|Boots and Sabers Blog|
|Hot Air Blog|
|Jim Ott's Hot Air Report|
|Media Research Center|
|Real Clear Politics|
|Wall Street Journal|
|WisPolitics Budget Blog|
None can dispute the President's thesis: These tragedies must end. From Politico:
Obama made no specific policy promises, but he signaled that this tragedy could change Americans’ views on guns and violence — and that he was prepared to lead the way.
“In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” Obama said. “Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?”
But how? The ends we want, the means are in question.
Some suggest we ban semi-automatic rifles, as did Australia. That seems to be what President Obama was hinting at during his turn at the mic in Newtown Sunday night. Barack gave an impassioned, tearful speech about the deceased and related those young, innocent children to his own.
It was clear from the beginning that Mr. Obama was pushing toward some greater goal. Though he spoke in vague terms, his intention was obvious: We must keep children safe by taking away all the things that could possibly hurt them. And, top of mind, guns.
We have been privileged to live in an era where our people are largely safe. America has been, for the most part, insulated from the violence that plagues the rest of the world. Where warlords and despotic dictators torture the peoples.
We have been spared that experience precisely because we are a nation predicated on the belief that the government should be afraid of its citizens and not vice versa.
The answer, Mr. Obama, is not to merely banish guns. There are other things that can hurt our children. Taking away threats means only that we live in a world where there is an unearned sense of security, and that complacency will lead to other problems.
The answer is not a negative but a positive: We must hold people accountable for their actions. Consequences must be severe for those who violate our laws. Prison shouldn't just be a place where criminals go to hone their craft but a place where people are rehabilitated. An example should be made--in that way Joe Arpaio is correct in his nigh torture--so that others do not want to follow that path.
Taking away the ability to make a bad decision only means that we lose the sense of morality that would guide us to a good decision. We need a world where morality is ingrained early, as is a respect for life. But people who have evil in their hearts will find a way to inflict pain on people. Timothy McVeigh did it with some well-placed fertilizer.
Firearms are a tool that must be respected. But I do not want to live in a world where the only people who are armed are the ones who are telling me what to do.
Mr. Obama wanted this to be his Gettysburgh Address--I wasn't the only one to notice the similarities--and to an extent it was. Both speeches were supposed to be a commemoration of the dead but were really just veiled policy statements. The difference was that the President was promising to curtail rights in the name of safety and Mr. Lincoln was promising to end a war and give human beings the right to be called as much for the first time in American history.
It was a highly-political and, I felt, largely inappropriate speech. Had he been only mournful that night and brought out his plans later--or only made reference to potential solvency--it would have been better. But instead the campaigner-in-chief again showed his inability to be apolitical.