After a town hall meeting for PBS NewsHour in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama took questions from the audience.
A gun store owner, Doug Rhude, mentioned how people that drive drunk are held responsible for their actions without affecting good drivers. He did this to relate to his next point, “why then do you and Hillary want to control and restrict and limit gun manufacturers, gun owners and responsible use of guns and ammunition to the rest of us, the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable for their actions?”
Obama’s first reply, “First of all, the notion that I or Hillary or Democrats or whoever you want to choose are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true.”
He goes on to say that he has never proposed a confiscation from responsible gun owners. He also talks about how driving accidents used to be much worse until studies were done and laws were put in place for better roads, seat belt restrictions, and air bag requirements. Obama then says that any attempt to do the same for guns is immediately seen as destruction of the second amendment.
So, what immediately caught my eye was Obama’s first reaction was to focus on confiscation when Rhude asked about why gun rights are being restricted. He did it to make a point. He compared cars to guns, which is a slippery slope. “When we talked about background checks: if you buy a car, if you want to get a license- first of all you have to license, you have to take a test. People have to know that you know how to drive. You don’t have to do any of that with respect to having a gun.” Comparing licensing with background checks, sure, I can hang with that for a moments discussion. But to say that background checks aren’t done is terribly false. NICS reports that 11,698,006 checks have been done this year. So maybe I misunderstood what he said, but I don’t see what else he could be saying.
Obama’s next talking point is the no-fly list. He claims the government has found people who often visits ISIL/ISIS sites and is a sympathizer. These people is on the no fly list but is allowed to buy a gun, ” ’cause the NRA won’t let me.” Now, most of us here know why this is a weak argument (lack of due process, no official list of people, many people on the list don’t actually belong on the list, etc.). I’m sure he does it to make it seem outrageous to people not familiar with how messed up the system is.
He ends the talk with saying that there is way for common sense gun laws that will not restrict lawful citizens from having guns to use for hunting, sporting, and protection.
Personally, it feels like an empty speech to me. I’ve heard these same things over and over. Obama even called gun violence a public health issue, even though gun homicides are around .4% of U.S.A. deaths each year. I would be open to hear about “common sense” ways to lessen deaths by guns. However, many proposed gun laws just restrict law abiding citizens. Magazine restrictions, gun free zones, and banning certain firearms does not stop a shooting or robbery from happening. Those do negatively affect citizens that wish to have better protection. Even demanding individual sales to have background checks won’t stop strawman purchases. It just places a burden on lawful people wishing to sell a firearm.
That’s about all I have to say about that. The topic was highlighted since the president spoke about it, and I don’t believe much will come from his speech other than more misinformation about the no-fly list.