President Obama just can't help it
Does President Obama listen to anybody before he goes out and talks about this or that? Or is he on his own? I don't know, but it would help if he edited some of his remarks before making them.
President Obama just missed an opportunity to bring the country together at a time of serious hurt from coast to coast.
Do you remember President Reagan speaking after the Challenger explosion of 1986? Or President Bush after the 2003 spaceship explosion? They delivered healing words that brought the nation together.
President Obama spoke well for a while, and then he dropped the partisan hammer:
Acknowledging the immediate need for mourning and law-enforcement fact-finding, Obama nevertheless wasted no time before looking to Congress, the gun-rights lobby and the American public as part of the decades-long debate about gun violence.
“Let’s be clear,” he said with urgency in his voice. “At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence … doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”
President Obama did not say what he had in mind, or what something he would propose to Congress. After all, we remind you that he had 60, 59, and 54 Democrats in the U.S. Senate and couldn't pass any gun control laws.
He also didn't take any questions to follow up on those comments that it "doesn't happen in other places."
I am not an expert on international mass killings. However, let me share a couple of thoughts:
1) Mexico and Central America have seen serious violence over the last decade. It's cartel-related, as we've posted before. The numbers are outrageous, and these countries have gun control laws. Mexico is full of guns, but there are laws against having guns. Go figure!
2) I was happy to read David Harsanyi. He reminded President Obama of a few mass killings:
Parlez vous Hebdo? Because surely the president recalls that in January of this year two gunmen entered the office of a satirical magazine in France with an assortment of guns and murdered 11 people (and injured 11 more). After leaving, they killed a police officer. And in a marketplace catering to Jews another five were murdered and 11 wounded. France is, allegedly, an advanced country, is it not? Perhaps if Obama had attended the anti-terror rally in Paris like every other leader of advanced countries did, his recollection would be sharper.
It take only takes some quick research to discover that rampage killers, acts of terror (as the Charleston shooting most certainly is), school attacks, spree killers are not unique to the United States.
Maybe someone in the media will get out of the tank and challenge President Obama's remarks. Or maybe someone will ask Secretary Clinton a similar question, since she said something about gun control, too.
I have no idea why this young man committed this awful crime. Nevertheless, I expect our president to back off the partisan stuff and let the nation heal.
Yes, we need a serious conversation about this latest mass killing in the U.S. However, the topic has to be more than guns. Let's talk about mental health and the number of people walking around who shouldn't be.
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