President Obama signals quiet surrender on gun control

by Ken Hanson

This past Presidential election, gun owners had much cause for concern. John McCain, a lukewarm gun supporter or gun banner, depending upon the day, was running against eventual winner Obama, a former member of the Joyce Foundation board of directors, the Joyce foundation being a leading financial supporter of gun control activism.

Since that time, President Obama has surprised his suitors by signing more pro-gun legislation in one year than Bush 43 signed in eight years. This earned him a solid "F" rating from the Brady groups, and others disappointed that the black helicopters were not immediately dispatched against gun owners upon his ascension.

In a laughably ineffectual gesture towards his gun control base, President Obama this week published an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, some two months after the shooting of a congresswoman in Arizona. In this op-ed, our President, the supposed, hoped-for new leader on gun control, took the radical positions that we should 1.) enforce current laws, 2.) encourage states to report their own data to the NICS system (i.e. criminal convictions and mental disability adjudications) and 3.) make our current "instant check" system somehow more, um, instant.

Take his name off the byline, and you'd have trouble separating Obama's op-ed from NRA talking point memos.

The fact that president Obama is reduced to mere spin-parroting of the positions of pro-gun groups is an important indicator for 2012. Two years into his term, in the face of stern rebuking from gun control groups that zealously supported him, the best he comes up with is an echo of an NRA press release.

And the fact that his pro-gun control sycophants in the national media are all breathless with his "bold call to action" in the area of gun control leads me to believe that President Obama actually understands what pro-gun activists understand - there is no up-side to gun control. Despite Time, Newsweek and Associated Press editorials to the contrary, this op-ed was not the opening salvo in a new gun control offensive.

The President's op-ed was, instead, a "shoo fly" gesture to the gun control extreme wing of his party. "You NRA types better shape up, or I shall write a (sort of) angry letter to small, regional newspaper."

At least someone on the far-left understands the all-cost no-benefit calculus of gun control. We now wait to see if Republicans in Ohio's General Assembly understand the same message.

Ken Hanson is a gun rights attorney in Ohio. He serves as the Legislative Chair for Buckeye Firearms Association, and is the attorney of record for Buckeye Firearms Foundation, which filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases. The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has awarded him with its 2008 Defender of Justice Award and 2009 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award. He is the author of The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws, a certified firearms instructor and holds a Type 01 Federal Firearms License.

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