It was just last week when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stood in front of America and said President Obama would only work to curtail violent crime with "existing" gun laws. This was a response to reporters asking whether the President would pursue new gun control measures after a mad man killed 12 and wounded 58 people sitting unarmed in a gun-free zone theater.
The shooting has thrust the issue of gun control into the national spotlight with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on both presidential candidates to better enforce gun laws on the books and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) calling for a renewal of the assault weapons ban.
In a gaggle aboard Air Force One, en route to Colorado Carney struck a cautious tone, saying the president “believes we need to take steps that protect Second Amendment rights of the American people but that ensure that we are not allowing weapons into the hands of individuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons," according to a White House transcript.
But now, President Obama seems to be taking a different tone. From the Washington Times:
“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Mr. Obama said at the annual National Urban League convention in New Orleans. “They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”
“Every day, the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” Mr. Obama said. “For every Columbine or Virginia Tech, there are dozens gunned down on the streets of Chicago or Atlanta, here in New Orleans.
“We’ve been able to take some actions on our own, recognizing that it’s not always easy to get things through Congress these days,” Mr. Obama said. “The background checks on those looking to purchase firearms are now more thorough and more complete. Instead of just throwing more money at the problem of violence, the federal government is now in the trenches with communities and schools and law enforcement … we’re partnering with local officials to reduce crime using best practices.”
"We recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage," Obama said.
First of all, alleged Colorado theater killer James Holmes wasn't using an AK-47. Second, the U.S. military does not use AK-47s either, so I'm not exactly sure which soldiers President Obama was referring to. Third, all law abiding gun owners believe AK-47s shouldn't be in the hands of criminals. Fourth, Obama mentioned Columbine and Virginia Tech, both gun-free campuses where students were left as sitting ducks before they were mowed down. Fifth, the Second Amendment isn't about the American hunting and shooting heritage, it's about the people protecting themselves from the government. Sixth, Obama spoke of pushing gun control without the help of that pesky thing called Congress. On this point he is correct. Last summer the Department of Justice, the same department responsible for funneling 2500 AK-47s and .50 caliber rifles to the Mexican drug cartels (criminals) through Operation Fast and Furious, pushed through a new long gun reporting measure for Southwest border gun dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued the following statement today regarding information requests for multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines in select states along the Southwest Border:
“The international expansion and increased violence of transnational criminal networks pose a significant threat to the United States. Federal, state and foreign law enforcement agencies have determined that certain types of semi-automatic rifles – greater than .22 caliber and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine – are highly sought after by dangerous drug trafficking organizations and frequently recovered at violent crime scenes near the Southwest Border. This new reporting measure -- tailored to focus only on multiple sales of these types of rifles to the same person within a five-day period -- will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations. These targeted information requests will occur in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to help confront the problem of illegal gun trafficking into Mexico and along the Southwest Border.”
If President Obama is serious about reducing "gun" violence, he would embrace concealed carry. Concealed carry has been passed in some form in 49 states, the only state without concealed carry is Illinois where of course seven were killed and 38 were wounded just last weekend in its violence capitol of Chicago (secret: Chicago has very strict gun laws). Not to mention, more people have been killed in Chicago in the past year than in Afghanistan. Ironically, Obama used Chicago as an example of a "gun" violence hot spot during his remarks. Washington D.C. another city with high "gun" crime, also has strict gun laws. The states with concealed carry have seen their crime rates drop.
Nobody wants to see guns in the hands of criminals or the mentally ill. For President Obama to imply those who don't want more restrictions on the right to bear arms do is laughable.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography