Politics

Conservative Websites Falsely Claim Obama Complained About U.S. Constitution

| by Michael Allen
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Several conservative websites distorted President Obama's comments about gun control and the U.S. Constitution this week.

According to MediaMatters.org, President Obama gave a speech this week in Colorado to rally support for stronger federal gun control laws. His speech including the following statement:

The opponents of some of these common-sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what's being proposed and nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government.

You hear some of these quotes: "I need a gun to protect myself from the government."  "We can't do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away."

Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. (Applause.) They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It's a government of and by and for the people.

And so, surely, we can have a debate that's not based on the notion somehow that your elected representatives are trying to do something to you other than potentially prevent another group of families from grieving the way the families of Aurora or Newtown or Columbine have grieved.

On April 4, FoxNews.com falsely claimed that President Obama had complained he was "constrained by the Constitution" by grabbing this line "I am constrained, as they are constrained."

FoxNews.com linked to an article from Glenn Beck's website TheBlaze.com, which used the dramatic and distorted headline: "Obama: Gun Control Won't Lead to Confiscation Because 'I Am Constrained by a System Our Founders Put in Place.'"

Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro jumped to enormous conclusions in his article, which read in part: "The natural inference [of Obama's remarks] seems to be that if it were not for the Constitution, Obama would indeed pursue a federal gun seizure. Like the villain at the end of every Scooby Doo cartoon, Obama's offhand protest suggests that if it weren't for those darn kids, he would have gotten away with it. Except that the kids are the founders, and 'it' is massive gun control."

However, President Obama never said he wanted to pursue "federal gun seizure" and never complained about the U.S. Constitution from preventing him from confiscating guns. He was simply explaining how the laws work in the U.S.

Source: MediaMatters.org, FoxNews.com, TheBlaze.com, Breitbart.com