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Did Obama Use Kids As Political Props?

Obama Guns Speech

Even before he took to the podium this morning, many people on the right were angry with President Obama. Not simply because of the details of the gun control plan that had started to leak out as early as last night, but because, as announced late yesterday, the President would be speaking to a group that included children who had written him after the Newtown shootings as well as families of victims and survivors from Newtown. Indeed, during his speech today, the President mentioned many of the Newtown victims and survivors who were in the audience by name, and his speech included excerpts from the letters from each of the four children who had joined him on the stage along with Vice-President Biden. The criticism essentially boiled down to the idea that the President was using the children, and the memory of the victims of Newtown, as a political prop to advance his agenda and several people seemed offended at the very idea of including children in political events whatever the issue. However, as National Journal’s Matthew Cooper notes, children and politics have long gone together:

 

For as long as politicians have been kissing babies, they’ve been using kids for political advantage. So what is the best, right way to use children in a political debate?

That seems particularly salient this week, now that the NRA has released its ad calling the president an “elitist” for having his “kids”—it didn’t say daughters—protected by arms while being “skeptical” about armed guards in schools. For his part, Obama invited children to help promote his plan to curb gun violence. On Wednesday the president had four of them join him on stage—representatives of the large numbers of children who wrote the White House following the Newtown massacre. And next week, marchers—many of them young people bused in by school and church groups—opposed to Roe v. Wade will march on Washington to protest the 40-year-old ruling.

Every parent, every person has to decide what you consider untoward and inappropriate. If you put your child in a Reelect Mayor Quimby shirt, that’s your business, of course.

(…)

Putting Kids Onstage. It’s an honor and the memory of a lifetime to be on stage with the president, as four young Americans were on Wednesday. And their parents surely supported it. So who’s to complain—especially since the issue at hand is protecting children from gun violence? It’s not like you’re putting them out there for tax reform.

Still, it was awkward when the president had them on stage on Wednesday. Somehow, to enlist children—to essentially use them as props, albeit with their parents’ consent—to support nearly two dozen executive orders and legislative proposals on gun control seems questionable. It seemed less questionable when the vice president cited one of the Virginia Tech shooting survivors who was in the audience and who still has bullet fragments in him. There, you’re at least dealing with an adult.

It’s always a delicate situation when any politician utilizes victims of a tragedy to make a political point, more so when you’re dealing with children. It’s very easy to go overboard and appear to be exploiting a senseless tragedy for political gain, or to be accused of “waiving the bloody shirt.” Indeed, the none too subtle message of the President’s event today appeared to be if you don’t agree with me, you want more children like this to die. Nonetheless, I think most of the criticism of Obama’s use of children at his event today was wildly overblown. For one thing, this wasn’t the first time that a President has surrounded himself with children to advance a policy initiative. It’s something that President’s of modern vintage have done quite frequently since the Reagan Administration. Pointing to this event as if it’s something new is simply disingenuous. Second of all, it’s not like these kids were forced to appear. They were invited by the White House and their parents consented. If it’s okay with the parents, then I’m not sure it’s my place or anyone else’s to say that it’s inappropriate. 

There’s are plenty of lines involving children in politics that ought not to be crossed. The National Rifle Association crossed that line today with the ad that they released regarding the President’s daughters, in my opinion, and I’d say it’s generally the case that any time a politician’s family members is brought into a race it’s usually inappropriate. In this particular case, though, I don’t particularly see what the President did wrong, especially since it’s something that politicians have been doing for quite a long time now.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    I don’t particularly see what the President did wrong, especially since it’s something that politicians have been doing for quite a long time now.

    Actually, I think he put these children and their families in danger. We already know that Michelle Malkin and the rest of the stalker psychos that make up the right wing blogosphere will go after these kids’ families, as they always do when an ordinary citizen steps forward to support policy that wingnuts oppose. Add in that this issue is a major gun nut magnet, and you have a recipe for disaster. Malkin is probably getting ready to publish their home addresses and send out her mignons to “investigate” them now.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

  2. stonetools says:

    In the end,the best chance for passing his legislative proposal is to put a human face on what he is trying to do. If he keeps it at the level of abstract discussion about “rights”, he would be playing into the NRA’s hands. He needs to keep reminding the public and legislators that children’s lives are at stake. Indeed, so long as the discussion is about how to prevent another Sandy Hook, he is on safe ground.
    The NRA has already gave away the high ground by an ad targeting Obama’s kids, anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In general Doug, I agree. But I do have a quibble with this:

    Indeed, the none too subtle message of the President’s event today appeared to be if you don’t agree with me, you want more children like this to die.

    I think what he is saying is, “Our children is what this is about and doing nothing is no longer acceptable.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  4. Paul L. says:

    ’d say it’s generally the case that any time a politician’s family members is brought into a race it’s usually inappropriate.

    Unless it is Dave Letterman attacking that witch Sarah Palin and her slutty children.
    Or the Bush twins partying.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 28

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    The criticism essentially boiled down to the idea that the President was using the children, and the memory of the victims of Newtown, as a political prop to advance his agenda

    So the criticism is that the president was using the memory of the victims of a massacre to advance his agenda of…preventing future massacres.

    Well…what’s wrong with that? That’s like criticizing, say, Jewish organizations for using the memory of the victims of the Holocaust to advance their agenda of preventing future Holocausts. Or course you want to reference the victims of something you’re trying to protect the victims from.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  6. mantis says:

    @Paul L.:

    Unless it is Dave Letterman attacking that witch Sarah Palin and her slutty children.

    Apparently you’re too stupid to even read the links you post, since that one was of James criticizing Letterman. From the link:

    Way over the line. Even if the butt of the jokes was Alex Rodriguez. Kids are off limits. Period.

    So Paul, did you just ignore the content of the post, or do you not understand the meaning of the word “unless?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  7. Just Me says:

    The easy answer is that yes Obama was using children as political props.

    Politicians and other groups have done so for years-much of what government chooses to do is often “for the children” and Obama isn’t any different in this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    To further my point, did anyone think it strange when Mothers Against Drunk Driving used the memory of their children who had been killed by drunk driving to further their political agenda of preventing drunk driving?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  9. Tyrell says:

    It always bothers me that the only time you will see a politician in a school is near election time with photographers. They are there long enough to get their picture taken then they are gone.
    I think that it is a fair point that many politicians have their children in schools that are fortresses of security. I could not afford that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. rudderpedals says:

    Even before he took to the podium this morning, many people on the right were angry with President Obama.

    Angry mad people on the right stole warm bodies from the grave to hammer today’s event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  11. ernieyeball says:

    Did Obama use Kids as Political Props?

    Yes he did! So what?
    He shoud have made his appeal in front of the open caskets of the bullet riddled (bullets shot from guns) bodies of the slain innocents.

    Then there is this:
    http://www.georgelois.com/pages/Esquire/Esq.calley.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    Two themes of the gun-grabbers are “no one needs a large-capacity magazine” and “no one should ever have a gun in a house with small children.”

    To counter this, perhaps the NRA should bring out the Georgia mother who emptied her gun into the intruder, then had to bluff that the gun was still loaded to get past him with her two small children.

    A larger-capacity magazine would have meant she wouldn’t have had to hope her bluff worked, and since she had two small children in her home, a lot of people would say she was almost criminally irresponsible for having the gun in the house at all.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 21

  13. ernieyeball says:

    Well Jenos. You and your NRA buddies are willing to sacrifice the lives of 6 and 7 year old school children so any fuking lunatic can have access to guns to kill children with…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  14. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail:

    To counter this, perhaps the NRA should bring out the Georgia mother who emptied her gun into the intruder, then had to bluff that the gun was still loaded to get past him with her two small children.

    Indeed, I expect them to do this. It can’t beat the emotional punch of 20 dead children and 6 dead teachers, though. Its the problem with gun lobby optics in this case-dead kids trump all.

    BTW, nothing in the President’s proposal would have prevented the Georgia mother from having her gun.-indeed, from having a bigger gun if she wanted. However, it would have kept the AR-15 Adam Lanza used to slaughter 27 people out of his mother’s house. Just thought I’d inject some facts, on the off chance that you might be interested in that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  15. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    @ernieyeball: ernie, you’re the one sacrificing them. Your side made schools, malls, and the like “gun-free zones” because you thought those signs had magic powers and would somehow keep the bad guys away. Apparently it never entered your mind that people intent on committing mass murder might not balk at the thought that they might be breaking a rule by bringing their guns in with them.

    And it’s funny how that other would-be school shooting hasn’t got much attention. It involved a police officer in the school drawing her gun and holding the intruder at bay until more cops arrived. The only one killed there was the bad guy.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  16. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail:

    And it’s funny how that other would-be school shooting hasn’t got much attention. It involved a police officer in the school drawing her gun and holding the intruder at bay until more cops arrived. The only one killed there was the bad guy.

    Again nothing in the President’s proposal would have prevented the school police officer or the authorities from acting exactly as they did. More thorough back ground checks may have prevented the mentally ill “bad guy” from getting a gun, though.

    In a file at the Kingsport General Sessions courthouse, there is a handwritten note by a police detective:

    “This is the fellow we discussed,” it reads. “He needs a mental eval.”

    The note was written in 2001, after Cowan was charged with stalking.

    Proves that the President is right about demanding better background checks. Thanks for the link!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  17. cd6 says:

    Even before he took to the podium this morning, many people on the right were angry with President Obama.

    BREAKING: DOG BITES MAN

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  18. george says:

    Um, politicians of all stripes often use kids (and non-government adults) as props when delivering a message. They’ve even been known to kiss babies (which is pretty gross for the babies when you think about it).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. ernieyeball says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: ernie, you’re the one sacrificing them.

    No. I did not make guns available to the Sandy Hook shooter. I did not pull the trigger of the guns that were there for the taking in his mothers house. A house full of guns with a 20 year old adult son in residence.

    People kill innocent 6 and 7 year old children with guns in this country because they can…they can because anyone can buy a gun in this country one way or another. It is pretty clear that the National Rifle Association intends to keep it that way. Dead children be damned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  20. al-Ameda says:

    Of course he (the President) used children as props, why wouldn’t he? That’s smart use of imagery.

    I hope you’re not shocked that a politician uses props and imagery. Then again, conservatives get worked up every time he uses a teleprompter for god’s sake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  21. Todd says:

    We live in a warped world when news comes that 20 little kids are shot to death in their classroom, and some people’s first reaction is “oh crap I’d better get on the Internet to defend MY 2nd Amendment rights”.

    … then those same people accuse the President of “using kids as props” when he puts forth proposals to try to do something about it.

    BTW, I predict that the enhanced background checks should/will pass. The assault weapons and magazine bans are just sacrificial, so that the final bill which leaves them out will seem more like a “compromise”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  22. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Can you fathom the reaction among the spaced out chattering classes if W. Bush had issued an executive order requiring sonograms as a precondition to receiving abortions and during the signing ceremony had a bunch of kids on stage whose mothers decided not to abort them after seeing their sonograms and who also wrote letters to Bush thanking their moms and expressing great joy for being alive? Yikes. We’d have run out of supplies of Zoloft, Prozac and Wellbutrin. Trust fund liberals in Malibu and New Caanan might actually have self-immolated. Seriously. The humanity.

    In any case, obviously Obama used those kids as props. In the most cynical way.

    The more accurate visual for the ignorant pubic would have been the toe-tagged corpses of gunshot victims in big liberal Democrat cities with strict “gun control” measures, but obviously that wouldn’t have fit the ongoing narrative.

    Ultimately, though, you have to give Obama a lot of credit, purely from a Machiavellian power politics standpoint. Dude is presiding over a disastrous economy and a country that’s slipped so far on the world stage, so precipitously, France of all countries has decided that it needs unilaterally to wage a Bush-style war against Islamic radical terrorists. Yet the domestic and to a significant extent even the foreign chattering classes 24/7 now are obsessed with guns. Not the horrible domestic job market. Not Syrian chemical weapons. Not the ongoing and in fact accelerating Eurozone collapse. Not France morphing into neocons on steroids. Guns. That’s what’s become de rigueur.

    Obama didn’t invent “never let a crisis go to waste,” but he sure as hell has mastered it. That’s political skill. That’s political cojones.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  23. ernieyeball says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: …if W. Bush had issued an executive order requiring sonograms as a precondition to receiving abortions and during the signing ceremony had a bunch of kids on stage whose mothers decided not to abort them after seeing their sonograms and who also wrote letters to Bush thanking their moms and expressing great joy for being alive?

    What if the moon was made of green cheese? Oh…wait…we know it’s not.

    However when the Tsar pulls nonsense like this out of his azz you gotta wonder what his brain is made of?!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  24. JKB says:

    @Todd: and some people’s first reaction is

    Actually, those people would love for there to have been a good guy with a gun at the school to stop the killing. But, that is prohibited by law. Schools being “gun-free” and all, or should we say more accurately, helpless victim zones.

    What pray tell is an “enhanced background checks”.

    The checks are run to see if the individual is a prohibited person. How enhanced do they need to be? What are you looking for other than felony record or adjudicated mentally ill. Hopefully, when given thought, everyone will see that the failure of the NICS is a failure of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  25. BikerDad says:

    I’m trying to sort out why Obama’s using kids as props is OK, but the NRA using kids as props isn’t? Especially since the ones’ the NRA used are directly related to the subject at hand, and the ones Obama used aren’t. Seriously, whose kids should the NRA have pointed out are being protected 24/7 by armed security? Bob Schlobotnik’s?

    Help me out here….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @BikerDad:

    I’m trying to sort out why Obama’s using kids as props is OK, but the NRA using kids as props isn’t?

    It’s really simple – if you’re a conservative then Obama’s use of kids was wrong, if you’re a liberal then it was okay. Enough of the handwringing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    Atually, those people would love for there to have been a good guy with a gun at the school to stop the killing. But, that is prohibited by law. Schools being “gun-free” and all, or should we say more accurately, helpless victim zones.

    Dunno about your universe but here in Earth Prime there are no laws prohibiting schools from hiring armed guards. However, professionally trained guards COST. Would you be OK with a special tax on gun sales to pay for guards at school. After all its because you all are exercising your rights to buy guns , that we need to have good guys with guns in schools. Well? Bueller?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  28. Todd says:

    @JKB:

    The proposal is to extend background checks to ALL gun sales .. not just those that take place at licensed dealers. This makes sense.

    Also, one of the President’s proposal was to provide funding to extend an existing program that helps schools that want to have TRAINED police officers on campus. I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m not reflexively opposed to guns being in/around school. But I think teachers, or janitors, or volunteers carrying them is ridiculous.

    If we want to pay for increased presence of trained police officers in our schools, fine, let’s do it. More armed civilians is probably not the answer to random acts of violence … in any setting .. but especially in schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. Todd says:

    p.s. I qualified expert firing my M-4 at the range the other day … but I still have absolutely no desire to have one in my home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: p.s. I qualified expert firing my M-4 at the range the other day … but I still have absolutely no desire to have one in my home.

    Congratulations, and good for you. I’m sure you have very sound reasons why you don’t want one in your home, just as I have my own reasons for not owning any guns.

    However, are you saying that you wish to impose your decision on others? Because you have reasons for not wanting an M-4 in your home, no one else should have one, either?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Dunno about your universe but here in Earth Prime there are no laws prohibiting schools from hiring armed guards. However, professionally trained guards COST. Would you be OK with a special tax on gun sales to pay for guards at school. After all its because you all are exercising your rights to buy guns , that we need to have good guys with guns in schools. Well? Bueller?

    Funny, when the NRA put forth their idea of guards in schools, they were lambasted up, down, and sideways.

    As far as how to pay for it… sure, let’s tax the gun owners. And let’s tax prescription drugs to pay for drug treatment centers while we’re at it.

    If you didn’t pick up on my subtle sarcasm, I’m pointing out the stupidity of taxing responsible, law-abiding people as punishment for those who choose to break the law.

    How would have your “tax” helped at Newtown? The shooter didn’t own the guns he used, he murdered their legal owner and took them. As you have it, the murder victim would have been punished by the tax, not the nutjob who committed the shooting.

    That idea is dumb enough to qualify as one of Obama’s proposals. Most of them boil down to “we’re upset and we want to do something!” actions that don’t actually address the problems. But since the proponents care so much, they don’t have to rationalize just how their solutions will actually work. They just yell and throw out insults and accusations who point out that the emperor’s dangly bits aren’t actually covered by cloth that only the most enlightened can see, but are just flapping in the breeze.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  32. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: However, are you saying that you wish to impose your decision on others? Because you have reasons for not wanting an M-4 in your home, no one else should have one, either?

    No, I’m actually not in favor of trying to ban certain types of weapons. That said, in an ideal world I do think that anybody who does want to have that type of weapon in their home should be trained, licensed and insured. However, I’m realistic enough though to realize that we don’t live in an ideal world. So I supposed I’d be happy enough see the background check loopholes closed … which is something that I think even the House will end up passing when it’s all said and done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  33. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As far as how to pay for it… sure, let’s tax the gun owners.

    Yep,the idea of taxing people for the true cost of what their hobby costs society is a bad idea . Instead, tax the non-gun owners for the cost of putting guards in schools so that the gun owners can buy all the guns they want and take them anywhere they want. That’s Republican thinking for you.

    The shooter didn’t own the guns he used, he murdered their legal owner and took them

    Too bad the legal owner-his prepper mother- didn’t properly secure the guns by storing them in a place where her mentally ill son couldn’t get at them. Too bad the NRA opposes safe storage laws. Too bad there wasn’t a comprehensive assault weapons ban that would have kept AR15s out of her house. Really too bad for those 20 children and 6 teachers which you and the gun lobby would like us to forget since they so inconveniently got killed by a nutcase using the gun cultist’s favorite man card.
    What are your proposals for dealing with problem of 10,000 people a year being killed by guns? Why, do nothing, of course- except fling poo at those who are trying to do something. Why don’t you go back to your Temple Of Doom and practice growing that pony tail?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  34. SC_Birdflyte says:

    George W. Bush had at least one photo op at the White House where “snowflake” kids were on stage, IIRC. He did it as a way of making the point that allowing embryonic stem cell research could have led to the disposition of the fertilized embryos that became those kids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I have an idea.

    For some time now, we’ve seen what “compromise” means from the left.

    Left: “We want all this from you!”

    Right: “I don’t think so. That’s nuts. And it’ll never work.”

    Left: “We’ll compromise. We’ll settle for half!”

    (Time passes)

    Left: “That didn’t work.”

    Right: “Told you so.”

    Left: “So now we want the other half!”

    In a true compromise, both sides give a little to get a little. And “settling for less than we initially demanded” isn’t much of a compromise. So, how’s this sound:

    Gun owners give up a bit of their current freedom — say, by requiring all gun sales, even private sales, to undergo background checks — but don’t have to pay for it to boot. Instead, we impose a “non-gun-ownerss tax” of five or ten bucks. That goes to expanding the resources for background checks so they can be done by anyone, on the fly, by a simple phone call. Hell, we could even automate it or put up a web site.

    I’m not interested in debating the mechanics, just the principle — background checks are made much easier and accessible to everyone, not just dealers, and funded by the people who want to impose the restriction, not those who will be subjected to it.

    Yeah, we can set up exceptions for people who shouldn’t pay the tax. The disabled who can’t responsibly own guns, for one. (Not convicts who can’t own guns, though — consider it part of the penalty for their crimes.) But the principle should be that those who want to impose limits on others should bear some of the burden for their policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  36. Rob in CT says:

    I’m fine with contributing tax revenue to pay for a better background check system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  37. Larry says:

    It’s not about human shields, but an in your face psych job. They are using psychology to play upon the emotions of some of the people. Abhorrent!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. maggie says:

    What the debate boils down to in my opinion is this:
    “ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR CHILDREN’S FACES BEING SHOWN TO FURTHER A POLITICAL AGENDA OR ON THE NIGHTLY NEWS DEAD AS THE RESULT OF TARGET PRACTICE BY SOME IDIOT WITH AN ASSAULT WEAPON?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Left: Let’s have the CDC do some studies on gun violence so we can have a better idea of how to attack the problem.”

    Right: “No.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  40. bk says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You forgot something:

    Right: “In fact, let’s pass a law expressly prohibiting it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bk: I didn’t forget it, I just thought “No.” was a little pithier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. An Interested Party says:

    Left: “We want all this from you!”

    Right: “I don’t think so. That’s nuts. And it’ll never work.”

    Left: “We’ll compromise. We’ll settle for half!”

    (Time passes)

    Left: “That didn’t work.”

    Right: “Told you so.”

    Left: “So now we want the other half!”

    Project much? The above describes the Republican/conservative argument for tax cuts…

    I’m not interested in debating the mechanics, just the principle — background checks are made much easier and accessible to everyone, not just dealers, and funded by the people who want to impose the restriction, not those who will be subjected to it.

    Along that same line of reasoning, anyone who is opposed to abortion must agree to completely fund contraception use for anyone who wants it and to adopt any children that are unwanted and/or abused by their birth parents…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Rick DeMent says:

    @JKB:

    Actually Columbine HS not only had an armed Sheriff on campus grounds but he was there the day of the attack. So much for armed guards preventing attacks, if ever school had an armed guard the first person to die would just end up being the armed guard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rick DeMent: The gun rightists seem to have this hiccup in reality in that they think having a gun makes them automatically immune from death.

    If that were true, on duty cops would never be killed.
    If that were true, mobsters would never be killed.
    If that were true, gang bangers would never be killed.

    And these are people who know that somebody wants them dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  45. JKB says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    He wasn’t inside the school when the attack started. He did exchange fire with the killers. His action did disrupt their killing permitting some students to escape. But he then, followed procedure to contain and hold for backup, not to enter. While the police developed their perimeter and mustered forces for entry, the killers were executing students in the library. Due to Columbine, police procedure in active shooter school situations is now to enter on arrival, even solo officers, and engage the shooter.

    School guards should not be uniformed but be wearing street clothes but armed. Those tasked with security should not be resource officers who teach classes or involve themselves in student discipline but rather concern themselves simply with identifying and stopping deadly force threats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  46. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @Rick DeMent:
    Playing fair, by all accounts the guard at Columbine did in fact help lessen the number of deaths.

    And there have been cases of an armed guard successfully stopping a shooting *in progress* — the New Life Church in Colorado being the prime example.

    That said, the entire armed citizens regularly stopping mass shootings idea plays really fast and loose with the facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @JKB:

    School guards should not be uniformed but be wearing street clothes but armed. Those tasked with security should not be resource officers who teach classes or involve themselves in student discipline but rather concern themselves simply with identifying and stopping deadly force threats.

    And again, I ask how do you intend to fund full timed armed guards who do nothing but guard. You strike me as the type who regularly votes against “wasteful spending” public school budgets.

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  48. mantis says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    And again, I ask how do you intend to fund full timed armed guards who do nothing but guard. You strike me as the type who regularly votes against “wasteful spending” public school budgets.

    Cognitive dissonance is very strong with his type.

    Eliminate the Department of Education!
    Cut all non-defense spending!
    Put armed guards in every school!
    Shut down the government!

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  49. mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation) says:

    @mantis:
    Note the silence from JBK on this particular topic since the issue of “paying for it” has come up.

    BTW, if this was to become law, it’s definitely something that I think should be payed for by a tax on guns and ammo.

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  50. Rafer Janders says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    Cognitive dissonance is very strong with his type.

    Speaking of cognitive dissonance, I just heard former Republican congressman Bob Barr claim that gun deaths were not a public health issue, but solely a criminal law issue, because…wait for it…wait for it…yes, you know what’s coming….”this isn’t a matter for the government.”

    Um, excuse me? Isn’t the government involved in criminal law enforcement?

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  51. bill says:

    @Rafer Janders: they weren’t trying to ban cars though- just the one’s who can’t handle the responsibility of using them safely.

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  52. Rick DeMent says:

    @mattb (who is in favor of enhanced gun regulation):

    and that’s kind of my point, there is really no defense against a wacko armed to the teeth intent on killing people. That said guns are just too pervasive and too easily obtainable and the 2nd amendment is not about your right to carry guns in public or “self-defense” unless you cling to a textualist interpretation of the constitution.

    On this very blog Doug and others were whining about where the limit is on the federal government when it comes to the power to regulate interstate commerce. So here they were arguing that the interstate commerce clause could simply never be interpreted based on just the text, that there “must” be some kind of limiting factor. Scaliea said the same thing. Now when it comes to the 2nd all of a sudden we not only abandon the clear and obvious intent of the 2nd amendment (the defense of the country that does not keep a standing army ) for a textual interpretation that parses the grammatical sentence structure to within an inch of it’s life to argue that we should sell semi autos to any yahoo that wants one with a 30 round clip.

    Tell me how that makes any sense at all?

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  53. Rick DeMent says:

    … and yes I understand that Matt is in favor of enhanced gun regulation.

    I’m actually pretty skeptical that any of this will reduce gun violence in any significant way, I’m actually more scared of the idea that more untrained guys toting around guns will make us safer. As long as the gun toters are few and far between it statistically doesn’t make a difference, but when it hit critical mass and you have three or for people in any given theater or school when the shooting starts then we’ll see the blood baths. We will also see more gun play in situations where things spiral out of control. we’re starting to see it now in small ways with “Stand Your Ground” laws.

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  54. bill says:

    i notice that planned parenthood doesn’t use kids as props for some reason.

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