Obama's contempt for Second Amendment on full display at press conference
The blood of the nine victims shot by a deranged criminal at a South Carolina church had barely dried when, as if on cue, President Obama and his “point man” on gun control, Vice President Biden, stepped up to the microphones to issue a thinly veiled call for more gun control.
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” Obama began, prefacing his comments, as he always does, with concern not for the victims or the country, but for himself, as he did after the Sandy Hook shooting – characterizing it as the “worst day” of “my presidency.”
“We don’t have all the facts” – just like with arrest of Prof. “Skip” Gates, not having all the facts didn’t stop him from holding forth – “but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.” (Translation: We need to ban guns.)
Then came another of Obama’s signature rhetorical techniques: denigrate the United States and claim that other countries do things better: “This kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
Obama is simply flat-out wrong about that, on two counts.
First, “this kind of mass violence” does happen in other countries – and it happens in countries with ultra-strict gun control laws, like the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, and Germany. Some of those countries tightened already stringent gun laws following mass shootings; for instance, the United Kingdom banned and confiscated all civilian handguns in 1997 following the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, but that didn’t stop a man from killing 12 people with a registered shotgun and bolt-action .22 rifle in Cumbria in 2010.
Second – and more important – is this: historically, most of the “mass violence” in “other countries” has been conducted by governments, not deranged individuals.
Nine American churchgoers shot by a criminal is certainly awful, but let’s put it in the proper perspective. Criminal violence by private individuals in the U.S. pales in comparison to what governments in “other advanced countries” have done. Germany, an “advanced” country that killed six million disarmed Jews, resorted to the “efficiency” of the death camp and the gas chamber for the “Final Solution” because shooting the Jews was too difficult logistically. The Germans knew this, because they tried it: they shot nearly 34,000 Jews in 48 hours in Kiev in 1941.
The Soviet Union, which was “advanced” enough to put a satellite in orbit before the U.S. could, killed some five million Ukrainians during the Holodomor of the 1930s, and Vasily Blokhin, Stalin’s top executioner, personally shot some 7,000 Poles in the Katyn Massacre during World War II – at a rate of one every three minutes.
During Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” an estimated 25 million Chinese died; Pol Pot had nearly half of Cambodia’s population shot in the mid-1970s; and the Turks killed some 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.
The people who carried out these crimes wore the uniforms of their countries and did their duty for their government. The Founders bequeathed us the Second Amendment because they knew perfectly well that the likes of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter; Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter; and Dylann Roof, the accused South Carolina church shooter, could just as easily have ended up wearing the uniform of the SS, the Khmer Rouge, or the NKVD, and done far more damage than they did as private citizens. That’s a lesson we ought not forget as the braying for more gun control begins in the media. (It’s worth noting that the last time the nation’s attention was focused on Charleston was in April, when an unarmed Walter Scott was fatally shot in the back by a police officer wearing a government badge).
If Dylann Roof had hung around that Bible study group long enough to actually learn something, one of the things he would have learned is that Jesus was killed not by a deranged criminal – but by the government.
Recent polling data has indicated that Christianity is in steep decline in America. Perhaps there is a link between the willingness of criminals to commit mass murder and increased atheism – after all, the murderous governments of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Red China, Cambodia, and Ottoman Turkey were all either officially atheist or, in the case of Turkey, non-Christian.
“At some point,” Obama concluded, “it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
Perhaps, Mr. President, the American people need to come to grips with the decline in Christianity instead. The last thing we want to do is emulate all those other “advanced” countries.