Rahm Emanuel may no longer be the White House Chief of Staff, but the President is still taking his controversial advice: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste." Unfortunately for the heartbroken families of Roseberg, Oregon, that philosophy seems to be the guiding force behind the President's Friday visit. While parents try to pick up the pieces after a devastating shooting rocked their worlds, the last thing they need is to "be in the middle of a national gun rights debate."
"We have people who are healing," said City Council President Tom Ryan. "That is our main concern." Unfortunately, it isn't President Obama's. The man who seized on Sandy Hook as an opportunity to push his radical gun control agenda is planning an encore to his political theater in Oregon. An encore, locals agree, that isn't welcome. "I really feel," the father of one recovering student told Megyn Kelly, "that his visit here is completely to support his gun control agenda." Even the President, who, after so much criticism, decided to host a private meeting with the families instead of a public event, admitted outright: "Some people will accuse me of politicizing the issue, but it should be."
It's a sad display of opportunism that exposes exactly what this President is all about. And the reality is, as many frustrated Oregonians have expressed, the White House's "solution" only exacerbates the problem. All his gun control policies do is create a magnet for madmen to turn innocent citizens into sitting ducks. The families of the victims know it. In fact, they're the ones frustrated that their college-aged kids didn't have the ability to protect themselves with legal weapons of their own. Instead, the Left wants to disarm law-abiding citizens with gun-free zones, which criminals will exploit because they know they won't be met by resistance. It's like dropping a purse-snatcher in the middle of a senior citizen bingo hall.
In the end, all these policies accomplish is keeping honest Americans from having the ability to protect themselves. Just look at places like Chicago and Baltimore -- cities with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Gun-related violence is through the roof! Just this week, the press declared September the deadliest in Chicago since 2002 -- with 351 people shot. Experts say it's shaping up to be the worst year for gun violence and homicide in history. Hardly a ringing endorsement for anti-Second Amendment crusade.
As FRC has argued for years, if the President really wanted to do something to stop the violence, he'd put a higher priority on the family. In our own MARRI research, we know that some areas of inner-city Chicago have a rejection ratio (parents not together when children hit age 17) up to 85 percent! Instead of trying to redefine marriage and the role of moms and dads, the administration could be focusing its energy on encouraging family formation and ending fatherlessness. Both are salient points in this latest tragedy and have gotten relatively little media attention.
While the press focuses its attention elsewhere, two aspects of this shooting seem absent: the fact that the shooter came from a broken home and that he specifically targeted people based on their Christian faith. Could the President's agenda of religious hostility have something to do with this? What about his policies pushing America away from the natural family? Or his pattern of lawlessness? Together, they create a far more compelling case than any gun control laws ever have. For more on the debate, check out the Washington Times piece by Ken Blackwell, "Ban Gun-Free Zones."