For almost five years, I have been telling American gun owners that Barack Obama was not just anti-gun, but downright hostile to the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Through two presidential campaigns and his first term, President Obama and his political surrogates lied to the American people, claiming Obama supports the Second Amendment. In the last presidential debate of 2012, he even repeated his false claim of allegiance to the Second Amendment as he announced his support for a gun ban.
Now, we see the real Obama. After the horrific murders of schoolchildren in Connecticut, he assigned Vice President Joe Biden to put together an agenda for new gun control. Biden even went through the motions of meeting with gun owners' groups, including the NRA. However, that meeting made clear that the administration was not really interested in real solutions to protect our children and our communities, but only in pursuing the long-sought goals of the gun ban crowd.
On Jan. 16, Obama announced his upcoming gun control agenda. Below is the heart of what Obama wants Congress to pass:
- A ban on all private firearms transfers, even between lifelong friends.
- A ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, far stricter than the ban that expired in 2004.
- A ban, once again, on standard-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, even as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo successfully pushed for a seven-round limit in his state.
These proposals are nothing new, of course. They are the core of what anti-gun groups and politicians have wanted for years.
And the results won't be new, either. Just as a semi-auto and magazine ban had no impact on crime in the 1990s, a new ban will not stop criminals and madmen today. Nor will a fundamentally unenforceable ban on private transfers stop felons from stealing guns or trading on the black market, just as they do today. What it will do is set the stage for the next step: federal gun registration. When that happens, gun ownership will no longer be a right.
Obama also took several actions under his executive powers that should be of concern to gun owners. One of those was an order to the Centers for Disease Control to resume spending taxpayers' dollars to conduct research on gun issues. Congress has passed legislation that bans the CDC from using taxpayer money to advocate for new gun laws. That restriction does not stop legitimate research, but the reality was that much of the CDC's output in the 1990s was more propaganda than science.
This new assault on our rights was no surprise. Obama has supported massive restrictions on Second Amendment rights throughout his political career. Now that he has faced the voters for the last time, he no longer is constrained by the potential political fallout from taking action against gun owner's rights. Rahm Emanuel's famous assertion, that no crisis should go to waste, may as well be the motto of the Obama Administration.
Fortunately, as much as I am sure he would like to, Obama cannot simply impose his will on the people. To pass the worst of his agenda, he'll need support from Congress. Today, every gun owner needs to contact his or her U.S. Senators and congressman, and urge them to oppose these new attacks on the Second Amendment.
The murders in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School were beyond tragic. No one sees that more than the moms and dads, and sons and daughters, who make up the NRA. But using the despicable act of a deranged man to advance long-held anti-gun political goals is equally deplorable. That's especially so when those solutions will make us no safer, and much less free.
Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organization's chief lobbyist. Please give your support to NRA-ILA today.