According to a new book by Frank Miniter, President Barack Obama was handed a chance to push forward historic gun legislation in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. The Future of the Gun reveals that gun manufacturers and several leading gun-rights lobbies were willing to play ball with the administration in an effort to fight gun violence in the final months of 2012. Instead, the book says, Obama turned his back on the help and refused to invite any gun lobbyists to the White House for a measured talk about possible improvements.
These revelations paint Obama’s tearful, angry reproach in the south lawn of the White House in a new light. In one of his harshest rebukes of Congress, Obama made it clear that the legislative body had forgotten the children of Sandy Hook Elementary, striking down his recommendations for increased background checks. He wrapped himself in the warm embrace of the Newtown families to call Congress shameful and traitorous, even though the modifications he wanted would not have done a single thing to prevent the tragedy.
That this push for gun control was all about politics and nothing more should not come as a surprise. Not from a president who routinely puts politics above all else. And not from a president who has continually shown his hypocrisy when it comes to the specific issue of gun control. He has admitted on several occasions that he himself enjoys shooting skeet at Camp David, even though the nation’s gun control push has almost nothing to do with hunting and even less to do with shooting clay pigeons. It’s about self-defense, a right every American has – including the president.
After all, it was Obama himself who signed into a law a provision that would give all presidents Secret Service protection for life. Nothing wrong with that, but Secret Service men don’t just carry around walkie-talkies and batons, do they? No, they carry handguns. Meanwhile, he can’t find enough opportunities to criticize the idea of arming school officials around the country. Let’s see if we’ve got this right. Former presidents are entitled to weaponized protection, but our country’s children must fend for themselves. That sounds about right.
Make no mistake about it, Obama views his failure to put together meaningful gun-control legislation one of the biggest threats to his legacy. That means we probably haven’t seen the last of it. Depending on what kind of political relationship he winds up having with the next Democratic nominee, we could see him use 2015 as a last-ditch opportunity to push something through Congress. Since he steadfastly refuses to work with the NRA and gun manufacturers to arrive at a sensible (though almost certainly useless) solution, it will probably be a tired retread of the background check thing.
This is why the mid-term elections are so important and why anyone concerned about future gun legislation needs to be at the polls in November. This is an administration that has only been restrained from doing serious, long-term damage in its second term by a resolute House of Representatives. When he is unfettered, we get Obamacare. We can’t let that kind of lunacy near the Second Amendment.