On Monday, at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center, President Obama delivered what amounted to a stump speech on gun control.
Sure, Obama’s not running for office any longer, but the hackneyed content of his pitch for tougher gun laws certainly sounded like something one would hear on the campaign trail.
Of course, in a way, it is a campaign speech. A campaign speech for a movement designed to win support for universal background checks (UBCs), a federal ban on high-capacity magazines and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s 2013 Assault Weapons Ban.
So, given this obvious parallel, it shouldn’t be all that surprising to hear the same canned remarks being recycled over and over again. He said, for instance,
“No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try”
This is a fallacious argument that gun owners have heard 1,000 times.
And the truth is there are a lot of things a society can do to save one life. With respect to children, roughly 700 of them accidently drown each year. If we are to follow the president’s logic, why don’t we ban all swimming pools (most accidental drowning occur at home swimming pools)?
That would arguably save 700 children each year! In total, around 3,500 people per year would be spared.
By contrast, even if the Obama administration was to confiscate and ban all firearms, it would only prevent around 650 fatal accidental shootings per year, 10 percent of which involve children.
Then there was this tired refrain:
“The vast majority of Americans — including a majority of gun owners — support requiring criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun.”
Yes, it’s true that the public – by and large – supports UBCs. However, it’s unclear as to whether the public fully understands how the Obama administration plans to implement UBCs.
There’ve been rumblings that the government plans to set up a national gun registry. If this becomes part of the equation, it stands to reason that public support for UBCs will drop precipitously.
Though, until the UBC bill is penned and submitted (Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, is currently authoring the bill), we’re all left to speculate about the full import of the legislation
And the following platitude:
“We shouldn’t stop there. We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. (Applause) And that deserves a vote in Congress — because weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.”
On the semantic front, ‘weapons of war’ is an effectively descriptive phrase as is ‘military style assault weapons.’ The President along with his fellow gun control advocates are constantly trying to muddy the water and equate civilian sporting rifles – all of which are semiautomatic – with fully automatic, military grade, combat rifles.
Gun owners obviously know the difference between the ways in which these two different classes of firearms function, but given recent polling data it’s apparent that the public is still in the dark on this issue (a recent Pew Poll found 55 percent of Americans favor an AWB).
Thankfully, though, lawmakers are convinced that Feinstein’s AWB faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
“I feel that an outright ban would have a difficult time passing the [Republican run] House of Representatives, so that would keep it from becoming law,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a C-SPAN interview. “But when you have five, six, maybe even seven democratic senators from rural areas, that come from Second Amendment states … I think that is a tough go in the Unites States Senate.”
Finally, if one wasn’t convinced that this was a stump speech of sorts, the President uttered the words ‘common sense’ at least five times, e.g. common-sense steps, common-sense reforms, common-sense measures, etc. As all gun owners know, the invocation of ‘common sense’ is the hallmark of trite gun control rhetoric.
Moving forward, as Obama continues his tour to pitch gun control to the nation, gun owners can expect to hear the same specious arguments repeated ad nauseam. Consequently it’s up to us to continue to rebuff these arguments and provide the facts. One can safely assume that the side that wins this fight will be the side that does the better job educating (a) politicians (b) law enforcement and (c) the non-gun owning public.