Within hours of the killings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, President Obama stepped to the White House lectern, admittedly without all the facts of the case, to shamelessly politicize the tragedy.
“Somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize,” he said.
“What’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: We need more guns, they’ll argue. Fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that? There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country — they know that’s not true. We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws — including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners,” the president said. “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
“We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different,” Obama added, “that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.”
The so-called “common-sense” and “modest” laws in Britain and Australia Obama refers to aren’t common-sense or modest at all, but rather require extreme confiscation and bans.
In 1996, the Australian government confiscated hundreds of thousands of personally owned firearms as part of their new “common-sense” gun control laws. In 1997, British citizens were forced to turn over their handguns for destruction. The prettier and more expensive versions were confiscated and placed in museums. Is this what Obama is suggesting should happen to the estimated 300 million firearms owned by American citizens? Is that what he means by “common sense,” “modest regulation” and “changing our laws?”
Of course it is.
It should be noted that after the Britain handgun ban was implemented, crime committed with guns skyrocketed and the ban has done little to reduce overall homicide rates. The same has been shown for homicides committed with firearms in Australia after the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms.
“The Government’s latest crime figures were condemned as ‘truly terrible’ by the Tories today as it emerged that gun crime in England and Wales soared by 35% last year. Criminals used handguns in 46% more offences, Home Office statistics revealed,” the Daily Mail reported in 2003. “Firearms were used in 9,974 recorded crimes in the 12 months to last April, up from 7,362. It was the fourth consecutive year to see a rise and there were more than 2,200 more gun crimes last year than the previous peak in 1993. Figures showed the number of crimes involving handguns had more than doubled since the post-Dunblane massacre ban on the weapons, from 2,636 in 1997-1998 to 5,871.”
In 2009, the United Kingdom was found to be the most violent country in Europe.
Despite Obama’s claim that pro-Second Amendment groups want less gun safety, the opposite is true. In fact, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) have dedicated millions of dollars, thousands of hours and numerous different resources to gun safety programs and will continue to do so for years to come.
Since 1988, the NRA has offered its Eddie Eagle program to parents and children as a gun safety resource. Since 2003, the NSSF has partnered with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to hand out more than 36 million firearm safety kits. As a result of these programs, we’ve seen a 22 percent reduction in fatal firearms accidents over the past decade. Because of this reduction, fatal firearms accidents now make up less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents in the United States.
Further, the NSSF has worked with local state governments in an effort to properly enter mental health information into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, preventing the mentally ill from getting their hands on a firearm.
Anti-gun groups, most of which are funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have done little to promote or fund real gun safety programs. While these groups spend millions to exploit tragedy and to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans, the NRA and the NSSF spend millions to keep Americans and their rights safe.
If President Obama had his way, the United States would be just like Britain and Australia, where handguns were confiscated and remain banned with little to show for it. Thankfully, the Second Amendment and the American people will not stand for it.
Pavlich is the news editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.