Kent Bush: Obama doesn't go far enough on gun control
Many Republicans are concerned about President Barack Obama ripping up the constitution with his executive order on gun control Tuesday.
I am a conservative on many issues. As a guy who bought his first gun at the age of 20 because of my job, I think of myself as a conservative on Second Amendment issues.
However, I am not one of the newly created gun fetishists who worship at the alter of the National Rifle Association – a group that takes advantage of ignorance to line their own pockets while making America less safe and propelling us to No. 1 in the world in gun violence.
Obama’s action does not violate the Second Amendment. In fact, it does very little. Obama’s call for more background checks makes sense on many levels. Anyone who says he is wrong to make these changes is saying that people who cannot pass background checks should be able to have unfettered access to guns. Even FOX News Commentator Bill O’Reilly said the FBI should do a background check on everyone buying a gun. Obama is only slightly to the left of O’Reilly on gun control.
However, mass shootings aren’t always committed by people who bought the guns illegally.
If you want to stop mass shootings, you have to control the number of guns and the amount of ammunition people can buy without being subject to further scrutiny from law enforcement.
As a society, we have limited the right to buy pseudoephedrine because so many hillbillies rot their brains smoking and snorting methamphetamine made from the product. As a society, we changed the rules on how refrigerators are made and how unused units may be stored because a few kids were killed by being trapped inside them.
But, no one will do anything to stop a guy from buying an AR-15 just so he can have one thing in his life that makes him feel like a man. Claiming the Second Amendment allows assault rifles and automatic weapons is the runner up in the dumbest things ever said about the Second Amendment contest. The winner is that gun ownership is a God given right.
It is hard to imagine that Thomas Jefferson was “pro military style weapons” considering black powder rifles were the technology of the day. It would be even harder to find a Bible verse to support owning a product that did not exist when the book was written.
Like beauty, absurdity is in the eye of the beholder.
Presidential candidates like Ted Cruz say they have a “pen with an eraser” and promise to undo the President’s order. Donald Trump says he won’t let anyone take your guns. Even new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan accused the President of shredding the constitution.
If Obama did anything, it was under reach. He didn’t go far enough. I’m sure he was worried about getting challenged in court and tried to put forth reforms that could stand a legal test.
He activated the far right outrage machine and accomplished little in the process. The risk versus reward of his action is out of unbalanced.
Obama’s tone at his press conference to announce the action was as low key as the action itself. He cried when talking about the Newtown shooting that claimed the lives of a couple dozen first graders, but his action Tuesday would not prevent the next one just like it.
“I believe in the Second Amendment,” Obama said. “It’s there written on the paper. It guarantees a right to bear arms. No matter how many times people try to twist my words around - I taught constitutional law. I know a little about this. I get it. But, I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”
That does not sound like a guy with a political agenda or someone who is preparing to take your guns from your cold dead hands.
Instead it sounds like a guy who is trying to do something, anything, to try to stop the constant attacks on our peace and safety by people with high-powered guns and piles of ammunition.
I think we need to allow authorities to track people who have more guns than they have fingers to pull the trigger. If you have 11 or more guns and more ammunition than you can store in a gun closet, you should not mind talking to the police about it.
If you are truly just one of the good guys with guns protecting society from bad guys with guns - and not some thug 12-year-old with a toy gun - you should not mind a visit from a peace officer who wants to know why you need 14 guns and 20,000 rounds of ammo.
I am not even saying we should limit people to 10 guns. We should just make sure we know who has more than that and why they have them. If they aren’t deemed a threat, great. But if police develop suspicions, we should be able to check that out.
Cities limit the number of dogs and cats a person can legally keep in their home as a matter of public safety. Doing the same thing for guns makes sense.
The reaction to Obama’s Executive Order was expected, but the anger should be caused by the fact that he did not go far enough. The Second Amendment protects gun ownership, it doesn’t protect gun owners from background checks or other regulations.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at email@example.com.