President Barack Obama got heavily involved in the renewed push for stricter gun-control laws in the United States following mass shooting tragedies that gripped the Nation. He suggested banning certain classes of firearms and firearm accessories, making gun purchases more difficult and declaring more places as ”gun-free zones,” among other things.
Opponents of Obama’s gun-control agenda have tirelessly pointed out the major problem with the proposals quickly rolled out following mass shooting tragedies: Murderous psychopaths who are capable of carrying out such atrocities as opening fire on rooms full of children probably don’t have all that much respect for the law in the first place.
Meanwhile, all of the President’s proposals would make it more difficult for responsible, law-abiding Americans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights — whether they intend to do so for sport, self-defense or any other lawful purpose.
In December, a “We the People” petition posted on the White House website pointed out the inequity of inhibiting law-abiding average Americans’ right to purchase firearms for self-defense.
The petition read:
Eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their families, and establish Gun Free Zones around them
Gun Free Zones are supposed to protect our children, and some politicians wish to strip us of our right to keep and bear arms. Those same politicians and their families are currently under the protection of armed Secret Service agents. If Gun Free Zones are sufficient protection for our children, then Gun Free Zones should be good enough for politicians.
The petition reached the 40,000-signature threshold required for an official response from the Administration.
The White House response is unsurprising:
We live in a world where our elected leaders and representatives are subject to serious, persistent, and credible threats on a daily basis. Even those who are mere candidates in a national election become symbols of our country, which makes them potential targets for those seeking to do harm to the United States and its interests. In 1901, after the third assassination of a sitting President, Congress mandated that the President receive full-time protection, and that law is still in effect today. Because of it, those who are the subject of ongoing threats must receive the necessary and appropriate protection.
At the same time, all of us deserve to live in safer communities, which is why we need to take responsible, commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, even while respecting individual freedom. And let’s be clear: President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms…
…But the common-sense steps the President has proposed don’t infringe in any way on our Second Amendment rights. We ought to be able to keep weapons of war off the streets. We ought to close the loopholes in the background check system that make it too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns — an idea that has the support of 90 percent of people in the United States.
That’s why the President and an overwhelming majority of Americans are calling on Congress to pass gun safety legislation that closes loopholes in the background check system and makes gun trafficking a federal crime.
A minority in the Senate is blocking this common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, but President Obama is already taking action to protect our kids with executive actions. He is taking the steps available to him as President to strengthen the existing background check system, give law enforcement officials more tools to prevent gun violence, end the freeze on gun violence research, make schools safer, and improve access to mental health care.
It probably isn’t a good idea for the leader of the free world to walk around without any protection.
It also should be noted, however, that the United States is a Nation built on the rejection of aristocracy. The same 2nd Amendment that gives the President the right to be surrounded by guns gives every American the same liberty.