President Obama is finally out in open as an advocate not of gun control, but of eliminating guns in the hands of the people. The White House announced Monday that the president is working on executive orders to do what Congress won’t. Mr. Obama would eviscerate the Second Amendment to accomplish his goal of disarming ordinary law-abiding Americans. He is determined not to let the tragedy in Oregon go to waste.
In a few short sentences, he validates every fear of those who believe the president, who said earlier that he wanted only “common sense” restrictions on the ownership of guns, was actually advocating the first steps to confiscation. His critics argued that he and his congressional allies, particularly Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, were out to establish a federal gun registry, which would lead to confiscation here, as it has in other places. The president and his defenders scoffed, reminding everyone that Mr. Obama declared during the 2012 campaign that he not only believes in the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, but promising in paid advertisements, that he would “never take your guns.”
Now, exploiting the tragedy in Oregon and the mourning for the innocents everywhere, he makes his meaning clear. “We know other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,” he said last week. “Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
Violent crime in national “gun free zones” in both Britain and Australia has increased since these restrictions were put in place, leaving the unarmed Britons and Australians without guns to defend themselves. We could have a serious debate with the president and his allies, saying at last what they actually mean. Eviscerating the Second Amendment and confiscating the 350 million guns in private hands in this country as a cure for tragedy ignores the fact that since 1994, while gun ownership was increasing by 62 percent, homicide by guns was cut by half. The president would further exploit tragedy to deprive Americans of their constitutional right to hunt, shoot and defend their families with guns.
Hillary Clinton, to no one’s surprise, joins Mr. Obama’s scheme. She says the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong to uphold the right of Americans to own guns, and if she makes it to the White House she will see to it that the Supreme Court reverses its decision to uphold the Second Amendment.
All Americans are horrified by death visited on the innocent by lunatics with guns, and most Americans understand that it’s the lunatic and not the gun that must be held accountable. One of the survivors of the Oregon shooting observed that if the victims had been armed, lives might have been saved. Dismantling the government’s ability to deal with the seriously mentally ill is more to blame for recurring tragedy, not the innocent American who breaks no law and keeps a gun in the closet.