I’ve been writing about the gun issue for a long time, but I never thought I’d live long enough to see the Brady Campaign for Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association agree on anything, nor would I see any President get an “F” from both groups.
Well, believe it or not, it just happened.
This morning, January 18, Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke was on MSNBC blasting President Obama and calling him an “abject failure” for not showing any leadership on the gun issue. “It’s been a very disappointing year for us,” Helmke said, “They (Obama and his fellow Democrats) made the political calculation to run away from the issue.”
Helmke went through a list of violent crimes and then strongly criticized the White House for staying silent in the aftermath of each. “The biggest disappointment was his failure to speak out,” he said.
The interviewer countered with the fact that violent crime went down in 2009 and not just a little bit, but to the lowest level since the 1960s, but Helmke said that was still too much gun violence and insisted the country needs the “common sense” gun laws Obama supported during his campaign.
Helmke backed up his claims with a 21-page analysis of Obama’s first year. On the first page, the nation’s top anti-gun organization gave the President–the same President the group supported during the 2008 election–a “Report Card” with an “F” in every listed category–Brady Background Checks, Gun Show Loophole, Gun Trafficking, Guns in Public, Federal Assault Weapons Ban, Standing Up to the Gun Lobby and Leadership.
As you may remember, the NRA also gave Obama an “F” and did not support his election–not hardly! Instead, the NRA spent somewhere around $40 million to “defend freedom and defeat Obama.” Wonder if the NRA now thinks that was a good use of their money?
My favorite part of the exhaustive report, which is called “Failed Leadership, Lost Lives,” is the conclusion where the authors state: “He (President Obama) not only failed to voice any support for–much less sign–any new gun laws to close dangerous loopholes, but has actually signed repeals of more federal gun polices than President George W. Bush did in both of his terms.”
Another favorite part of this report covers the national park gun amendment to the so-called MasterBlaster Bill, another issue I’ve written about frequently. According to the Brady report authors, Obama opposed the national park gun rule during the campaign, but once elected, he reversed his position and had his justice department “mount a vigorous defense” of the rule’
When the Brady Campaign won an injunction against implementation of the national park gun rule, pro-gunners in Congress attached it in the form of an amendment to a credit card reform bill. The report gives a blow-by-blow of this process, pointing out that President Obama could have passed credit card reform without the amendment, but refused to do it. Even more frustrating to the report’s authors, “The White House did not voice any opposition to this guns in parks amendment.”
Once again–yeah, I know you’re tired of hearing it–all of the above makes me more comfortable that I made the right bet when I said the NRA has won the war for the Second Amendment and Democrats have given up on the gun issue.