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We Need Liberal Control Now

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

As President Barack Obama once again wipes himself with the Constitution to the cheers of Democrats and the media, even his most ardent supporters admit his executive actions on guns wouldn’t have saved one life in any of the recent mass shootings. So why do it? The same reason Democrats have destroyed the economies, families and hope in every major city they control – because it empowers them.

If you want to improve the quality of life of the largest swath of Americans possible, forget gun control; we need liberal control.

In his speech, the president cited roughly 30,000 gun-related deaths per year. Later, he pointed out two-thirds of those deaths were suicides. That leaves around 10,000 deaths. When you remove accidents, shooting that resulted from owner negligence and gang- and drug-related shootings, what do you have left? Not much.

The percentage of deaths involving otherwise law-abiding citizens who suddenly become murderers is a fraction of the total number of gun related deaths in the country. The president’s action, were it not a complete fraud, would stand only a tiny chance of having an impact on those deaths. It’s like ripping up your lawn because one of your tomato plants didn’t produce enough.

Obama claims this latest overreach is about saving lives, yet he and his ideological brethren offer nothing to address the causes of any of those deaths, the ones that claim the vast majority of those lives.

The president called for a half-billion dollars for “mental health” in his speech, but that money is not to address suicide. Most mass shooters are mentally unstable, and it needs to be addressed, but they’re a fraction of a fraction of the deaths Obama claims to care about.

There is simply nothing government can do to prevent someone from planning a murder. Liberals would love to create a “pre-crime” arm of government, but even they have to admit they lack the authority for it.

Accidents happen. Bad parents and fools will always exist. Someone will get hurt or killed, be it with a gun, a bicycle, a Nerf ball, or simply walking (a simpler Internet search will turn up multiple examples of people hurting or killing themselves through neglect or stupidity).

That leaves gangs and drugs. This is the largest percentage of non-suicide gun deaths that can be reduced through government action. It’s also a problem created, largely, by government action.

No one is born a murderer, a drug dealer or a gang member. These problems exist everywhere, but they are concentrated and do their most damage in major cities controlled for generations by Democrats. The political machines in cities such as Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago churn out people sacrificed regularly on the altar of failed liberal/progressive policies.

Democrats don’t give a damn because all those societal ills are a byproduct of what empowers them. Even when big city mayors perform so badly they can’t even seek re-election – as in Baltimore – they will be replaced by other Democrats with the same governing philosophy and same results.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has presided over a war. It’s only gotten worse, and he’s only gotten re-elected. There’s a movement now to oust him over the Laquan McDonald police shooting and perceived cover-up to protect his re-election. But even if Emanuel was defeated, he would lose to yet another far-left progressive who would continue and expand on the same failing policies.

These Democratic mayors oversee schools that churn out failure. They warehouse students to get state and federal money, then fail to educate them or prepare them for life after school. They indoctrinate them with the progressive poison that “the system is rigged.”

Students graduate with no skills and little hope. So when they attempt to find work and fail, because everyone fails at some point, they don’t see it as a challenge to overcome, but as proof the deck is stacked against them. And they give up.

The corner calls. Gangs provide self-worth and the sense of belonging they’ve been told they can’t find in society otherwise, and another generation is lost.

Yet those who don’t go to prison or get killed largely will support, when they vote, the same people who constructed the poverty prison in which they’ve been sentenced to live. Their families also will, as will a majority of those who do escape the violence but not the poverty.

It’s a deliberately constructed wall-less prison where the inmates voluntarily elect the same warden while complaining about the conditions.

If you want to strike a serious blow against the cycle of poverty and make a dent in the number of murders every year – by guns or any other method – break up the stranglehold Democrats have on political power in these concentrated death zones.

It’s not guns creating murderers, it’s progressive governance. Left-wing politics’ death count is surpassed only by natural disasters in the last 100 years. No decree from Barack Obama’s magic pen, no crocodile tears, no drum circle or chant is going to change that fact. Only breaking the shackles once again imposed by Democrats will do that.

As government has grown, so has misery, crime, poverty and murder in these Democratic fortresses. Big government hasn’t worked because the answer isn’t bigger government. The ballot box – not city hall, not the state capital, nor the Oval Office – is where lives will be saved. Taking power from Washington and City Hall back to the neighborhoods, to the individuals, will do more to curb gun deaths than bureaucratic diktats from anywhere.

Local, individual control will save lives, not gun control. Of course that assumes, falsely, that the goal of gun control is to save lives.

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