By Mario Boothe
The atmosphere must have been emotionally electrifying as President Obama stood on the stage with four young children who he said had written to him asking for stronger gun laws. Appealing to the memory of the Newtown shootings, the president vowed not to let the momentum for new, tougher gun laws fade.
“This is our first task as a society,” Mr Obama said. “Keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
Mario Boothe is a young aspiring political analyst, with a growing blog readership. He has been involved in the Jamaican political environment with his involvement in political organizations and groups. He has obtained an associate’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, majoring in travel and tourism.
President Obama called upon Congress to toughen America’s gun laws to confront mass shootings and everyday gun violence, betting that public opinion has shifted enough to support the most extensive gun control regulations in a generation.
Mr Obama announced plans to introduce legislation that includes a ban on new assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and tougher gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country (and illegal export, Mr President).
Without waiting for Congress, the president also acted on his own authority, signing nearly two-dozen executive actions designed to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies in order to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unbalanced.
None of the measures has good odds of passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner (R) took a noncommittal stance. His spokesman said that House committees would review the package, "and if the Senate passes a bill, we will also take a look at that.''
Of Mr Obama's three major legislative proposals, prospects may be highest in the Democratic-controlled Senate for a measure to require background checks for all gun buyers, not only for those buying from federally licensed dealers, as is now the law. The White House signalled that its top priority was to expand the checks, which screens for people barred by a criminal record, a history of mental illness or other reasons from buying guns, and some Republicans showed openness to the idea.
Rated R for Repugnant
The president in his address called for people across the country to lobby their lawmakers to overcome certain opposition from the National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun-rights group, and Republican backer. "I will put everything I've got into this," Mr Obama said. "But I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it."
Before the president’s announcement; The National Rifle Association released a controversial new ad that makes reference to President Barack Obama’s daughters -- sparking outrage from critics who charged that the spot is over the line.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the ad’s narrator asks. “Then why is he sceptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
Of course, the NRA ignored the commonsense answer to its own question: Every president’s child is protected by armed guards. They’re called the Secret Service. We all saw the security mess that was caused in the movie: “My Date with The President’s Daughter”.
This underlines a crucial fact that a right-wing conspiracy is brewing that sacrifices its own success for the pleasure of hating liberal causes and usually those the first black president particularly supports. It’s been a weird occurrence in the Obama first term to actually see a Republican support an idea that originated from conservative principles but put into motion by Mr Obama – Universal Healthcare or Obamacare, a Mitt Romney invention.
Unfortunately, these subliminal messages reach a frightened set of people born into a culture forged by the Civil War itself, and they act upon the impulses pushed by NRA and other conservative voices too business playing politics to realize reality.
In a statement to the press, White House press secretary Jay Carney said in response: “Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight. But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.”
The ad signals the NRA's intention to fight a campaign-style war with Obama and with their guns drawn the two sides prepare for a showdown over gun control and seemingly most importantly gun rights (as PSY would say, 2nd Amendment Style) in Washington DC – The New Old West.