarchy."
So, why not make it illegal to own an assault weapon again? It was illegal for 10 years between 1994 and 2004. No government officials came knocking on doors confiscating weapons during that time. No one proposed legislation to repeal the 2nd amendment during that time. Responsible gun ownership is protected under the U.S. Constitution. Owning weapons to commit mass murder is not. Virtually every person of reasonable intelligence agrees that an AR-15 is not used to hunt deer or quail or rabbit. They agree that a weapon such as an AR-15 is designed to kill people.
And they will continue to kill people for at least the next 4 years because passing immigration reform will be easier than keeping murderous weapons out of the hands of citizens. Perhaps Obama should have listened to Mary Todd Lincoln from the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter when she tells Abe, "I wouldn't back away from what's right because it's hard."
Image Source: The Peoples Cube