Headline: "Gun control a top goal of Obama second term"

Politico.com is reporting that John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is suggesting that Barack Obama is laying the foundation to push an ambitious gun control agenda if he wins a second term.

According to the article, Bolton is accusing the administration of using its own failures in the war against Mexican drug cartels as a pretext for more gun control.

From the article:

"We can understand that, as he likes to say, he's playing the long game, and that 'leading from behind' means waiting until he's elected to a second term when he faces no further political constraints and his true agenda can come to the floor," Bolton told thousands of gun owners at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting here. "And I believe right at the top of it is [to] increase gun control at the federal level and at the international level."

Bolton focused much of his 11-minute speech on the collapse of order in Mexico, which he worries will continue to spill across the border like a conveyor belt. He cited estimates of 35,000 to 40,000 drug-related homicides in the last five years in Mexico, spoke of how dangerous tourist areas have become and noted recent State Department travel warnings.

"If it weren't for our demand, the supply wouldn't be there and the drug cartels wouldn't be there. But the administration in as cynical a political move as I think we've seen in Washington in a long time –and that's saying something–is using this crisis in Mexico and the use of drugs in our own country not to combat the illicit narcotics but to use it as a foundation to argue for stricter gun controls at the federal level in our country," he said.

Bolton reportedly faulted the administration for having an incoherent foreign policy, but noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been more honest about the situation in Mexico.

"When they do talk about what's happening in Mexico, our government, our White House follows the Mexican line by saying that the real problem of drug-related violence in Mexico is caused by guns that have come illegally across the U.S.-Mexican border," he said.

"This is something that is music to the ears of the gun control advocates in this country," he added, "because they can say, 'See, actually, it's our lack of gun controls, our lack of enforcement, that's the real cause of the problem. So stiffer gun controls in the United States will solve the problem of drug violence in Mexico and prevent it from coming here.'"

Bolton argued that while some guns used by the gangs in Mexico do come from the United States, "the bulk of those guns" originated from corrupt police and military officials or were procured in the international weapons market.

"The idea that what's going on in Mexico is somehow our fault because of lax gun control laws here is exactly the kind of subterfuge that the Obama administration would like to carry forward in the near future to get stronger gun control laws here," Boltson[sic] said, "and it will provide a foundation for their argument (on) why the United States will have to enter into, in short order, the United Nations-negotiated arms trade treaty."

Bolton noted that there's a draft circulating of that treaty, which gun control advocates have long wanted the U.S. to sign onto.

"This particular draft is a lot less onerous than it could be," he said. "It just raises the question of whether they want to hurry this draft through to completion to try and get it considered by the Senate before the next election or whether they're putting it out as a placeholder for negotiations to be concluded after President Obama wins his next term in office because that's what they're looking for."

Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, praised Bolton's time as ambassador to the UN under George W. Bush.

"When the United Nations wanted to restrict the rights of law abiding Americans to own firearms, this man reminded them that, in the United States, the right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable," Cox said of Bolton. "He told the UN that they must conform to our Constitution, not the other way around."

Recently, anti-gun activist Sarah Brady told The Washington Post that President Barack Obama is committed to stealth gun control.

Discussing a March 30 meeting between Brady, her husband Jim and White House Press secretary Jay Carney, The Post reports:

During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, "to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda," she said.

"I just want you to know that we are working on it," Brady recalled the president telling them. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

In the meeting, she said, Obama discussed how records get into the system and what can be done about firearms retailers. Her husband specifically brought up the proposed ban on large magazine clips, and she noted that even former vice president Dick Cheney had suggested that some restrictions on the clips might make sense.

"He just laughed," Sarah Brady said approvingly of the president. Both she and her husband, she emphasized, had absolute confidence that the president was committed to regulation.

But as gun blogger David Codrea observed in his coverage of the meeting, "Obama coyly discussing 'processes...under the radar" directly contradicts a campaign pledge further documented via an official White House memorandum:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

"There is nothing transparent, open or participatory about maneuvers to exercise control over unalienable rights, Codrea continued. "The entire purpose of being 'under the radar' is to escape detection.

"For the administration to continue an 'under the radar' gun policy points to directed practices very different from its public promises. But it does give insight into how another stealth program, "Project Gunwalker," was allowed and encouraged, and why accusations of stonewalling continue to be made by both Senate and House investigators.

"And it raises a legitimate question," Codrea observed. "f the president has no qualms about going 'under the radar' on processes affecting individual liberties articulated in the Bill of Rights, in what other areas of vital national importance is he deliberately advancing his agenda outside of public scrutiny?"

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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