Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday was presented with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award, which celebrates leaders “who have demonstrated a commitment to social change," the Associated Press reported.
“I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but I’ve been on this hope kick for a while now. Even ran a couple of campaigns on it. Thank you for officially validating my hope credentials,” Obama said during his acceptance speech.
“If we summon our best selves, we can inspire others to do the same. It’s easy to succumb to cynicism, the notion that hope is a fool’s game,” he said. “When our leaders are content on making up whatever facts they want, a lot of people have begun to doubt the notion of common ground. Bobby Kennedy’s life reminds us to reject such cynicism.”
The most interesting aspect of Obama's speech though, was his anti-gun rhetoric. He decided to lump mass shootings and assassinations together to try and paint a picture of America as a violent society.
“The horror of gun violence continues to plague our nation, a pain that many in this room know too well,” he said. “The bullets that took Bobby [Kennedy], JFK, and Dr. King are just like the bullets that took Trayvon [Martin], and those school children in Newtown, and those police officers in Dallas, and those concertgoers in Vegas, and those congregants in Thousand Oaks.”
He then highlighted the "progress" gun control advocates have made.
"And even there, through the fog of our grief, we see ripples of progress. Eight years ago Gabby Giffords had little chance of survival. I remember standing there at her hospital bed and was doubtful that she would ever wake up. Six years ago this weekend, Newton families knew unimaginable anguish and grief. And, today, they're vocal leaders in a movement," Obama explained. "They have wracked up legislative victories in states across the country."
“Six years ago, Lucy McBath’s son was shot and killed in the parking lot of a gas station because the kids in the car were playing music too loud, apparently. She turned her grief into hope and her hope into a seat in the next Congress, running unabashedly against the gun lobby in the great state of Georgia.”
"And then there are the Parkland students. It hasn't even been a year since the pass shooting stole 17 lives at their school," he explained. "But less than a month after the tragedy those students had already helped to raise the age to buy a rifle in Florida. They had already lengthened waiting periods before purchase."
@BarackObama giving an acceptance speech tonight at the @RFKHumanRights gala and connecting the political assassinations of the ‘60s to present gun violence and mass shootings, including specifically pointing out #TrayvonMartin pic.twitter.com/06dqa1RgFy— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) December 13, 2018
Comparing political figures' assassinations to that of mass shootings is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, every death is a tragedy. Yes, each of those people died when they shouldn't have. But JFK, Robert Kennedy and MLK all died because people believed with their ideas and/or political philosophies. They were personally targeted. Their killers had their eyes set on specific individuals. The monsters who took the lives of students at Newton, concert goers in Las Vegas and college kids in Thousand Oaks didn't have a specific target. They had a specific goal in mind: to kill as many as possible.
When gun control advocates lump every high-profile gun death together, they're using the victims as political pawns. They do it to push their own agenda, even when the facts don't support their side.
Red Flag laws didn't keep the Thousand Oaks shooter from committing mass carnage.
"A mental health specialist with the crisis team met with him [the Thousand Oaks shooter] and felt he might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But after speaking with him, they decided not to detain him under laws that allow for the temporary detention of people with psychiatric issues," CNN reported.
The Las Vegas shooter stock piled guns and ammo. He planned his attack very precisely, which shows he was patient...and adamant about killing others. What gun control law would have stopped him? Waiting periods? Not a chance. Background checks? He came up clean.
This false anti-gun rhetoric that continually gets repeated over and over again needs to stop. This is just another nail in the victims' coffins...and one that they don't deserve. After all, how do gun control advocates know, for a fact, that the victims would be okay with trashing the Second Amendment and disarming law-abiding Americans? Oh. That's right...