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Pros and cons of Obama's Town hall on Guns

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posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 09:24 AM
I know there is a thread on the Obama gun control townhall, and if the mods need to delete this that is fine, but that one seemed to focus on Obama ending gun control myths, and I have not seen one that dissected exactly what was dealt with at it and therefore wanted to give my opinion on the event.

I watched the entire event, and about an hour and a half of CNN’c coverage afterwards, and here are my thoughts on what I saw.

The Good:
1. I do not care for CNN, but I thought that they and Anderson Cooper specifically did a good job of approaching the issue from both sides of the argument. There were questioners that both agreed and disagreed with Obama, and I thought that many of Cooper’s questions were actually rather difficult. I know that this was invitation only and that many people had a problem with that, but this is such a heated issue that to allow everyone in would have been chaos.

2. Regardless of my opinions on Obama, I have to commend him for putting himself out there in this type of format. I did not feel the questions were scripted, and it was nice to see the President’s thoughts without a teleprompter. Even when I didn’t like what he was saying, it at least felt like I was getting insight into what he believed more so than his usual scripted appearances.

3. I thought that Obama answered most of the questioners respectfully, even the ones that disagreed with him. I saw many people on CNN afterwards saying they were offended by some of the things he said to those he disagreed with, but I think that is rubbish. I for one am tired of the constant rallying to be offended by anything, and I thought that even though I disagreed with what Obama was saying at many points, it came nowhere close to offending me.

The Bad:
1. There seems to be three areas of concern that Obama was bringing up that prompted his Executive Action. These were mass shootings, other gun violence (particularly inner city), and suicide and gun safety.

To start with the mass shootings, Obama had no good response to the fact that his actions would not have stopped one of the recent events. His response was just we have to do something. This seems like nonsense to me for two reasons.

First just taking an action that is ineffective because it makes us feel good stymies real action that could be effective. We could be looking at psychotropic drugs and changing them to stop these shootings, or changing how we fight terrorism, or even training people for defense in these situations. There could be many other solutions, but as long as we are just doing feel good ineffective plans none of this will be done.

The second reason his policy is a bad idea is that in addition to not solving any problems with mass shooters, there are many problems it creates. The first is that it is a red herring (in my opinion) and that it will lead to more gun control measures that actually do nothing to stop these shootings and affect our 2nd Amendment rights (I’ll get to that more later).

It also sets even more of a precedent for expanded executive power. I know that executive actions have existed and been used before this, but not in this high profile of an area. Even if you are for increased gun control, mark my words, you will rue the day when someone you disagree with becomes President and starts using executive authority to do what they want.

2. On suicides: It was mentioned that 2/3rds of all gun death in the US every year is from suicide and Obama says we need to fix that. There is no evidence that these people are killing themselves with illegal guns. How will background checks, etc. stop this? The implied answer is that there should be less guns, or less people with guns.

Instead of taking away the implement of suicide, shouldn’t we be addressing the reason people want to kill themselves? Obama correctly asserts that white people kill themselves the most, but incorrectly alludes to the fact that young people are more at risk. In fact according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention the elderly are by far the most likely to commit suicide, and teens are among the lowest at risk.
Perhaps we should figure out why these people are killing themselves and fix that problem instead of grandstanding about guns. My guess is that a lot of these deaths are for financial reasons, therefore we should focus on stopping the decimation of the middle class to help prevent these suicides.

3. On inner city and other gun violence: Obama says his actions will help because people are buying vans of guns at gun shows and then selling them to kids in the inner city. After the townhall, I watched CNN coverage, and at one point a person against Obama’s measures asked a prosecutor for these measures if in all of her years as a prosecutor she has ever heard of even one case of this happening. She answered no.

I actually have no problem with making people that are unofficial dealers that make a living selling guns repeatedly register. The question is how many guns do you have to sell in order to be defined as a dealer. Obama’s answer to that question was that they will look at it on a case by case basis. That is incredibly scary. This to me says that anyone selling even one gun can be under the microscope, and if he or his appointees deem it acceptable then you will be left alone. This is not how laws are meant to be applied. People are already freaked out by Obama and his administrations apparent selective application and enforcement of laws as is (IRS and immigration comes to mind) so this serves to freak people out even more.

4. Obama shrugs off questions about why we don’t just enforce the laws already on the books. He says that the same people that say that are the ones in congress that won’t fund law enforcement. This is a cop out. First, Obama got just about everything he wanted in the new Omnibus bill (which is the budget that passed). He could have asked for more ATF funding or law enforcement funding that his executive actions entail, but he chose not to. In fact, much of the rhetoric coming from Obama lately has angered much of the law enforcement community.

Many people problems (myself included) with Obama’s actions is that it targets law abiding people, but does nothing to the people that are actually doing the killing. Why not harsher penalties for people caught with illegal firearms? In fact, convictions for illegal guns has decreased steadily under Obama.

Despite the fact that guns are being bought at record pace across the US, gun crimes and all violent crimes are significantly declining (which Obama admits). Only in select inner city areas like Chicago, Detroit and others are gun crimes actually up. This suggests to me that the problem isn’t guns but something else. To me it seems it is not politically convenient for Obama to deal with inner city gang violence and other issues, so it is much easier to throw out the red herring of guns being the problem.

(continued below)

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 09:26 AM
(continued from above)

5. This to me is the biggest point that I have not seen addressed anywhere. Obama makes fun of conspiracy theorist who think that he is coming to take their guns away. He says this is just a small reasonable action he is taking and nothing more. However, he cannot contain himself throughout the whole townhall meeting of suggesting he wants to go further.

A woman who was raped asked him why he would make it harder for her to get a gun to protect herself. He responds his executive action would not make it more difficult for her. He could have left it there. Instead, he starts on about how actually her having a gun may have made it more likely she would have been hurt more or killed. The implication here is you shouldn’t have a gun.

Then a preacher suggests every gun should be registered like cars. Obama says it would be difficult but agrees, and goes off on how we do what we can to make all other products safe, so why not guns. He ignores when a sheriff points out that those other products are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

He never responds at all to Anderson Cooper mentioning to him that people are afraid he will come for guns because he has routinely praised Australia’s gun policies.

When you take this in conjunction with Obama and his administration’s actions on health care, where Obama said he semantically meant something different when he said “if you like your plan you can keep it” and where one of the writers of the bill said that they had to lie to the American people because they know what is best for them, and it seems like to many gun supporters that this is just a first step to more gun control laws.

Considering Obama’s rhetoric in this debate and his past justifications for (to put it politely) stretching the truth, I too am worried this is just the first step in a greater plan. Obama says he will be gone in a year, but that doesn’t mean that this couldn’t be part of his party (or others) agenda. Obama can make fun of “conspiracy theorists” all he wants, but it is his lying and abuse of executive authority that has given credence to many of these theories.

Overall, I thought that although I appreciated Obama and CNN”s, efforts, I came away being more skeptical of Obama’s executive actions than I already was. Having said that, I would definitely be open to hearing opinions that felt the opposite of me, or any other for that matter.

edit on 8-1-2016 by Grambler because: typo

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 09:38 AM
He is doing his damndest to appear relevant in what he perceives to be any relevant way...misguided as he may be. Fact is he is a dud and screwed up every step of the way. He needs to resign and go play golf.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 09:38 AM
Well thought out and written.

My own belief is close to yours so you won't hear much opposition from me...although I just think that no matter the method, people will kill people. Registering guns only makes a giant database to be exploited in the future. Our data is more important today than ever before because of monetary gains.

Funny...alcohol kills more people every year than guns. So does heart disease and cancer. But that isn't the agenda.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:31 AM
a reply to: Grambler

good synopsis.

0bama lied and stammered more than any other time I have choked down watching him flap his mouth.

He contradicted himself numerous times, even in the same breathe. Look at the exact response to the rape victim.

Will the fed Govt beat down doors gabbing people's guns?? Tomorrow? No, not yet at least.

Are they slowly working their way to regulate firearms out of the hands of US citizens?? Yep.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 10:55 AM
a reply to: Grambler

Thank you for an excellent recap and analysis. I wasn't able to watch it all, so I appreciate it! For the most part, I agree with the concerns you brought up.

I would only add one more. I see the gun control issue as being part of a much larger issue; namely, to make us dependent on government in every possible way. The weapon of choice is fear -- fear of our fellow man. From healthcare to food to guns. We aren't smart enough, capable enough, or honest enough to take care of ourselves, and we need government to do it for us. The problem, of course, is that once we give government that level of control and power, whatever government can do for us, they can do to us... or do nothing at all.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that law enforcement has absolutely no obligation to protect us... and yet, the government wants to take away our ability to protect ourselves (including from rogue law enforcement). We have no "right" to healthcare, and government increasingly limits our ability to obtain healthcare from others. We have no "right" to grow/raise our own food, and government continues to limit our choices in obtaining food from others. And so on and so forth...

No good can come from limiting our ability to take care of ourselves, especially when the only efforts to "help" do exactly that, and absolutely nothing to empower us to take care of ourselves.

If I had my druthers, self-defense and firearm training would be standard curriculum for all students in all public schools -- among many other skills that would help prepare our kids for the "real" world. Making us all helpless and defenseless just makes us all helpless and defenseless -- not just against the thugs and criminals in society, but the thugs and criminals in government.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:45 PM
a reply to: Grambler

I have been logged out for a while, as I found myself getting to "fired up" in some of my responses regarding this issue in its prior incarnations. First off, thank you for a well written, well thought out and as far as I can see an unbiased appraisal of the "Town Hall" meeting on CNN.

I am fully in your court in regards this particular topic. I feel Mr. Obama is being disingenuous and that this particular set of actions will have no effect on young children getting guns in the inner city, or halting suicides. Gangs have entirely different avenues for getting guns, there is a well known decades long black market for firearms that spans the globe. I really want to see the incontrovertible proof that people actually go to gun shows, buy up van loads of guns and then sell them to 13 year old kids for a price they can afford. Has he been to a gun show? the prices are not cheap, in fact guns hold their value quite well and I'm pretty sure 13 year old inner city kids aren't coughing up 400 bucks for a gun. The statement that they're getting them cheaper than they could a school book and then relating that to gun shows is absurd. The only thing you can get a really good deal on at a gun show is reloads if you ask me, and frankly I avoid buying any rounds from someone I don't know extremely well...just not prudent.

Suicidal people?...look they opt for what they have to accomplish the end (no pun intended). Again, should we get rid of, or have back ground checks for buying cars? Quite a few people use carbon monoxide to do the of my friends did years ago (very very sad). None of his arguments hold any water and his constant references to Australia truly show his hand if you ask me.

He is not an honest man, I guess that is the reason I have found myself disliking him as a human as much, perhaps more than I did George W.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:48 PM
a reply to: macman

Will the fed Govt beat down doors gabbing people's guns?? Tomorrow? No, not yet at least.

Did he really say not yet ??

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:51 PM
a reply to: wildb
No, but it is what is being worked towards.

Or, just policy pushed over the next 40 years.

posted on Jan, 8 2016 @ 04:54 PM

originally posted by: macman
a reply to: wildb
No, but it is what is being worked towards.

Or, just policy pushed over the next 40 years.

It is there goal, they are already doing it, it started with the Vet's, then ACA, it will spill over to something else and over time they will get what they want. That or another civil war..

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