In an op-ed to the Arizona Daily Star President Barack Obama once again lived up to the mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste” by calling for new gun control measures. Seeking to capitalize off the shooting that killed six people and wounded 19, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Obama decided to blame society for the acts of a a lone whackjob lunatic.
His op-ed is very slick, seeking to acknowledge no desire to take away guns or to repeal the 2nd Amendment:
“Now, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. And the courts have settled that as the law of the land. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed from generation to generation. Hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners – it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.”
He also tries to allay fears by gunowners that will undoubtedly come from this op-ed:
The fact is, almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible. They’re our friends and neighbors. They buy their guns legally and use them safely, whether for hunting or target shooting, collection or protection. And that’s something that gun-safety advocates need to accept.
Ok, I’m with you so far PBO. But you start to stray off the reservation here:
“The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the filter that’s supposed to stop the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun. Bipartisan legislation four years ago was supposed to strengthen this system, but it hasn’t been properly implemented. It relies on data supplied by states – but that data is often incomplete and inadequate. We must do better.”
What’s wrong with states handling gun laws? Define “inadequate;” does that mean inadequate to the President? Inadequate to Congress, what does that mean exactly? Next point:
“Second, we should in fact reward the states that provide the best data – and therefore do the most to protect our citizens.”
Ok, now I’m really confused. What does this mean? States that fork over gun ownership data to the federal government get a gold star? Maybe an “atta boy” from Barack Obama? PBO brings it all home with this last point:
“Third, we should make the system faster and nimbler. We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can’t escape it.”
I’m ok with background checks to buy guns. I don’t think you can really argue against that. However, I am absolutely opposed to a federal database for the purpose of background checks. This gives the government information on who bought a gun, where they live, and what they bought. I know this may sound conspiratorial in nature but I just don’t feel comfortable giving the government that kind of information.
Realistically, I don’t think the federal government would ever try to take guns away from people. It just isn’t practical or smart to do. However, there are other potential issues. For instance, if a gun is used in a crime there is potential that law enforcement would single out gun owners in the area regardless of criminal history. That kind of harassment is not necessary. Not that I don’t have faith in law enforcement to do the right thing, but if faced with a given situation, it could happen. Secondly, where does this database information stop? What’s next? What prevents the federal government from restricting people further from purchasing guns? If you open this door then the consequences could be disastrous. I like the gun laws in Virginia, I think for the most part they are fair. I sure don’t want to be subject to the gun laws of DC or New York. What is deemed adequate?
In any event a federal database is a tremendously bad idea. Do not let Barack Obama use the Tucson tragedy to play on the emotions of our country to implement some radical new gun control system.