President Barack Obama has just released a video in which he makes a moral plea to the American people: “If you think that checking someone’s criminal record before he can check out a gun show is common sense, you've got to make yourself heard. If you’re a responsible, law-abiding gun owner who wants to keep irresponsible, law-breaking individuals from abusing the right to bear arms by inflicting harm on a massive scale, speak up.”
Just yesterday, during the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ Day to Demand Action, Obama met with gun control advocates and victims of gun violence at the White House to discuss guns in the US.
Obama’s speech hinged on the moral argument. Democrats are already promoting a bill that would require universal background checks on all gun sales, and the United Nations is set to vote on the Arms Trade Treaty, so gun control legislation is already in the works. Obama’s strategy in the video is to make appeals to common sense, emotions, and to throw in a dash of guilt.
He told viewers, “Less than 100 days ago [the Sandy Hook shooting] happened, and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we've forgotten.”
Few gun rights advocates, if any, have forgotten the shooting. They’ve been fighting to subdue the flurry of gun control sentiment that followed the shooting ever since.
Obama’s speech has already provoked criticism from the gun community. One of the top comments on the YouTube page reads, “Liar-in-chief. All quoted statistics are lies. How dare you!” Also, GOP Senators took to Twitter to express their distaste over Obama’s speech. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) wrote, “I am committed to work w/ Sens. Paul, Lee, Rubio & Inhofe to protect constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.” Senator Roy Blunt (MO) agreed: “I won’t support Pres Obama's proposals that infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights & fail to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook.”
Of course, there are still plenty of Americans who stand with the President. Another YouTube commenter wrote, “If your first reaction to the Sandy Hook Newtown, CT tragedy was to think: oh SH*T, President Obama is going to try to take away my guns - then your priorities as a human being s*ck.”