It’s clearly galling the president that he can’t get to first base with regard to controlling our guns.
After the Senate failed to agree to expanded gun background checks this past week, a petulant and contemptuous President Obama looked down his nose at opponents – leaving no room for the possibility that they might have any principled reasons for opposing him.
It’s not clear whether he just wants a midterm election issue with which to pummel Republicans, or if this is the attempted gun grab so many suspect him of harboring ambitions of.
Either way, Mr. President, our system of government was founded in large part on a distrust of government and its proclivity for abusing power.
The fact remains that many gun-owning Americans simply don’t trust your administration, which has already shown a voracious appetite for control over our lives.
This president also has shown an uncanny disdain for the legislative process – for the give and take it entails, for the personal relationships it requires, for the compromise needed to respect views opposed to his own. Instead, he flies his bully pulpit around the country to bitterly lament that others in Washington just won’t kowtow to what he wants, when he wants it.
Many of them are fellow Democrats, by the way – some of whom are facing re-election soon and feel compelled to do the bidding of their constituents rather than bend to the politically correct pressure in Washington.
Mr. Obama decries the pressure being put on such leaders by Second Amendment aficionados – but the fact remains that he’s been pushing pretty hard himself, using survivors of Sandy Hook as his surrogates and backdrops.
He has no room to complain about a “vocal minority” pushing its perfectly valid agenda when he’s doing the same.
Regarding his agenda, the moribund economy – Americans’ No. 1 concern – continues to be on his back burner, as always. If only he would use the weight of his office to press for policies that would free up America’s pent-up economic might. Of course, those things – smaller government, fewer regulations, lower taxes – are anathema to his entire political pedigree.
Instead, he’s put all his dwindling political capital on immigration and guns – which, by the way, a new Gallup Poll says are the top concerns of a whopping 4 percent of Americans.
As for gun violence: The guns he and other Democrats want banned are responsible for a fraction of a fraction of gun crime in America, and any other new restrictions will only hem in the law-abiding among us.
In addition, Sen. Lindsey Graham notes that last year, nearly 80,000 people failed gun background checks – yet fewer than 100 of them were prosecuted. Graham has joined other Republican senators in proposing a bill to beef up that prosecution, while cracking down on trafficking, straw sales and purchases by the mentally ill, and beefing up school security.
These are things most of us can agree on – and which would have the potential to make a difference, not just make for grandiose speeches.
The question is whether the president wants to find common ground, or stay where he is and just stamp his feet.