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April 23, 2013

Federal gun bill vote showed Obama was wrong

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The Daily Star

---- — At the time of this writing, one Boston Marathon bomber has been killed, and I wouldn’t give a shovel of manure for the other’s future. Reports are that the two young men are refugees from an Islamic region in Russia. If so, is that the thanks we get for giving them asylum?

President Obama, rightfully so, has called this an act of terror, and the “We Finish the Race” address may be his version of Bush’s 9/11 “Steel of American Resolve” speech.

Speaking of our commander-in chief, he exhibited his true form and was less than gracious when it came to the defeat of his gun bill in the Senate. That knee-jerk legislation was doomed in the House, but President Obama seized the opportunity to surround himself with grieving parents from Newtown, and addressed the media. 

Behind our President was Uncle Joe Biden. He was almost in tears. You’d think a biker babe spilled his pitcher of beer!

Obama stated that a minority of senators had stopped the majority from passing a bill that 90 percent of the American people wanted, and that this bill would have protected “the children.” He accused the gun lobby of lying and threatening senators with re-election troubles back home if they voted for this bill.

Mr. President, the bill was defeated. Sixty votes were needed for passage, and it fell well short, 54-46. Those voting against it were a minority, but a sizable one, and as far as protecting the children, even the most ardent anti-gun zealots are hard-pressed to explain how this legislation would do that. 

I particularly enjoyed the statistic of “90 percent of Americans supported this bill.” Heck, Mr. President, on MSNBC they say that 99 percent of Americans supported this bill. You guys should get your “facts” straight.

What I don’t understand are these “re-election troubles back home.” As Mr. Spock would say, “Logic dictates” that if 90-99 percent of Americans wanted this bill, shouldn’t the senators who voted against it be the ones in trouble back home?

You know, folks, it’s a shell game. Part of this bill was “Universal Background Checks,” whereby every firearm sale must be OK’d by the federal government. They claim that this will prevent guns from being purchased by criminals and the insane.

In the real world, “Universal Background Checks” would not work. Criminals and the dangerously insane would not participate. Truth be known, most everyday people won’t, either, and it would be almost impossible to enforce. More than likely, it would just make criminals out of regular guys, who have bought and sold guns for years, and never caused a problem.

Some would argue that if a felon is stopped from buying a gun, the law may have prevented a crime, and if only a few lives can be saved, wouldn’t it be worth it? That sounds good and very reasonable, but the hard answer is no! Where does that logic stop? 

Benjamin Franklin said, “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither” and every drop of freedom is like a drop of blood. There is only so much to lose, and then it is too late.

I have always found it tasteless when a president surrounds himself with weeping children, grieving widows and brokenhearted parents to score political points. President Obama staged this drama to shame the senators who voted against his bill.

Mr. President, did it ever occur to you that they may have honor and simply followed their conscience? They are not evil or less than human, and therefore didn’t need to be shamed by their president in public. You have made a career of blaming President Bush and others, but at least Bush had something you’ll never have, and that’s class.

When a tragedy happens, and a law gets hurriedly passed in the heat of emotion, it is generally a bad law. Take, for example, the NY-SAFE Act. It was passed overnight, and as it comes into effect, politicians and police are seeing how inane this law really is. It will cost a fortune, accomplish nothing, make criminals out of many New Yorkers and be impossible to enforce. 

There is nothing more pathetic than a parent who has lost a child. They deserve our sympathy and prayers. In times of grief, it is easy to take up a cause, and great things have been accomplished. Unfortunately, at times like this, people can also be used.

I am sorry. We understand your grief, and pray for you, but we do not owe you our freedom, nor should we ignore common sense and sacrifice our values, because of your sorrow. It serves no one to shackle ourselves and future generations with restrictions that sound good, but unfortunately, do no good.

CHUCK PINKEY is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at chuck.ontherightside@gmail.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.