This morning's news describes President Obama's town hall event at George Mason university, televised by CNN. Interviewed on the Kelly File (Fox News) last night, an NRA lobbyist, Chris Cox, tried to explain the NRA having declined an invitation to participate. The NRA had been invited to participate alongside other gun enthusiasts as well as gun safety advocates.
Obama wanted to defend what he thinks is common sense gun laws. He wanted to talk specifics, to counter misconceptions and to clarify his position. Chris Cox has given Obama another motive. "Obama wants to create and illusion that he's doing something to keep people safe," he said. "He needs to do that because the truth is his policies have failed miserably." Cox was choosing political rhetoric over discourse about specifics, except for one specific that he could have discussed with Obama to his face: Cox claims that Obama "doesn't support an individual's right to own a fire arm."
Obama has blamed the NRA and others for suggesting that "somebody's going to come grab your guns". He has said that all he is seeking to do is strengthen background checks – not seize all firearms and that he wants to reassure gun owners that he has no intention of confiscating their weapons.
At yesterday's town hall meeting, gun rights activists pressed Obama to justify his gun control efforts, putting him on the defensive. His responses were polite, and those asking questions were straight forward. There was none of the obsequiousness common in addressing authoritarian regimes.
Regarding the NRA, Obama has said: "I'm happy to meet with them." He says he wants the exchange between them to be based on what we are proposing and not some imaginary fiction that he is trying to take away their guns." Representing the NRA, Chris Cox has dismissed reasoning with Obama. He says the NRA and Obama have nothing to discuss.
Meanwhile, a new CNN/ORC survey of 1,000 Americans finds that 67 percent of respondents favor Obama's executive action regarding guns, while 32 percent opposed them. People in gun-owning households support Obama's executive action by 63 percent, and 51 percent of the Republicans polled support the executive action.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.