Once again, President Barack Obama exhibits his shameless habit of taking advantage of tragedy for political gain.
President Obama on Saturday marked the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings with calls for stricter gun control and more support for mental health, as well as by lighting candles for each of the victims.
"We have to do more to heal troubled minds.”
This is the same man who trotted out school children who were present on that horrific day in Newtown to use as human props, standing silently on stage as he signed executive orders unconstitutionally curtailing the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders sent parents to their knees and legislators to their computers. While mourning parents and concerned Americans sought understanding and comfort, President Obama sought to take advantage of a tragedy for political ends. As usual.
In light of the one-year anniversary of the Newtown murders and the school shooting in Colorado that nearly coincided with it, renewed attempts by the Obama administration and his congressional water carriers are being reported by the Washington Post:
Obama has repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws, but Congress missed its last opportunity to do so in April, when legislation to strengthen background checks and ban military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines failed in the Senate.
The only other effort at federal gun legislation under the current Congress came in the form of a renewed ban on manufacturing plastic firearms that are not detectable by security-screening devices. The House and Senate approved that measure this month.
On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Obama administration would dedicate $100 million toward mental health services, with the funding evenly divided between rural mental-health centers and helping community centers hire providers and boost services.
This reactionary abuse of power will become just another pretext for the annihilation of the representative government of the United States. It’s hard to believe that President Obama and Vice President Biden are ignorant of the lack of empirical evidence linking the regulation of gun ownership to the commission of violent crime.
No matter, though. The president knows that there is a significant number of Americans who will be entranced by his rhetoric before they would ever be swayed by reason or research.
In his weekly address delivered on December 14, President Obama demonstrated this understanding. In the speech, he presumed to preach to Americans why we haven’t been able to prevent such tragedies from reccurring:
Because we haven’t yet done enough to make our communities and our country safer. We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily.
Surely, however, despite his rhetoric, President Obama knows that there is no law, regulation, or executive order that could ever dissuade someone from committing murder in cold blood. The very premise is laughable. Such acts are the result of mental instability and are the product of a perversion of purpose inscrutable to most regular folk.
Moreover, even the most discerning minds in the fields of medicine and psychology are now and are likely to remain woefully ignorant of the vortex of abnormalities that combine in ones mind to produce such anti-social behavior. Inside every cranium there is a universe, and no explorer has successfully navigated the myriad spheres of influence that orbit therein. While the attempt is noble, the president's presumption that there are explanations to be found in this or that shooter’s mad scribblings or self-aggrandizing videos is naive at best and purposefully misleading at worst.
There is no constitutional authority given to the federal government to restrict purchase of firearms, ammunition, or component parts. In fact, the Second Amendment explicitly proscribes any attempt by the federal government to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
Besides, reasonable people understand that the ready availability of guns is no more responsible for any armed massacre then an all-you-can-eat buffet is responsible for obesity.
Temperate appeals to right reason will instruct the thoughtful person that a propensity for such an act is not born of opportunity, but of instability.
Let us not dishonor the memory of those killed and of the massacre of children (or any person) by allowing presidents, vice presidents, attorneys general, or any agent of the federal government to take away the right that protects enjoyment of all the other rights.
While the president declares that greater federal restriction on the right to own, transfer, buy, and sell guns and ammunition is necessary in order to “heal our troubled minds,” perhaps we should look to the words of our founding generation who universally looked upon the right to be armed as the best check against tyranny.
In commenting on the Constitution in 1833, Joseph Story wrote:
The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
In his own commentary on the works of the influential jurist Blackstone, Founding-era legal scholar St. George Tucker wrote:
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
Writing in The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton explained:
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state.
Finally, President Obama would be well advised to read (and the millions of law abiding Americans that he intends to disarm would be wise to remember) these words of George Washington:
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
As the president’s shameful manipulation of the anniversary of the Newtown massacre demonstrates, the federal government will stop at nothing to take advantage of suffering to impose new and increasingly dictatorial restrictions on the right that protects the enjoyment of all the other fundamental God-given rights that were once the inheritance of all Americans.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He is the host of The New American Review radio show that is simulcast on YouTube every Monday. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at