Selling More Gun Control
Last night Obama went on national television to address the San Bernadino, CA shooting. (Transcript and video can be found here.) I listened intently as not far into his speech he began to describe to the American people our history with terrorism since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He addressed the Ft. Hood shooting as well as the Boston Bombers.
Obama then moved away from these four major terrorism events on US soil and started discussing the strategy for destroying ISIL. Keep in mind, just prior to the Paris attacks, he defined ISIL as having been contained using this very strategy. The problem of course is that ISIL is not contained. Several days ago, General Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the House Armed Services Committee that ISIL is “not contained”. He went on to say, “Strategically they (ISIL) have spread since 2010.” Last night Obama stated, “It (ISIL strategy) is designed and supported by our military commanders and counter-terrorism experts, together with 65 countries that have joined an American-led coalition.”
It could be argued that the strategy set forth by Obama was failed from the start. In September 2014, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey stated that the potential exists to recommend ground troops, should Obama’s strategy fail. Just one day following General Dempsey’s statement, Obama gave a speech to the US Central Command. In that speech he said, “I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq.” Those repeated words have been a point of contention between Obama and some of his top military advisers, despite what Obama said last night in his speech to the nation.
As he raced towards finishing his speech (perhaps he promised some of his media darlings at NBC that he would not interfere with Sunday Night Football), he started discussing how Congress can act to help protect us on our soil. He went where we all knew he would go, “gun control”. Being a master of diversion, he used a new tactic to push his gun control agenda. He tied gun control to the national “no-fly” list. There are several problems with this. First, it is quite obvious that not one of the four mentioned terrorist attacks on US soil would have been prevented with gun control measures tied to the “no-fly” list. The most recent attack in San Bernadino clearly would not have been prevented by means of a “no-fly” list. Neither terrorist attacker even appeared on a terrorist watch list, so why would we assume they would appear on the “no-fly” list? Furthermore, it is asinine to think that appearing on a “no-fly” list would have prevented them from obtaining weapons. It may have prevented them from using legal means to obtain a weapon, but I’m pretty sure that coloring within the lines and not breaking the law was not high on their list of priorities.
And how about the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013? They should have been on a watch list, but were not. But let’s suppose they were on a terrorist watch list. And let’s also suppose they were added to the “no-fly” list. According to Obama, if we tied gun control to the “no-fly” list they would not have been able to purchase assault weapons. Last I checked, they used bombs to kill those innocent, unsuspecting citizens at the Boston Marathon, not guns!
The “no-fly” list as it currently exists (even without gun control measure tied to it) has its own set of problems. First, in order to get placed on this list, the government does NOT have to have evidence that you are a potential terror threat. The government only needs to have reasonable suspicion that someone poses a threat. One might think those on the left would be greatly opposed to this “no-fly” list because reasonable suspicion could result in the government using racial profiling when drawing conclusions about reasonable suspicion. It makes one wonder what secret criteria is being used to justify adding someone to the list.
The “no-fly” list has also seen its share of innocent people who have been wrongly added to the list. Senator Ted Kennedy is among the many who have found themselves in such a predicament. Clearing his name was relatively easy, but how about the rest of us? What hoops will we have to jump through and what sort of legal battles would we have to endure if we found ourselves in the same position?
With all that can be said about the “no-fly” list, why then would Obama suggest tying the “no-fly” list to gun control? In his speech he says, “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.” If you dissect this statement, his tactics become clear:
- Obama shifts responsibility to Congress, ridding himself of accountability should Congress not act on this.
- He cleverly uses the phrase “allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon”. And who said if we don’t tie gun laws to the “no-fly” list, that we can automatically assume we are “allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon”? Those first two sentences are independent of one another, yet he draws a correlation. As we stated, reasonable suspicion, not necessarily being a terrorist suspect will get your name on the “no-fly” list. Also, terrorist suspects don’t necessarily use guns. The terrorists on 9/11 chose much smaller weapons (box cutters) to acquire much larger planes to carry out their acts of terrorism. Lawless people are defined as those who DO NOT follow the law. Terrorists are not going to allow laws to thwart their efforts. So if Congress elects not to create such an empty law, it does not mean they are “allowing” terrorist to buy semi-automatic weapons. They will get them regardless.
- Obama uses national security to drive his gun control agenda. If he were truly concerned about national security, he would drop this narrative about gun control and put a stop to allowing Syrian refugees into this country until we can properly vet them. Nothing in his speech to America last evening gave anyone any reason to believe he is sincere about national security.
What he is sincere about, is gun control. National security be damned!