Obama announces he'll “leave no stone unturned” in seeking new measures to reduce gun violence in wake of Colorado mass murder

by Chad D. Baus and Jim Irvine

Ask any politically-minded gun owner who stays abreast of current events why they believe Barack Obama is anti-gun, and they will quickly respond with a litany of reasons, dating from his days in Illinois as a state senator and Joyce Foundation board member, as well as his days in the U.S. Senate. Most will also be able to rattle off examples of President Obama's anti-gun appointments, policy moves, and end with a lesson on the BATFE's Fast & Furious scandal. For the well-informed, Obama's status as a vehement gun ban extremist is without question.

Average Americans, however, and perhaps even too many average gun owners, don't visit Second Amendment-related websites like BuckeyeFirearms.org. They think they are members of the NRA simply because they bought an annual membership a few decades ago. They're they type of people who get fooled into answering a Mayors Against Illegal Guns poll's leading questions in such a way as to make it sound like "NRA members" support "common-sense" gun control.

For those people, the fact that Obama hasn't signed any gun control legislation means he isn't a threat to their gun rights.

It is those people who Obama is talking to when he says addresses the Aurora, CO spree killing with the following:

"A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."

As he so often does, Obama is setting up a false dilemma to trick the more naive among us. Wikipedia notes this tactic is also called a false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses. It's a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

Under the false choice Obama is presenting, if we don't want AK-47s in the hands of criminals, the only choice is to support gun control laws that are designed to ensure they are only in the hands of soldiers. If we don't want AK-47s on our streets, the only choice is to support gun control laws that are designed to ensure they can only be found on the battlefield of war.

But those aren't the only two options, and despite Mr. Obama's hopes, most Americans are smart enough to know it. A third option - the one that informed Americans support - is to protect law-abiding citizens' right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Let's face it - to those in the Aurora movie theater, Virginia Tech's Norris Hall, Waco's Luby's Restaurant, or the next mass killing event - they are "on the battlefield of war." The question is, who do you want to win that war? Disarm everyone else - something Barack Obama has been fighting for his entire political career - and you ensure the mass killer wins. Allow the intended victims their right to arm themselves, and you have the potential to stop mass murderers before the police arrive, such as has occurred in New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, schools in Pearl, MS and Edinboro, PA, and colleges like the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. You could see quick action to stop attacks in busy downtowns such as Memphis; at a mall in Salt Lake City, or at an apartment building in Oklahoma. (See John Lott's excellent op-ed "Concealed weapons save lives" for more on how massacres are stopped by legally armed citizens.)

We can't prevent the killing from starting. It will happen again, in this country, before the end of this year. The questions that need answered are, 'When do you want the killing to stop?' and 'How will the policy that you have in place increase the likelihood that an active killer is stopped quickly?'

Jim Irvine and Chad D. Baus are the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.

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