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Obama Expresses Frustration with U.S. “Society”

Uh oh. We’re getting beyond Republicans and Tea Partiers. Now President Obama is mad at U.S. society.

Not as in “high society.” As in all of us.

The president said today that the failure of America – not Congress, not Republicans, but America – to get behind gun control measures he supports “makes no sense,” and that United States is a kind of gun-loving misfit among “advanced, developed” societies.

The nation, he says, has some “soul searching” to do and should be “ashamed.”

From a question and answer session he held at the White House today via Tumblr.:

My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.

We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens.  And it happens now once a week.  And it’s a one-day story.  There’s no place else like this.  A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown.  And Australia just said, well, that’s it — we’re not seeing that again.  And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws.  And they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

Our levels of gun violence are off the charts.  There’s no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this.

Now, we have a different tradition.  We have a Second Amendment.  We have historically respected gun rights.  I respect gun rights.

But the idea that, for example, we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you’re going to buy a weapon you have to actually go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are, so you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semiautomatic weapon — it makes no sense.

And until that changes, until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say, enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t sort of the price we should be paying for our freedom, that we can have respect for the Second Amendment and responsible gun owners and sportsmen and hunters can have the ability to possess weapons but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening — until that is not just the majority of you — because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that.

But until that’s a view that people feel passionately about and are willing to go after folks who don’t vote reflecting those values, until that happens, sadly, not that much is going to change.

So the country has to do some soul searching about this.  This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.

And I am prepared to work with anybody, including responsible sportsmen and gun owners, to craft some solutions.  But right now, it’s not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress, and we should be ashamed of that.

So please search your souls and get back to him.

Obama to Americans: You Need to Care More

President Obama Sunday suggested Americans may not care enough about gun violence, indicating that insufficient outrage about killings with firearms is behind the failure to pass his gun control agenda.

Second Amendment advocates believe they care as much about Obama about the killing of innocents but that other measures, including arming for self defense – particularly in “gun-free” zones – keeping guns away from dangerous people, treatment of mentally ill individuals such as the Navy Yard shooter, and other changes are in order instead of new government restrictions on a Constitutional right.

Speaking at a memorial in Washington Sunday for the victims of the Navy Yard shootings, Obama said Americans may need to simply care more to do things that are “politically uncomfortable” and make the country safer.

Do we care enough to keep standing up for the country that we know is possible, even if it’s hard, and even if it’s politically uncomfortable? Do we care enough to sustain the passion and the pressure to make our communities safer and our country safer? Do we care enough to do everything we can to spare other families the pain that is felt here today?

Our tears are not enough. Our words and our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work, and go to school, and walk our streets free from senseless violence, without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change. We’re going to have to change.

In addition to lacking the proper compassion, Americans need to accrue more wisdom, Obama said:

Wisdom comes through the recognition that tragedies such as this are not inevitable, and that we possess the ability to act and to change, and to spare others the pain that drops upon our hearts. So in our grief, let us seek that grace. Let us find that wisdom.

Obama said the country was beginning to accept mass shootings as “the new normal.” And yet the president himself barely interrupted his public day even as the massacres unfolded, mentioning them only briefly before unfurling a previously planned partisan attack on Republicans.

Man Arrested for Taking Biden’s Gun Advice

A man in Vancouver, Washington has been arrested for taking the advice of Vice President Joe Biden and blasting away with his gun at his home to scare off intruders.

“I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Jeffrey Barton, 52, told a local TV station. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.” Barton pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of of illegal aiming or discharging a firearm.

In February, Biden, who is leading White House efforts to curtail people’s access to multiple-round weapons, suggested all anyone needed to do to combat a home invasion was buy a double barrel shotgun and fire it off the balcony, something he said he had advised his wife Jill to do.

“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,’” Biden said during an appearance on Facebook. “You don’t need an AR-15 – it’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself,” Biden continued. “Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

Biden’s epiphany, however, is a felony in some states. It’s not clear that the vice president ever rescinded the advice, though.

Sheriff’s deputies told the TV station that guns could only be fired in self defense in a life-threatening situation. Barton said he was trying to chase away people he thought were breaking into his vehicles.

Here’s the advice he was taking:

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Newtown Families Back in Town; Meeting With Obama, Biden

President Obama and Vice President Biden will keep the gun issue simmering with a meeting today with the families of  victims of the Newtown massacre.

Friday is the six-month anniversary of the shootings, and the families are in Washington seeking to relaunch efforts to pass gun control legislation.

Biden has made reviving the legislation his pet project, a possible play to Democratic presidential primary voters who may view him as leading on the issue while Hillary Clinton does speaking engagements. Obama has been less vocal about a second round of gun control, but this time he’s joining in.

Obama and Biden will tell the families that “we will never forget and we will continue to fight alongside them,” according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

White House Uses Guns to Take Aim at GOP

Sorry, I realize that headline’s a little provocative. But that’s what’s going on here.

The gun issue, though probably over for now, is just beginning.

What do I mean? There’s not likely going to be any gun control legislation passed this year, and probably not next either. Expanded background checks fell six votes short in the Senate, and it’s a dead letter in the House. The “assault weapons” ban is ten votes short in the Senate.

Obama Biden gunsBut President Obama has declared this just “round one” in the gun control debate, and Vice President Biden has already begun a second effort to get legislation passed. It will intensify after the immigration debate has concluded.

That is, the White House has decided that while the chances of a successful new bill are small, the chances a new gun control campaign will work for Obama politically are good. So the White House will seize the issue to raise money and bash Republicans for the next year and a half in the hopes of winning back the House and trying to pick off GOP seats in the Senate. For example, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is up in 2016.

Get ready for lots more scenes in the Rose Garden of grieving mothers and concerned children who won a collage-making contest or something, all demanding that we “do something” about the plague of gun violence.

Biden in particular will use this to build his credibility with the Democratic base while Hillary runs around the country making speeches for money.

While it will help Biden, Politico notes today that it could hurt Democrats who are being targeted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s outfit, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Bloombergs ads and local grassroots pressure may prompt destructive primary challenges against Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska, both of whom are up for reelection in 2014.

And once again, instead of leading and trying to move forward legislation that is good for our country and that might pass, the White House will be comfortably and happily in the only mode it really knows – campaign mode.

The Virtual State of the Union

Wait a second, that’s not Obama!

Whittle is a great and persuasive speaker. I think he said something once about people telling him he should run for president, but he acknowledges he lacks the proper temperament.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped plenty people who run, and some who win.

The President’s Gun Tirade and You

President Obama’s lecturing little temper tantrum at the White House Wednesday should cause you some alarm.

What are we to think when the most powerful man in the country spits venom all over the Rose Garden, accusing opponents he lost to in a fair fight on Capitol Hill of lying, craven capitulation to political imperatives, and worst of all, not caring about dead children.

Is it not rational that someone who holds such views will take extralegal steps to advance his agenda? If his opponents are so corrupt, and if the “process” so corrupted, isn’t it his obligation to act outside of it?

“Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities,” Obama said. This bears watching.

Let’s review some of the president’s histrionics:

Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders –- not just to honor the memory of their children, but to protect the lives of all our children.  And a few minutes ago, a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn’t worth it.

This is the slimiest charge of them all. It’s so disgusting it’s not even worth countering, but I will note that in the context of the gun debate, gun owner particularly care about children. That’s one reason why they want a gun in the house, to defend their babies.

A majority of senators voted “yes” to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks.  But by this continuing distortion of Senate rules, a minority was able to block it from moving forward.

As I mentioned Wednesday, just about every bill in the Senate requires 60 votes before getting to a final up or down contest. Obama knows that.

But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill.  They claimed that it would create some sort of “big brother” gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite.  This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry.  Plain and simple, right there in the text.  But that didn’t matter.

And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.

The person who claimed you could keep the health insurance you have under Obamacare should be careful about calling others liars. But what’s more, Obama is demeaning himself, the presidency, and our democratic process.

Serious people have serious concerns about whether the the bill as written might foster a gun registry. Writing in the conservative legal blog Volokh Conspiracy and later in the National Review, David Kopel, a firearms expert and a law professor, explains how this could occur.

Continuing with Obama:

But the fact is most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn’t want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun.  There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this.  It came down to politics — the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections.  They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment.

And obviously, a lot of Republicans had that fear, but Democrats had that fear, too.  And so they caved to the pressure, and they started looking for an excuse — any excuse — to vote “no.”

No, just because some disagrees with you, Mr. President, it’s not therefore about “politics.”

Many sincerely believe the new restrictions on private sales could make criminals – and prison inmates – of average people who are not completely familiar with a new law that has little benefits. As leading conservative gun issue expert John Lott explains, gun rights advocates believe background checks are not proven to prevent crimes and could hamper the ability of someone who needs a gun quickly to get it.

This is not the first meltdown Obama has experienced when his will is resisted. Let’s hope somewhere down the line – soon – this man who used to teach the Constitution learns to get more comfortable with it.

Here’s the video of the latest gun-related tragedy. Obama starts speaking about about 4:40.

Senate Hands Obama Striking Gun Bill Defeat

From Politico: The Senate has rejected a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun sales, handing President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders a major defeat on one of the key pieces of the president’s second-term agenda. The vote was 54-46, with only four Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats in favorContinue Reading

Biden: With AR-15, You May Accidentally Kill Kids in Next Room

Vice President Biden today sought to defend himself against those who have ridiculed his suggestion that homeowners protect themselves with a double-barrel shotgun, arguing that a semiautomatic AR-15 could cause people to kill their children by shooting through the wall. Biden, who appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, also proposed that people are buying gunsContinue Reading