Previous post:

Next post:

Obama Fails a Test of Leadership

by Keith Koffler on December 15, 2012, 11:47 am

President Obama was clearly struck hard by the killings in Connecticut, as we all were, struggling during an appearance at the White House to contain the emotion he seems to be showing more easily since he cried in Iowa during the final days of the campaign.

I’m not a big fan of our leaders shedding too many tears in public. I’ve given John Boehner a lot of grief for his constant weeping. At least Obama mostly contained himself. And it was nice to see the emotion within him.

But the main role of a president in the aftermath of a crisis is to lead, unite and heal the country. On this score, Obama failed rather miserably, because he used the awful event to launch a partisan political crusade against gun ownership.

By demanding “meaningful action,” Obama shed his role as president and spoke for only a portion of the country that wants to curtail Second Amendment rights, while rubbing salt into the wounds of those grieving who also think limiting handguns is not the answer.

It may come as huge surprise to Mr. Obama and other liberals, but conservatives who support gun rights are not tools of the NRA, do not love violence, and grieve when people are killed by guns.

You see, this is the problem with politicians emoting away. Obama, in his emotion, forgot that this is not about Obama. It’s not about “his” reaction to the shootings, or his feelings as a parent. It’s about the nation he leads.

If this is about Obama, then it follows that he would react with an idea that Obama supports – limiting gun rights. But if this was about the nation, Obama would have saved that argument for another day.

Instead, he doubled down, repeating the call for “meaningful action” in this Saturday’s weekly address. So let’s add the prospect of losing their means of self defense to the anguish of gun owners across the land on this sad, sad morning.

{ 3 trackbacks }


rulierose December 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

you give the prez too much credit, Keith. “Obama forgot that this was not about Obama”? he didn’t forget anything. in his mind, it IS all about Obama. what was his reaction to the Trayvon Martin shooting? “that’s what MY son would have looked like.” what were the administration’s first (and perhaps only) thoughts about Benghazi? “how will this affect the election?” everything is seen through the lens of whether it’s good or bad for Dear Leader. just one of the very scary things about the cult of Obama.

Keith Koffler December 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Good pont about Trayvon, rulierose.

WNY_ROC December 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I agree – the POTUS does not have a clue what true leadership is and is all about.

When trying to solve problems, we must first define the problem, and then make sure we understand the root cause.

Addressing only the symptoms never cures the patient.

Jeff1000 December 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm

So well said Keith. It’s totally amazing that Obama has no sense of what he’s communicating by his words and his actions. I thought he was supposed to be intelligent, but yet he’s not intelligent enough to see what an intelligent person sees?

Keith Koffler December 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Jeff.

Lizzy December 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Sad when a tragedy like the killing of 26 people 20 of them children can’t be
grieved for a day before an agenda comes to the top. Have politicians gotten
to the point where nothing is out if bounds as far pushing their agenda? It’s
pathetic and further lowers American’s feelings of distrust and disdain for them.

gracepmc December 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Keith, all due respect, it is ALWAYS about Obama. 24/7.

veritaseequitas December 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Thank you.

CiscoKid December 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Are more ” stringent ” gun laws the answer to these terrible act’s of violence?
Let’s take a look at O-Blame-A’s hometown, Chicago with it’s draconian gun laws. From the Chicago Police Departments website ; as of 12/2/12 there were 484 murders compared to 399 in the same time frame in 2011.
Maybe this is part of the problem or IS the problem.
While on parole for a previous armed robbery in which the victim was shot, the parolee commits another armed robbery in which the victim was also shot, and as an afterthought decides to shoot the two witnesses.
Or then Chicago has the fellow that has been arrested over 100 times for various violent crimes, one of which he attacked a women who refused him a cigarette, leaving her with 85 staples in her scalp and most of her teeth knocked out. This chap had been pardon by Governor Pat Quinn for another crime, and promptly got himself arrested the next day.
The answer? Well certainly paroling and pardoning violent offenders isn’t the answer.

James Crawford December 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Just to put this tragedy in perspective, I have copied a chart from an online app to access the FBI’s supplementary homicide rate database documenting weapons used to kill young children such as the kindergartners killed yesterday.

The plain, simple truth is that Obama’s tears do not reveal a President who is so heartbroken over this tragedy that he can not control his emotions. This is the same President who presided over the fast and furious operation that was INTENDED to result in dead bodies on both sides of the border that could then be displayed as props to advance legislation for restrictive gun control laws. Obama’s crocodile tears are merely a charade (watch the video more closely) as he gleefully exploits this tragedy to demonize political opponents.

Year of incident by Weapon used for United States

Return to selection page         Download data    Printer-friendly
Display Options:
Count    Row %    Column %      
Age of oldest victim
0 to 5
Count Firearm Knife Blunt object Personal Other/unknown Total
1980 51 28 39 292 148 558
1981 36 31 60 278 166 572
1982 60 24 57 338 129 608
1983 42 35 42 311 150 581
1984 43 28 40 303 128 543
1985 56 40 41 281 159 578
1986 44 25 51 348 164 632
1987 46 30 45 305 177 603
1988 70 23 47 330 192 663
1989 68 27 31 306 187 619
1990 64 22 38 346 150 620
1991 79 18 41 390 215 743
1992 72 20 60 361 157 669
1993 75 16 49 394 204 737
1994 75 21 33 436 176 741
1995 87 17 36 384 183 707
1996 52 15 42 438 217 763
1997 55 11 39 368 169 643
1998 49 19 50 358 177 653
1999 42 14 55 302 169 582
2000 40 16 62 329 154 602
2001 52 14 34 360 197 657
2002 57 10 32 330 161 590
2003 46 16 41 349 186 637
2004 40 16 53 312 175 595
2005 29 15 51 318 173 587
2006 37 15 49 321 187 609
2007 56 11 47 350 198 663
2008 43 15 55 336 236 685
2009 38 11 55 303 165 572
2010 44 15 58 303 196 616
Total 1,647 620 1,435 10,482 5,444 19,627
Suggested citation: Puzzanchera, C., Chamberlin, G., and Kang, W. (2012). “Easy Access to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports: 1980-2010.” Online. Available:

Data source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports 1980-2010 [machine-readable data files].

Girly1 December 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Now that he doesn’t have an election to worry about, defenders of the Second Amendment have a lot to worry about. Gun sales were up tremendously before the election, imagine what they will be from here on out. I know nothing about guns but I plan to do a little research. My adult offsping might even find a ‘glock’ or something in their Christmas stocking!

Obama pounces on this tragic event in Newton, all the while ignoring the rampant black mob crime sprees that are sprouting up all over the country as the economyy worsens.. Guns don’t kill people – the savages holding the guns kill people. How does he propose to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? By taking them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens? The logic is flawed!

I miss Charlton Heston!

srdem65 December 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

You nailed it. This opinion piece encompasses everything most of us have been expressing for four years; it’s not about him, it’s about all of us.
It’s not HIS economy, it’s not HIS taxdollars, it’s not HIM that the radical terrorists are shooting at, it’s all about US.

WE’re the ones who will end up falling off the fiscal cliff, not him. We’re the ones who will find our healthcare mangled into government gobble-de-gook and cost us dearly, not him. We’re the ones who are sacrificing, not him.

He can’t govern with one idea, his. There are 350 million ideas in America and he needs to find a consensus that is responsible and recognizes our difference.

cincycinco December 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

This was a tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones – children and adults – at the hands of a madman. May God confort them and guide them through this time of trial.

Unfortunately, there will be politics, mostly from the left. It has started already, as has been repeatedly pointed out in this blog and elsewhere. While we greive, we also do still have a duty to protect our liberty to defend our own lives, and those of our own children.

It is very likely that this will fit very nicely into Obama’s “never let a crises go to waste” management style, and ultimately his gun-grabbing agenda. There is no doubt he’s coming for all guns now, although the heroic principal of the school may have been better served if she had one, and this would be a very different story today.

The problem is, he’ll only get the guns from the law abiding. Ask Israel or any city police department if the guns they face are legal ones. Sometimes they even face high caliber weapons supplied to drug cartels by our own Attorney General. The bad guys will likely ignore any law to turn in their guns. It’s kinda what they do with most laws, hence the phrase “Bad Guys”.

If you do ban them – once the lawful citizens are known to have surrendered their weapons – those who have and use weapons illegally will be emboldened, as they know there is no longer any armed opposition to their predations. A fixed deadline in your legislation will help let them know when to start the mayhem.

Of course, this means that there will also no longer be any Second Amendment, which is the one that guarentees all the others. I’m sure that won’t bother our President one bit in his quest to further weaken and distort this Country and what remains of its laws.

At least he had one bit of honesty.

“And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent. ” – Barack Obama

Understandable. May even be true. The problem is, we hired him TO act like a President, NOT to have knee-jerk, ham-fisted, emotional reactions to highly charged tragedies that may make people feel good in the short term, but will also destroy the foundation of our Government and the underpinnings of our fundamental liberties in the process. Such solutions are precisely why the legislative system was designed to be slow and deliberate, so we do NOT become a government of passions. As always, the law of unintended consequence will be the only legislation that will most assuredly be passed in this manner.

If we truly want to govern by emotion, we may as well have our legislation produced by audience acclimation at the Jerry Springer show and do away with the whole Congress thing altogether.

“…I react not as a President…”- Obama

I can’t get past this one. It’s been four long years, sir, and I don’t believe we’ve seen you act like a President yet, It would be a complete shock to see you do so now. Please, though, if you have a shred of decency left in you, let the parents at least bury their children before you start building your power on their bones. There will be time enough to make this about what Obama wants later.

While greiving with the families, please do not forget those whose job it is to deal with the aftermath. I was a medic once, and believe me, you can’t just turn off some things and go home to your family like it was nothing. I have personally known police and firefighters, doctors and nurses, and indeed Good Samaritans, who have had great difficulty coming to grips with these things. In one case, a police officer freind of mine had so much trouble with what he saw on one very bad run that he ultimately took his own life.

You see a lot of evil, but your profession is a tough one. Too many try to be tough back. You don’t need that sissy Critical Incident Stress Debriefing? Not you! You’re strong, you don’t need to talk to your division chaplain, do you? Someone might think you’re not up to the job if you do. Besides, you were taught that there were no evil people in school, weren’t you? For these and other reasons, these men and women will go home, push this down in their minds, look at their own school age children, and try to pretend they weren’t affected – but they were.

Police and firefighters compartmentalize. You can’t do that job with emotion and be of any use on a scene. That compartment is still there, though, holding all the evil you’ve been exposed to – and sometimes, that box will leak into the rest of your life – or your dreams.

God bless those familes, those who responded, and those who survived. None of them will ever be the same. They all need our prayers.

Shofar December 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Cincy –

You are so correct with what you wrote about the LEOs and 1st responders that were at the school. Having spent the majority of my adult life in the law enforcement/investigations field I have seen some of the most horrendous acts that a human can do to another.

Like the military, LEOs and 1st responders are taught to compartmentalize their lives. It is something you learn early in your career, and it stays with you throughout your life. It can cause dysfunction within a family, wives complain because you are quiet for days after a seeing something horrific. You become hyper-vigilant with your children, to the point where they are feeling suffocated. A backfire on a car can lead to ducking down behind something, much to the humor of family and friends.

You become isolated, and only want to share your life with those that “understand” the things you have seen, heard, smelled, and touched. Life can become a series of alcohol fueled escapes, until you get to the point where you no longer know who you are.

Divorce and alcoholism are high among those that choose to serve and protect us. They are often left alone with the demons they have seen, with little or no place to turn. Whenever a tragedy such as Newtown happens, those that are first on the scene, or whose job it is to try and make sense out of the events are left forever scarred by what they have seen. Yet, they return to work, doing what we pay them to do, and having to deal with their emotions on their own.

It can be a lonely and painful place to be.

GotFreedom December 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Does Obama cry when he hears about babies being aborted (you know, the ones he doesn’t want his daughters “punished” with). . .doubt it and yet he stands there with tears in his eyes talking about this horrific shooting. . .murder is murder.

veritaseequitas December 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Of course not. For King Barack and others like him, murder is horrible EXCEPT when it comes to abortion. Then its merely a woman’s right to choose.

Susan December 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Well said, Keith. Although, I believe you give this man too much credit. If he cared at all about his fellow man, he would never be able to support the murder of infants born alive after an abortion. In my opinion, the tears were fake – a photo op. The Daily Kos is already sponsoring a petition to demand gun control with a photo of him wiping away those phony tears.

DeniseVB December 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I hope the good people of Newtown don’t hold a national memorial service so the Obamas can insert themselves front and center with more fake hugging and hand holding with the victims’ families.

They should be leaving for Hawaii soon though ?

MichelleIndependent December 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

What would Mooch wear to the service?something tight, shiny, with a big slit up the side.

slconfidential December 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

That’s what nightmares are made of.

cindylou December 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Michelle wont be there-mark my words

I would bet $1 on it

GotFreedom December 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Cindylou, you are correct, she’ll be flying off to HI to start their vaca and then BHO (at an additional expense to the taxpayers) will join her later. . .pigs!

terry December 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Here we go people.

terry December 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

the people that believe in guns well, they are just baby killers. say goodbye to more rights.

Brenda A. December 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks for calling him on this, Keith. I’ve heard others praise the President for responding as a father, not a political leader but I think you are spot on in your assessment.

I remember George Bush responding to tragedy. He always struck me as genuine. After the Columbia explosion, I remember him sitting at the memorial service and handing his handkerchief to a child who was crying. It was the gesture of a loving adult and I’m sure it was comforting. He also looked people in the eye. That spoke volumes about who he was as a man.

AZ Granny December 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

If gun control laws are the answer, then why doesn’t it work in Chicago or Mexico? Nobody is talking about the family dynamics – the killer’s father is a VP at GE Capitol, his parents are divorced, the older brother hasn’t had contact with the killer since 2010. I’ve read conflicting reports on whether the mother worked at the school or not. Nobody is talking about the sorry state of mental health care or how inaccessible it is for some who truly need it. There are so many issues at hand yet all Obama and the liberals squeal about is gun control. It’s despicable he’s politicizing this horrific tragedy for his own gain.

Quintus Arrius December 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Right on AZ Granny. The real tragedy of this whole affair is the incredible traumas that silently occurs in families with chronically mentally ill family members. It is not surprizing that the mother had three handguns. She was afraid of something or someone.
Family units are now the repository of the chronically insane. We used to have hospitals for these people but Charter Hospitals, Dorthea Dix, Bellevue Hospital and other places for these places are much smaller or gone all together. (Thank you lefties.) Asperger’s syndrome, as this unfortunate had, is not a violent disease (Read “Bartleby DeScriber” by Melville.) BUT, it is a mental disease that fixates on one goal above all else. The sufferer does not care about human life as we know it, just the idea they are fixated on. I am sure in the coming days we will here about banning guns, guns, video games, and guns. And VIOLENT video games. The left is in “one tune only” for the low info voter.
I expect we will see Obama fire up his “Dear Keith, write your congrssman” email in the coming hours.

Danceswithtruth December 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

“It is not surprizing that the mother had three handguns. She was afraid of something or someone.”

How true this statement is. We lived in constant fear of our child when she was a teen. We locked our bedroom door every night before bed. Slept with one eye open not knowing for sure just what she was capable of. It’s a horrible feeling.

RickW December 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm This is a link to the worst school murder in US history. 1927, 3 bombs set off (Yes, one was set off by a bullet from a rifle). My point? A deranged person WILL kill somehow. They do not need handguns , rifles or machine guns.

That said, Newton, CT is not far from me. I have tears in my eyes typing this. I can’t imagine what these parents are going through. Media: PLEASE leave these people alone and stop using them and their emotions as tools to foster gun control.

mikeinlv December 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

What that phoney in the White House should have said was: “This is a terrible terrible tragedy. The families of all those victims should know that the prayers of the entire nation are with them.” Period, end of statement

Jamie Williams December 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Leadership? WHAT Leadership??? I almost vomited listening to him speak yesterday and then when I SAW him speaking made me want to vomit more…How dare he stand there and FAKE concern and caring about this nation and it’s people and BTW He can’t even fake good… My 11 yr old daughter asked why he was pretending to cry? IN all the years, all the tradgedys that have unfortuntely occurred I have never seen it handle more repulsively and then to be heaping up support for gun control on top of it? SHAME on osamba bin lyin!!!! Those people who were lost yesterday and their families deserved better and are NOT going to get it from this lying fake!

Anne Lieberman December 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I would suggest one small edit: The heading on this post should read, “Obama Fails YET ANOTHER Test of Leadership.”

If only he really were an Empty Chair, but I fear he is not.

Julie Brueckheimer December 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I think if this had happened on George Bush’s watch, you would have heard from Laura Bush–at least jointly with her husband. Michelle Obama has tried to portray herself as the nation’s Mom in Chief, but we all we have heard from her this past week is her appearance on black radio inciting black on white racism. Some will accuse me of racism for my comment, but I think many responding here are right about Obama being able to only relate to himself, and I would add that Mrs. Obama cannot relate to other racial and ethnic groups than her own.

nellyq December 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

and now it seems that “the president” is going to be front & center at the memorial service in Newtown, Ct. One more photo op in the never-ending campaign. It’s all about him, don’t you know?

sablegsd December 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Fake Keith. You should know that he doesn’t have any real emotions. Narcissist sociopaths never do. Fake tear (one. no lip quivering, no scrunched up crying face) FAKE

And he can take his “something meaningful” and stick it up his scrawny, commie, criminal koranimal ass. He is a co-conspirator in mass murder.

I just love how the REgressive commiecrat party jumps on this tragedy and tries to milk it. A hearty FU to all of them and the morons that support ovomit and his regime.

Anne Lieberman December 16, 2012 at 8:20 am

Why don’t you tell us what you REALLY think? :)

sablegsd December 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I would get banned.

anneinarkansas December 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Obama is no leader…he will play this for all he can, politically.
Sort of like Hillary’s “concussion” and she can not now testify.
Keith, tell us what to do….our country is in shambles and we ourt here are feeling helpless.
There must be something we can all do.

sportinlife10 December 16, 2012 at 7:20 am

Well, he never did know how to “react as a President ” – doesn’t know how to ACT as a President, for that matter, and this after 4 disastrous years of on-the-job-training.
My local excuse for a newspaper had two color photos of the children at the scene, and then, also an the front page, a photo of the crocodile president weeping crocodile tears.
Great post, Keith.

ImNoDhimmi December 16, 2012 at 7:59 am

“President Obama was clearly struck hard by the killings in Connecticut…….struggling during an appearance at the White House to contain the emotion he seems to be showing more easily since he cried in Iowa….”

Sorry, Keith, but personally I think the tears and the emotion are faked and phony. Barry has feelings for no-one but himself.

Michael_STL December 16, 2012 at 8:54 am

Does the President have armed guards to protect him and his family? Don’t I have the right and responsibility to protect my wife and family?

David Smarterthanthem December 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

Obama has, somehow, been blessed with all the chips falling his way, all the time. His parents abandoning him somehow set him up for a life of handouts, the finest schools with diplomas handed him, he has been handed the leadership of this country, without earning a thing. And now, he has been handed an excuse to declare a ‘mandate’ and usurp the Constitution with another of his Executive Orders in order to ‘transform’ America.
He is no better than an African or European dictator, and the sheeple will allow him to destroy America.

Ali3nation December 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

Security in our schools has been lacking for a long time. Confiscating guns will not resolve this issue. A simple measure could be that after all the kids are in their class rooms and all the teachers and other employees are at their posts, the doors of the school should be locked and no one comes in or out during the school day. They will have less distractions if this were implemented. Of course, there would be emergency protocols for fire and other emergencies and I admit the plan is not fool proof, but I think they should just lock the doors. Of course in higher grades, further security measures may be necessary such as metal detectors etc. The one sure thing is that firearm confiscation is not the answer.

sablegsd December 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Well, then the nutcase will wait outside and ambush them on the way to the bus.

What needs to be done is the obviously insane need to be LOCKED UP.

WhiteFalcon1 December 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

Having watched obama interact over the last four years, I don’t believe for a second this tragedy affected him at all! I don’t believe any sociopath has this capacity….

Girly1 December 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

He might have a touch of Asperger’s disease himself….he definitely does not feel our pain.

Tea Party at Perrysburg December 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I don’t agree that it was appropriate for him to cry in public over this. I have certainly criticized him in the past for being emotionless at inappropriate times (like giving a “shootout” to someone a minute before talking about a massacre), I criticize him now for the same reason: he is a political opportunist who manipulates people through his behavior.

He didn’t need to wipe away a tear as the cameras clicked….and clicked….and clicked.

It was showmanship.

Remember how the press reacted when Bush sat listening to the children during the 9/11 attacks.

Michael Moore, where are you now?

Not Nabob December 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Does Obama shed tears for the 20 or more aborted babies who never got a chance to have anything? NO. Does Obama shed tears for the children murdered every day by their abusive parents.

ray ban wayfarer June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am


ダウン 激安 October 29, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in internet explorer, may test this?
IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a big section of folks
will pass over your excellent writing because of this problem.

online casino November 8, 2013 at 1:52 am

I constantly speht my half an hour to read this
website’s articles all the time along with a mug
of coffee.