Obama exploits tragedy

Obama exploits tragedy

January 17th, 2013 in Opinion Free Press

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, gestures Wedneday as he talks about proposals to reduce gun violence.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

There's a difference - a BIG difference - between actually working to fix a problem and simply exploiting tragedy to achieve political ends.

President Barack Obama made it clear on Wednesday which he is more concerned with when he showed his willingness to dance on the fresh graves of dead children for the sake of legacy, popularity and expanding presidential powers.

The president's $500 million anti-gun scheme, along with the 23 executive actions he announced to address gun violence, will do nothing to reduce gun violence. It won't take guns out of the hands of criminals. It may never save even a single life.

It will, however, harass and demonize legal gun owners and embolden his anti-gun activists friends -- and, it appeared on Wednesday, these are the things that really matter to the president.

Obama's decision to wait until the days following a tragic school shooting to announce gun control efforts is pathetic and vile. After all, if he truly thought his anti-gun plan would save lives, wouldn't he have pushed the agenda from the first day he was in office?

The reality is there's no need for stricter gun laws.

There has been a sharp decrease in gun violence over the past 20 years, according to the Department of Justice. Moreover, in the decade from 2000-2009, the DOJ reported that the use of guns in violent crime decreased from a rate of 2.4 per 1,000 to 1.4 per 1,000.

Schools have become much safer, as well. The National Center for Education Statistics found that students are much less likely to be victims of violent crime than they were two decades ago. In 1992, 53 of every 1,000 students were victims of violent crimes. By 2000, that number fell to 14 per 1,000 students.

Mass shootings, which caused the current anti-gun hysteria, are also no more likely today than they ever have been. According to James Allen Fox, a Northeastern University professor who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, "the facts say clearly that [there] has been no increase in mass killings."

This decrease in violence in general, and gun violence and violence in schools in particular, comes despite the fact that, according to Reason magazine, "Over the past 20 years, virtually every state in the country has liberalized gun ownership rules and many states have expanded concealed carry laws that allow more people to carry weapons in more places."

If there's one thing this president has mastered, it's the art of capitalizing on tragedy for political gain.

The fact that he piggybacked on the deaths in Newtown, Conn., to begin his unnecessary war on legal gun owners, expand surveillance on law-abiding citizens and enlarge the federal government by hundreds of millions of dollars proves that.