President Barack Obama cannot resist making speeches about gun control. In his remarks at the Navy Yard memorial service Sunday, Obama lamented that he cannot implement changes in gun control laws all on his own.
In remarks to service members and their families who packed the bleachers in the barracks about two and a half blocks from where the killings took place last week, Mr. Obama vowed that he would not accept inaction after the latest in a string of mass shootings during his presidency.
But the president appeared exasperated with the political system that he leads, admitting that changes in the nation’s gun laws “will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington.” He acknowledged that his previous effort to pass new gun laws had failed, but he did not specifically call for a new political battle, saying change would come only when Americans decide they have had enough.
The question is not, he said, “whether as Americans we care in moments of tragedy. Clearly we care. Our hearts are broken again. The question is do we care enough?”
“It ought to be a shock to all of us, as a nation and a people,” he said. “It ought to obsess us. It ought to lead to some sort of transformation.”
“Transformation.” Someone should get Obama on the record outlining just what such a “transformation” would entail.
From what we know about the Navy Yard shooting, the killer was mentally unstable yet was granted a security clearance by Obama’s government which enabled him to access the base. None of his previous firearms-related run-ins with the law were deemed sufficient to flag him during his background check to purchase the shotgun he used in the killings.
Obama could enact meaningful change if he truly wanted to. The Navy Yard was a gun free zone because Democrats decreed that all US stateside military facilities should be gun free zones, depriving law-abiding military men and women their right to defend themselves. Obama could change that, today, right now, without Congress. But he will not.
Barack Obama’s government calls the previous rampage at a military installation “workplace violence.” How about transforming that designation, now that he is safely re-elected, to the truth, which is that Fort Hood was a terrorist attack? He chooses no to do that, too, robbing the victims of a measure of justice.
Both the Navy Yard and Fort Hood massacres were directly facilitated by the designation of military bases as gun free zones. Both were only ended when armed force stopped the killers. Fort Hood was facilitated by a politically correct policy of turning a blind eye to Islamist extremism. That policy is, if anything, accelerating across Obama’s government.
Instead of taking action to lift the ban on private carry of guns by US military members on bases, Obama promised gun control supporters that somewhere out there is another tragedy that more effective politicians than himself will use to destroy the Second Amendment.
The president on Sunday did not specifically pledge to try again, noting that “the politics are difficult, as we saw this spring.” But he sought to reassure supporters of gun control measures that they would be successful, eventually, because of the grief that tragedies like the Navy Yard shooting produce.
“It may not happen tomorrow and it may not happen next week and it may not happen next month,” he said. “But it will happen, because it’s the change we need.”