Just before Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law pivotal gun control legislation, President Barack Obama and gun rights advocates exchanged a volley of harsh rhetoric.
President Obama criticized – or “mocked” as Examiner writer Joe Newby would call it – the arguments of gun rights advocates. Obama said, “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. 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.”
Reporter Ben Shapiro observed, “In [Obama’s] odd vision, Germany, Italy, and Spain remained liberal democracies throughout the twentieth century, World War II never happened, and Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and Turkey are all thriving centers of freedom.”
It’s difficult to say whether or not Americans would truly be able to use guns to defend themselves against tyrannical US politicians and martial law, but it is nonetheless true that democratically elected governments are not necessarily just.
Obama’s somewhat odd word choice, saying that he is “constrained” by the Constitution, gives gun rights advocates pause. Shapiro added, “The natural inference seems to be that if it were not for the Constitution, Obama would indeed pursue a federal gun seizure.”
Of course, in the most literal sense, Obama did not misspeak. The Constitution details what the government can’t do, not what citizens can do. It is an inherently constraining document that prevents politicians from overstepping their bounds.
Based on these gun rights advocates' disapproval of Obama, the problem isn’t so much that Obama supports gun control – most people know that already – it’s that Obama would apparently leap at the chance to pass restrictive gun control laws despite his own admission that the Constitution prohibits it.
Gun rights advocates certainly don’t agree with Obama’s gun control stance and his apparent distaste for the Second Amendment, but gun rights advocates have to give him this much: at least he’s being honest.