In his comments last Tuesday prior to signing an Executive Order expanding background checks for gun purchases, President Barack Obama became uncharacteristically emotional and shed tears as he discussed children killed in mass shootings. His emotional reaction gave weight to his message, but some doubted the sincerity of his tears, seeing them as a device to increase support for his proposal. The Executive Order issued days later expands background checks for firearms purchasers, but is an action that would not have prevented the shooting that brought the tears, or other recent horrific shooting events.
This rare show of emotion calls attention to Obama’s lack of tears for other tragedies – such as the death of an innocent young woman at the hands of an illegal alien in California, or the San Bernardino murders by radical Muslims – as further evidence of his selective use of emotion for political purposes.
Emotion is the driver of liberal initiatives, which are highlighted by the generous use of false information and/or exaggeration, and the twisting of truth. Demagoguery and shaming are always close at hand, as well. If someone opposes abortion, they don’t really want to protect life, they just want to deny women control of their bodies. If someone opposes stronger gun control measures, it isn’t because they value and want to defend Constitutional liberties, it is because they don’t care that children and other innocents are being murdered daily. Although this tactic sounds like it was developed on an elementary school playground, a lot of people rely on it and fall for it.
Obama quotes the statistic that there are more than 30,000 gun deaths each year, and Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton breaks that down to an average of 90 gun deaths a day. Those large numbers surely catch one’s attention, but throwing out large numbers cheats the public of both perspective and true understanding of gun deaths. For example, roughly 19,000 gun deaths are suicides. How many of those severely troubled individuals would decide to go on living because they could not lay their hands on a gun?
About 1,800 are gang related, and 900 others are accidents. A majority – 80 percent – of the remaining gun-related deaths is attributed to urban problems. And, of course, some gun deaths are justified, as in cases of self-defense. The CDC reports that there are 3.5 gun deaths in the U.S. per 100,000 people while the number of all deaths is 821.5 per 100,000 people.
The self-defense aspect receives far too little discussion. In 2013, Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess the existing research on gun violence, and a report prepared by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council stated, in part: “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year … in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
Some suggest that three million is likely an unrealistically high number, but if guns are used defensively a half-million or more times a year, that is compelling. Given the record of people using guns to defend themselves from criminal activity and even death, wouldn’t it be appropriate for tears to be shed because so many have died in “gun-free zones,” where they were denied the ability for self-defense or protection from other people who were in the line of fire who were armed? There is a better than average chance that mass shooters would make a point to avoid places where they knew guns were being carried by their potential victims.
Americans are a rebellious lot; they don’t like to be controlled. Thus, in order to persuade them to go along with ideas like gun control, they have to be made to believe that existing laws are being enforced but that existing laws just aren’t enough, and we need more regulation. This is accomplished through various techniques, including heavy propaganda based upon myths.
Some examples: Background checks are not required for purchases on the Internet. Law enforcement is not present at gun shows, which are a free-for-all for prohibited individuals to obtain firearms. Obama has made firearms enforcement a priority, and his executive action on gun control will thwart criminals’ ability to obtain firearms. There is a general consensus in America that greater gun control is needed to prevent mass shootings in the United States.
Those statements are all false, and have been shown to be so by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who wrote a commentary published on The Daily Caller online, listing and disproving 10 myths about guns, including those above.
Neither gun violence nor climate change is a critical problem for the United States. The threat of Islamic terrorism, a government too weak on the world stage, but grown too large and too controlling here at home, and a president who thinks he is an emperor, however, are critical problems. And that is why restoring conservative government is so important in the next election.