Sandy Hook School Massacre Presents Fresh Challenge to President Obama

Sandy Hook School Massacre Presents Fresh Challenge to President Obama

Story tools

Comments

A A AResize

Print

Share and Email

 
 A compassionate and tearful President Obama minced no words following the Sandy Hook, Connecticut school massacre and demanded action. Though Obama did not specify what action he had in mind, the action that has and will again spark colossal debate is how to crack down on the manic and senseless gun violence that has caused indescribable pain and suffering for so many victims, and now those victims are the innocent of innocents, elementary school children, their teachers, and their grieving parents, relatives, and friends.

The usual suspects were quick to pounce with their by now silly and facile, “guns don’t kill, people kill” pap line. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long loudly called for Obama and Congress to enact new and tougher gun control laws, quickly jumped back into the gun control fray and made the same call again. As the names and faces of the children and the others gunned down in the horrific school massacre become known, a legion of voices will also demand that gun control be shoved back on the White House and congressional table. This is where things again will get thorny.

The assumption is that the NRA and the gun lobby is so all powerful, and financially well-heeled, that it can beat back any congressional move to impose tougher restrictions on gun access. It’s certainly done a masterful job at that. The NRA did not issue an official statement on the massacre, other than a terse one liner that it would wait until all the facts are in. But that didn’t stop other gun control opponents who worked the blogs and websites vociferously denouncing calls for tougher gun laws, and geared up for a round of talk show appearances to tout their view.

But the NRA’s money, political clout, and the saber rattle of gun control opponents is only part of the reason that tougher gun control laws, no matter how many heartbreaking massacres occur, face a hard uphill climb. The tip off on that came during the recent presidential election. Obama and Romney were briefly challenged by Bloomberg and gun control advocates to advocate and propose new gun curbs. This was prompted by the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre. They demurred. The issue quickly dropped off the political radar scope. The reason for the dodge had nothing to do with Romney’s well-known NRA membership and opposition to tougher gun control laws. Nor did it have anything to do with Obama’s seeing the issue as an unnecessary wave of the red flag in front of millions of gun owners in what was then thought to be a potentially close presidential reelection battle.

Both simply recognized that gun ownership is a fact of American life and a rigidly protected constitutional right. During his stint in the Illinois legislature, Obama’s major concern was cracking down on illegal gun sales, and the spread of and access to semi-automatic weapons. This does little to keep guns out of the hands of loose screws such as alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes and alleged Sandy Hook school shooter, Adam Lanza. In the White House Obama has simply followed the precedent of nearly all presidents and that’s to leave tougher restrictions on gun sales and trafficking to the states. Some states have passed laws that ban assault guns and high capacity ammunition magazines, limit the number of gun sales, require child safety locks on new guns, and outlaw the sale of cheap handguns.

The huge drawback to the state by state gun action is that it does not significantly limit the massive trafficking in guns across state lines. It also doesn’t begin to address the question of how to identify and then prevent the legions of human ticking time bombs that do not have a criminal record and for all intents and purposes appear to be normal functioning individuals from legally purchasing and even stockpiling weapons, and that includes weapons of mass destruction. Ultimately only Congress can pass a uniform federal standard to restrict the manufacture, sale and transport of guns.

This is where the fight begins and unfortunately has quickly ended. The first ending was Congress’s failure to reauthorize the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. Congress has been virtually mute on any gun curbs in the years since then. This did not mean that gun control bills weren’t written and introduced. They were in every Congress session. But not one piece of gun control legislation made it to the House floor. The 112th Congress was no different. None of the proposed gun control curbs even made it out of a house committee.

This in no way means that gun control curbs are dead in the water in perpetuity in Congress. Obama has called tougher gun control laws “common sense.” This signals that if there is enough public outcry and push that one or more of the gun control measures could finally make it out of a house or senate committee. Obama is not running for reelection and does not have to look nervously over his shoulder and worry about enraged gun owners raking him over the coals for putting his White House muscle behind one of the bills.

That and the eventual passage of fresh gun restrictions would at least send the right signal that the gun lobby is not invincible and that millions of Americans want and demand anything that will at least potentially head off the next rampage.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson


 

Comments

 
Anonymous User

Posted Dec 18 2012

This is complete and utter hogwash... "The usual suspects were quick to pounce with their by now silly and facile, “guns don’t kill, people kill” pap line." How is that silly? Forgive me if I am mistaken, but gun's don't have a mind of their own. They don't sprout limbs and walk around shooting people. People are the ones who use guns for evil (or for good, depending on their use.) Using the logic that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is a silly statement, then you are also asserting that is silly for police to be armed when dealing with violent, armed criminals and for our armed forces to be armed when defending our country from foreign threats. Don't get me wrong, I don't support the current so-called "war on terrorism" (yeah, right.) I also don't consider myself entirely conservative. However, I do believe that the 2nd amendment is an incredibly important right that should by no means be violated, lest we all fall defenseless victims of an increasingly oppressive and totalitarian government under the guise of a "democracy." If you want to know the real reason why this shooting occurred, just look up Project MKULTRA. Here is a wikipedia article that cites credible sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

There is a much bigger and hidden agenda behind these supposedly "random" killings. The power elite are using these patsies - psychologically manipulated, artificially engineered gunmen - as a catalyst for their political agenda of global dominance. They want liberals to use these incidents as an excuse to press for tougher gun laws, which will eventually lead to the negation of the 2nd amendment: the only constitutional right that is preserving our freedom. Without weapons, the masses will have no means of defending themselves against a fascist globalist takeover. And if you think for even a second that your government wouldn't do such things, remember MKULTRA. MKULTRA was not some conspiracy theory, it was a widely publicized CIA psy-ops project which was revealed to the public via the Freedom of Information act. It was not a hoax as some of you skeptics would be quick to blurt out without even doing elementary research on the subject. Although the government claims that MKULTRA was officially discontinued, such psy-ops projects remain active without the knowledge of congress. In fact, the electorate government in this country is simply an illusion. The real "powers that be" are the wealthy elite who attend the annual Bilderberg conferences in Europe. These are individuals with enough wealth and influence that they are able to buy out entire governments. They dominate the world through proxy corporations and puppet nations like the United States. We are all mere pawns in their twisted game of global control. You may dismiss me as some conspiracy theorist nutcase, but you're free to believe what you want. No one can be told the truth. To know the truth, one must see it, and it is always up to the individual whether they choose to see the truth for what it is, or turn away out of fear of knowing something that contradicts everything they've been raised to believe. Political bias.

Good day to you, sir!

Disclaimer: Comments do not necessarily reflect the views of New America Media. NAM reserves the right to edit or delete comments. Once published, comments are visible to search engines and will remain in their archives. If you do not want your identity connected to comments on this site, please refrain from commenting or use a handle or alias instead of your real name.