Obama: Again, I'm Not Going To Take Your Guns...Believe Me

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 03, 2016 6:00 PM
Obama: Again, I'm Not Going To Take Your Guns...Believe Me

President Obama once again reassured Americans that he’s not coming after their firearms. The president gave the same assurances at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago last October.

"We’re talking about common-sense measures to make criminals don’t get them, to make sure background checks work, to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves" he said at the time.

During a bonus segment for PBS’ town hall event with the president on Wednesday, the issue of gun control came up from a gun shop owner who brought up Obama’s executive actions of gun control:

DOUG RHUDE, Gun Shop Owner: Knowing that we apply common sense to other issues in our society, specifically like holding irresponsible people accountable for their actions when they drink and drive and kill somebody, and we do that without restricting control of cars and cells phones to the rest of us, the good guys, why then do you and Hillary want to control and restrict and limit gun manufacturers, gun owners and responsible use of guns and ammunition to the rest of us, the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable for their actions?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true.

And I don’t care how many times the NRA says it. I’m about to leave office. There have been more guns sold since I have been president than just about any time in U.S. history. There are enough guns for every man, woman and child in this country.

And at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true.

What I have said is precisely what you suggested, which is, why don’t we treat this like every other thing that we use? I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I got people who we know have been on ISIL Web sites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.

This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk in to a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as much — as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.

So, sir, I just have to say, respectfully, that there is a way for us to have commonsense gun laws. There is a way for us to make sure that lawful, responsible gun owners like yourself are able to use them for sporting, hunting, protecting yourself, but the only way we’re going to do that is if we don’t have a situation in which anything that is proposed is viewed as some tyrannical destruction of the Second Amendment. And that’s how the issue too often gets framed.

First, the statement about Democrats not taking people’s guns away is suspect. Sorry, Mr. President—there is a considerable lack of trust from the pro-Second Amendment crowd for a number of reasons. In the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, the president voiced his frustration yet again, noting that other nations have done something to curb the frequency of mass shootings, citing Great Britain and Australia as examples—these are “countries like ours.” In a town hall event in New Hampshire last October, Clinton said that Australian-style gun policy is a “good example,” and that their gun buyback program is something “worth considering.” I don’t need to remind you that Australian gun control revolved around bans and confiscation. Oh, and it has led to violent back market for firearms in the country. So, you may very well not want to take our guns, Mr. President. But the policies you back to tackle this issue suggest otherwise. Moreover, it's not comforting that Clinton wants to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that will lay down the legal groundwork for anti-Second Amendment liberals to sue the gun manufacturers out of existence.  

Second, enough with the terror watch list/no-fly list talking point. It’s not catching on and you might find some liberals hesitant to get behind that horse. For starters, we have no clue what the process is regarding getting your name on that list other than guessing. Concerning the no-fly list, The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes traveled to Turkey and ended up on it. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was placed on the list, along with children being stopped by TSA on suspicion of being terrorists. Oh, and these kids are as young as eight years old. In some cases, no-fly lists have ensnared 18-month old babies. It’s a disaster. How do you get yourself off the list? No clue. Hence, why the American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits, citing the lack of due process. Even the pro-gun control LA Times editorial board feels that your Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be stripped based on mere suspicion. It’s a funny how this debate has shifted. In the Bush era, Republicans were for it, Democrats were worried about civil liberties. Now, Democrats want to take this system that ignores due process of law, and include it in the National Instant Background Check System. Republicans are now fighting it.

Lastly, our own Leigh Wolf noted some similarities in the president’s answers and that of Al-Jazeera’s video about how gun violence is a public health concern (it’s not), and how we, as a country, have came together before to tackle such problems, like reducing the number of vehicular fatalities. The Al-Jazeera video was released Wednesday, and that night Obama attended the PBS event with Ifill in Elkhart, Indiana. He clipped the relevant portions in the video below:

Last Note: Don't forget to read Katie's post about gun rights being stripped for Social Security beneficiaries.