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CURL: Freedom is not to blame for Newtown, Mr. President
The depths to which President Obama will stoop to sell his far-left agenda should shock every American, and Sunday's night political speech at an interfaith prayer vigil was by far the most egregious example of his divisive presidency.
Under the guise of "consoler in chief," the president flew up to Newton, Conn., just days after a mentally ill young man murdered 26 people, including 20 children, before ending his own tortured life. Pre-empting Sunday night football (by design, of course), the president lectured the nation about all that is wrong with America — and put the blame on each and every American.
"Can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we're all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?" he asked.
"I've been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We're not doing enough. And we will have to change."
Gathered in the gymnasium of the Newton High School were hundreds who had come to grieve over the shocking and senseless murder of tiny toddler. Among them were parents of the dead. To all assembled, the president said they simply had not done enough to protect their children. All they have done since is offer lame assessments of the root causes, which he scolded "can't be an excuse for inaction."
"Surely," he said with furrowed brow, "we can do better than this." From Tucson, Ariz., to Aurora, Colo., to Oak Creek, Wisc., and now, to Newton, Mass. — all sites of mass shootings — lessons must be learned, he said. We, America, are to blame. We have brought this upon our own children.
"We can't tolerate this anymore," he said. "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change."
To the parents of the lost, many of whom had already wrapped Christmas presents for their little ones and tucked them in secret places, with plans to sneak them under the tree on Christmas Eve and take that perfect bite out of the cookie left for Santa, the president then segued into his real reason for his hastily scheduled visit.
"Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?"
With that, Mr. Obama made clear what he was there for — politics. "In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds" to prevent such tragedies, he vowed.
But what did he mean? What are the "politics" of the unfathomable murder of 20 innocent children? And what on Earth did he mean that HE will take action?
This is what he meant: "Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?" he said in his lecture to America.
So it is "freedom" — our freedom as Americans — that caused this heinous act. Those horrible murders were not committed by one mentally ill young man, we are ALL to blame for our "freedom."
Twice the president used the word "evil" — "unconscionable evil," even. But Newtown was not "evil": Newtown was one very disturbed 20-year-old boy, loved by his mother and father, who fell through the cracks, got lost in the shuffle; who turned suddenly from withdrawn and anti-social to murderous.
This was not, as the president implied and the left has decried, guns, guns, guns. On the very same day as the Newtown murders, a deranged man slashed 22 children with a knife in an elementary school halfway around the world, cutting off fingers and ears. Adam Lanza, like Jason Loughner and James Holmes, was not "evil" — no human being in his right mind would take the lives of so many innocent people. He was sick. And, shocking as it may be to hear, it was not his fault, nor his mother's or father's fault — they had loved their boy, tried to help him, save him.
The president has twice before been quick to blame — both times divisively. When Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., was arrested after breaking into his home, the president — with virtually no facts at all — said "the Cambridge police acted stupidly." After George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, Mr. Obama said "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon" — when he should have said "the facts in the case are not yet known and everyone should tone down their racial rhetoric immediately."
This time, in Newtown, America's most divisive president laid the blame squarely on "freedom." Somehow, America's most cerebral president ever hasn't yet learned this one simple fact about life: Sometimes, tragedies happen for absolutely no reason. If seeking "blame" for the horror in Newtown, there can be just one answer: A single young man, clearly insane, committed a horrible atrocity.
No one will ever know if the tragedy there could have been averted. But one thing we can all know for sure: America's "freedom" was not to blame.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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