- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2013

Once again, President Obama is exploiting the tragic deaths from a mass shooting to push his political agenda to control guns. This time, he escalates the rhetoric by blaming Second Amendment advocates for criminals’ acts.

After spending the day on the golf course Saturday, Mr. Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner about his priorities.

Referring to Monday’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, along with the mass murders in Newtown and Aurora in 2012, Tucson in 2011 and shootings in Chicago, he said: “As long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun, then we’ve got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children. We’ve got to be ones who are willing to do more work to make it harder.”

So who is fighting to make it easy for criminals to get guns?

Of course he is referring to the 5 million members of the National Rifle Association. He did the same thing in April after his gun control agenda failed to get 60 votes in the Senate. In the Rose Garden, he blamed the lack of support on the “gun lobby” lying about the legislation, which “intimidated a lot of senators.”

Contrary to the president’s accusations, the NRA long has lobbied for better mental health treatment and strengthening the background check system.

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Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, said Sunday on NBC: “I’ll tell you what the NRA’s for: interdicting violent criminals, get them off the street; interdict people who are having mental problems, get them into treatment; enforce the federal gun laws. … Fix the mental health system, and let’s get our fiscal house in order so that we can stop releasing the bad guys back to the street.”

Mr. LaPierre also said of the Navy Yard killer: “Aaron Alexis goes through the federal and state check and gets cleared because the mental health system makes this person completely unrecognizable.”

Mr. Obama is pandering to his left-wing base. A Rasmussen poll on Thursday showed that only 33 percent of Americans think more gun control laws would have prevented the tragedy at the Navy Yard.

The president should be a uniter, not a divider. Mr. Obama should stop blaming the good guys for the actions of the bad guys just to score political points.

• Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).

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