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.