We could think of a whole list of Americans of whom Obama and his administration have, let us say, a very negative opinion. Bankers, carbon emitters, ranchers, white people, Fox News, Republicans, Christians, Jews who support Israel, social conservatives, people who are skeptical of the ever-shifting “climate change” narrative – the list makes itself, and is much longer than that.
But Obama seems to circle back most regularly to one special group: law-abiding gun owners.
So the event captured in our Image of the Day will probably be particularly obnoxious to Team Obama.
From Breitbart, it’s an image of Texas open-carry advocates celebrating the state’s adoption of a “Constitutional carry” policy.
Bob Price explains:
Open Carry Texas founder, C.J. Grisham told Breitbart Texas in an interview he is pleased with the progress, “We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we made progress. We will take what we can get and come back for more.”
The more is “Constitutional Carry.” This is a status where, as in many states already, people can carry a firearm, open or concealed, with or without a license. This follows the tradition of the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment that states the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
But why is the Obama administration’s hostility directed so clearly at law-abiding gun owners? Consider that nothing he has done or proposed, to implement gun restrictions, will affect the access of criminals to guns. He will only make it harder for the law-abiding to get guns – yet without, again, making it harder for people with documented psychological problems to get them.
One of the main things Obama could be doing to deter the criminal use of guns is enforce gun-crime laws. But under his administration, gun-crime prosecutions have dropped steadily from their high under George W. Bush, as John Hinderaker pointed out yesterday at Powerline.
[W]hen Barack Obama became president and Eric Holder took over the Department of Justice, [gun-crime] enforcement went straight downhill. Over the course of the Obama administration, it has only gotten worse. Today, gun convictions are down 35% since the Bush administration peak in 2005 and 2006. Obama and Holder had an agenda, but it wasn’t law enforcement.
At PJ Media, Michael Walsh presents a theory as to why that is: criminals who use guns are part of Obama’s political constituency, and law-abiding gun owners, for the most part, aren’t.
Walsh quotes Boston-area columnist Howie Carr (emphasis original):
Obama, Holder, Lynch et al. have zero interest in enforcing the existing gun statutes because they’re violated in large measure by illegal aliens, gangbangers, drive-by shooters, street muggers and fifth-generation welfare layabouts — in other words, the core constituencies of the Democratic Party. Do any of these Obama voters get their weapons at gun shows? If you’ve ever been to a gun show, you damn well know the answer to that question.
In a 2014 story in the Washington Times, a George Washington University professor commented on the “irony” of the Obama obsession with cracking down on taxpayers while letting his own voters run amok.
“For a lot of people,” he said, referring to the PC crowd trying to fundamentally transform America into a Third World hellhole, “there’s more ideological cachet harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”
And that seems to be largely true, as far as it goes. But as 2016 bears down on us, it’s not enough.
At this point, it’s increasingly fatuous to suggest that Team Obama is doing things in domestic policy solely for “ideological” gratification – as if they’re ivory-tower purists and the implications for Americans’ rights and freedoms haven’t really occurred to them.
It makes us seem kind of thick, in fact. It’s 2016, not 2009, and we have all the evidence we need that Obama is quite determined to behave extra-constitutionally.
It’s not too early to conclude that he wants to erode Second Amendment rights for law-abiding gun owners because he doesn’t want anyone but criminals, and the government agents he controls, to have guns. He certainly behaves as if that’s what he wants.
But it doesn’t really matter what you or I think Obama “wants.” What matters is the consequences of what he does. He’s reduced prosecutions of criminal use of guns, he’s made it easier for foreign terrorists and criminals to get into the U.S., he’s released thousands of inmates from federal prisons, he’s used the Justice Department to actively undermine the authority of the local police, he’s arming numerous federal agencies for no valid reason, and he’s making it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain guns and ammunition. It’s not just thick, to comfort yourself that he and his team don’t see what this might lead to; it’s downright stupid.
That’s why the most important element of our Image of the Day is the sign in the background. Whatever happens in the next 366 days, the U.S. federal government is already something very different from what it was on 20 January 2009. And the main thing standing athwart the fully “weaponized” use of that overarmed government juggernaut is the people Obama loves to hate.