The most unfortunate aspect of the three-part series on guns in America, which ran during the week of April 24, is that in Part 3 there is no counterbalance to local legislators’ patently false charges that President Obama is intent on stripping citizens of their 2nd Amendment right of gun ownership.
Republican State Senator Gene Yaw asserted that “More restrictive application and background checks would’ve never stopped any of those [recent mass] shootings.” Such a categorical statement is nothing more than a propagandistic talking point.
Worse, Yaw goes on to impugn the president’s motives in addressing the nation’s appalling rate of mass killings, almost 20 times higher than that of any similar high-income nation.
Obama’s motive, to paraphrase Yaw’s argument, is to capitalize on examples of violent crime in order “to push his own agenda,” which, Yaw claims, “is to make people fear guns.”
It is altogether more rational and just to believe that the president has taken up the gun issue for two quite compelling reasons: (1) He is mortified that gun deaths in our nation so outrageously outpace gun deaths in every other industrialized nation, and (2) he believes (with the support of a whole range of polls) that most Americans, including law-abiding gun owners, favor federal legislation that would keep more guns out of the hands of more people most likely to misuse them.
U.S. Rep. Tom Marino is even more harshly personal in his judgments of Obama’s positions on gun ownership and control. “We have a right to bear arms and Obama twists this right in a demented way to play with people’s emotions,” he claims.
Are we to believe, then, that the issue of gun violence is taboo, and that the president is either presumptuous or disingenuous to address it openly?
H.C. (Harry) Nash