Appearing on the Laura Ingraham Show Thursday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spoke plainly about the man in the White House.
“He is feeling right now high on his own power, and he is pushing on every front, on guns,” Sen. Cruz said. “And I think it’s really sad to see the president of the United States exploiting the murder of children and using it to push his own extreme, anti-gun agenda. I think what the president is proposing and the gun control proposals that are coming from Democrats in the Senate are, number one, unconstitutional, and number two, they don’t work. They’re bad policy.” Cruz added that Obama has drunk his own gun control Kool-Aid, and will pay a political price for coming after law-abiding gun owners.
Cruz has become a major conservative leader in his first month in the Senate, taking Obama on directly while other Republican leaders fail to respond. In this case, Cruz is saying what an awful lot of people are thinking: That Obama’s re-election has gone to his head, and that he is exploiting the Newtown tragedy to push a gun control regime that he has wanted to push for years.
The fact is, despite the horrors of Newtown and Aurora, we do not have a national gun violence crisis. Gun ownership has increased over the past few years, while at the same time, gun violence has gone down. Gun violence now accounts for less than one percent of all deaths in the United States. A hammer is more likely to be used as a murder weapon than a rifle is. But mass killings generate headlines, which serve Obama’s interests in pushing gun control.
There is, meanwhile, a murder crisis in Obama’s hometown and power base, Chicago. That city has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet suffered 500 murders in 2012 and is on pace for more than 700 this year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has no answer for this. Neither does Barack Obama. Most of those murders involved guns, but they also involved gangs. Perhaps cracking down on illegal gangs, rather than legal guns, is the answer.