During the last press conference of his first term in office, President Obama pledged to take “executive action” to reduce gun violence in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last month.
The President told reporters, “If there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step.”
When Obama unveils his gun control proposals today at the White House, he will be surrounded by children.
It’s something straight out of South Park. In one episode, the locals organized a proposition against the opening of a Starbucks (called Harbucks in the episode for legal purposes) in South Park. A campaign ad featuring Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny is produced in support of the proposition. The ad’s narrator says at the end of the message, “Vote for Prop 10 or else you hate children. You don’t hate children, do you?”
Well, the same principle applies here. The substance of Obama’s proposals will not matter. This is strictly about emotion, not reason. All that will matter will be the powerful visual image of Obama being surrounded by beautiful, young children of all backgrounds. His underlying message will be, “Support my gun control proposals or else you hate children. You don’t hate children, do you?”
President Obama, have you no decency? President Obama, have you no shame?
Well, of course he doesn’t. This is after all a President who never lets a crisis go to waste and if being surrounded by a roomful of beautiful, young children of all backgrounds is what it takes to fulfill his political objectives then so be it.
And yet once President Obama is done using these children as political props and sends them on their way home to their parents, none of them will leave the White House any safer than when they walked into it.
The reason the tragedy at Sandy Hook hit this country so hard was that a majority of the victims were children under the age of six. While it is true that children haven’t been immune from gun violence there had never been so many young children whose lives were savagely snuffed out in an instant. People were shocked not just because of the depravity of this heinous act but because of its rarity.
Nevertheless, school shootings have occurred far more frequently over the past quarter century. So the idea of children being shot and killed at school isn’t beyond our conception. But what makes anyone think that more gun control is going to end gun violence? The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was of no use to the children of Columbine High School. If gun control is the answer to ending gun violence, then why were more people (including children) killed in Chicago last year than U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan?
President Obama, of course, knows all of this to be true. There is nothing he can do to prevent another massacre of children by a crazed man with a gun and nothing he proposes today will save the life of a single child including those chosen to stand by his side for this announcement. But it is important to remember that Obama, like most politicians, must give the appearance of doing something in order to justify his existence and thus his legacy. This is especially true in Obama’s case. After all, it is Obama’s ambition not only to transform this nation, but to calm the world’s oceans.
But when the mere force of Obama’s personality isn’t sufficient to calm the deficit much less calm the oceans, never mind offer a coherent argument in favor of gun control, he does what politicians have done for generations. He kisses our babies and tells us to look at those young faces and not to listen to what he is actually saying. He does this in the hope it will remind us of our sons and daughters. This is why Obama is surrounding himself with the children, exploiting them for all it's worth.
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