Mona Charen
Obama doesn't care about dead children. He's indifferent to the suffering of their parents. There isn't a single coherent argument on his side of the case. He lies about the issue. It's pure politics.

That's the way the dispute would be presented if Obama's opponents deployed the kind of demagogic language he slips on like comfortable loafers. Sounds harsh, doesn't it, possibly even racist? Funny how touchy everyone is about the way Obama is criticized but how indifferent most are to his low accusations. His opponents are always guilty of bad faith, whereas he is concerned about preventing children from being mowed down by crazed gunmen.

Except he isn't. The gun control measures the president worked so hard to pass and which the Senate voted down would have done nothing to prevent Newtown and would do nothing to prevent the next Newtown.

Adam Lanza did not obtain his guns through the gun show loophole. More rigorous background checks would not have prevented most of the mass shootings we've suffered in the past 15 years.

Nor does the president's outrage at the Senate's failure to pass his trivial reform really hold up as a genuine expression of policy disappointment. As Allahpundit observed, the president responded very differently to the Aurora, Colo. shootings than to Newtown. Could it be because Newtown was more heinous? It's possible. It could also be because Aurora happened before the election, and Obama chose not to embrace a potentially unpopular issue like gun control while his name was on the ballot. Yet when four Democrats from pro-gun states declined to place their own reelections in jeopardy, Obama in effect called them "shameful."

That the president is sincerely angry that he lost a political battle after making lots of speeches and parading Newtown parents before the cameras is beyond dispute. What must sting most acutely though is not that he lost, it's that Democrats participated in his defeat, undercutting the preferred narrative about Republican obstruction that he might have flogged until November 2014.

If the president were sincere in his concern for the children of Newtown and other victims of mass violence, he might have responded with more than a knee jerk resort to de minimus gun control (which, for what it's worth, I don't per se oppose). Guns have always been widely available in America, yet mass shootings in public places are a relatively new phenomenon. A sincere reformer would have given more than lip service to the problem of the mentally ill.

The mentally ill commit an estimated 10 percent of the homicides in America, but they commit a much larger share of mass killings.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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