President’s gun plan: Feel-good action that doesn’t solve problem
It has been a classic trait of the current administration in Washington to make a big show of being proactive without really solving the problem.
It started with health care, moved on to the budget-debt ceiling-fiscal cliff tango and, on Wednesday, moved to the gun control stage.
President Barack Obama promised 23 executive actions that amount to various forms of more restrictive gun control and sent Congress orders for an assault weapons ban and universal background checks.
He made his push in typical Obama fashion – making sure that Congress is seen as the problem and he is seen as the visionary, dragging everyone along. He surrounded himself with children so he can get the higher moral ground, effectively using them as props. The problem is, you get to the substance of what he wants and you realize it won’t solve the problem of gun violence.
He could have pushed his pals in Hollywood to stop brainwashing children by promoting a culture of killing and violence through video games and movies.
He could have pushed for more comprehensive mental health care so that the people who are committing most of the violent gun crimes can more readily be helped before the act with insanity.
Instead, the president settled for legislation that makes him feel good and his legislative backers feel good and the anti-gun rights crowd feel good.
It’s kind of like the newspaper that recently shamelessly published the names and addresses of legal gun owners in its circulation area. The paper has the right to do it, but with rights come responsibilities and the newspaper certainly failed in that area. It jeopardized legal gun owners so it could make an agenda-driven point.
Similarly, the president has every right to push what he is pushing. Everyone wants less gun violence. But he does his pushing in such an uncompromising, in-your-face way that he precludes any compromise that could produce a practical solution to the problem.
A second-term president is supposed to act not with self-righteous arrogance but with mature statesmanship. The president’s approach may get him political victories, but it won’t solve the country’s problems.