Last week, President Barack Obama was criticized for suggesting that American gun owners would agree with him that firearms such as AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not criminals, during a speech before the National Urban League.
While he did not say it directly, the President’s remarks are indicative of a veiled push by Federal officials to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired under President George W. Bush. This is not a new goal of the Administration.
From a 2008 Obama campaign document:
As a long-time resident and elected official of Chicago, Barack Obama has seen the impact of fully automatic weapons in the hands of criminals. Thus, Senator Obama supports making permanent the expired federal Assault Weapon Ban. These weapons, such as AK-47s, belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets. These are also not weapons that are used by hunters and sportsmen.
In his speech last Wednesday, Obama, using the Aurora, Colo. massacre as an opportunity, reiterated his view on assault rifles. “I — like most Americans — believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” Obama said. “I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.
“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he added.
“When there’s an extraordinarily heartbreaking tragedy like the one we saw, there’s always an outcry immediately after for action,” Obama said. “There’s talk of new reforms. There’s talk of legislation. And too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere. But what I said in the wake of Tucson is we’re going to stay on this persistently.”
Conservative columnists pounced on Obama’s use of AK-47s — synonymous with rebellions, communists and terror, as well as the chosen weapon of many American enemies — as an example. The American military has little or no tactical use relationship with the mentioned weapon.
It was also pointed out by many gun enthusiasts that of course violent criminals and the mentally unstable should be weeded out in a vetting process leading up to firearms purchases, and they often are. Even with systems designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people with criminal intentions, some people argue that without the ability to read minds anomalies like James Holmes (no serious criminal record, no reason “for him to be on anyone’s radar”) would still exist. Stricter gun laws would still fail at times. The fail-safe prevention, they say, would be the impossible: complete elimination of every single firearm in the world.
For anyone seeking irony in Obama’s remarks, it was likely easily found. Especially so if they consider the recent controversy surrounding the President’s own Department of Justice and its Fast and Furious initiative. Evidently, officials in that Department disregarded the White House memo about AK-47s belonging on the battlefield when they urged gun sellers to disregard the check system put in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals;they allowed 2,000 Ak-47s and .50 caliber rifles, among others, to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Many gun sellers initially reported to the government suspicious activities like “ordering large numbers of AK-47 variant rifles and other so-called ‘weapons of choice’ used by the Mexican drug cartels, and paying with large sums of cash brought in a paper bag.” But in 2009, they were told to allow the sales and that government officials had it under control and were “tracking” the weapons. On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot in the back by the member of a Mexican drug cartel with an AK-47 provided through the Federal government’s “gun walking.”
Here are some other results of the initiative from the Justice Department:
One AK-47 type assault rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered Nov. 14, 2009 in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexico after the Mexican military rescued a kidnap victim.
On July 1, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious suspects were recovered in Sonora, Mexico after a shootout between cartels. Two murders were reported in the incident using the weapons.
On July 26, 2010, a giant .50 caliber Barrett rifle purchased by a Fast and Furious suspect was recovered in Durango, Mexico after apparently having been fired. No further details of the incident were given.
On Aug. 13, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by a Fast and Furious target were recovered in Durango, Mexico after a confrontation between the Mexican military and an “armed group.”
On Nov. 14, 2010, two AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Chihuahua, Mexico after “the kidnapping of two individuals and the murder of a family member of a Mexican public official.” Sources tell CBS News they believe this is a reference to a case we previously reported on: the terrorist kidnapping, torture and murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the brother of then-attorney general Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez. The terrorists released video of Rodriguez before his death, in handcuffs surrounded by hooded gunmen.
On May 27, 2011, three AK-47 type assault rifles purchased by Fast and Furious targets were recovered in Jalisco, Mexico after having been fired. No other details of the incident were provided, but the date and location match with another incident previously reported by CBS News. On May 27 near Jalisto, cartel members fired upon a Mexican government helicopter, forcing it to make an emergency landing. According to one law enforcement source, 29 suspected cartel members were killed in the attack.
The President doesn’t know that the American military has never used the AK-47 as a primary battle weapon, and he is at the helm of an Administration that allowed thousands of them to be handed directly to violent criminals. It isn’t likely that “a lot of [responsible] gun owners” would agree with Obama or his Administration on much of anything regarding firearms. A responsible gun owner would not talk to large groups of people in authoritative tones about the merits, or lack thereof, of weapons about which he knows nothing. And a responsible gun owner would never hand his rifle to a criminal just to see what might happen.