Pawns of Obama's power grab
Not one of the 23 executive orders that President Obama signed — flanked by schoolchildren before an audience that included relatives of murdered schoolchildren — would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook.
Did people realize that the president's latest orders would not have stopped the heavily armed monster who entered a Connecticut school last month and killed 20 children and six adults? Or were their brains overwhelmed by anxiety signals arising from the imagery of vulnerable youngsters?
The overwhelming imagery is no accident. It's emotional manipulation, and I've never seen a more lowdown exercise of it than the White House's “gun violence” event last week.
Such pandering, of course, fails to address the cultural factors — godlessness, fatherlessness, a pornographically violent “entertainment”-media complex — that drive this most transgressive form of violence.
Do Americans want happy, healthy children or some old constitutional provision? Do members of Congress — the president's main target along with the Constitution — want an “‘A' grade from the gun lobby,” as he put it, or to give parents “peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade”?
Gazing into the shiny button-eyes of the four children on stage, America heard the president say: “If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try.”
Yes, yes, yes, we reply. Yes, Mr. President, go ahead and sign the executive orders that put in place what amounts to a national database of kooks as defined by federal bureaucrats who consider conservative beliefs and military personnel to be crazy automatically.
Yes, empower and encourage our doctors to add to that registry innocent patients who have committed no crime but who, like returning veterans, may have sought counseling. Outlaw the sale of high-powered guns and ammunition — equalizers in the face of home invaders, terrorists, drug gangs and, yes, a democratic government turned tyrannical.
But I am looking away from the hearts and bunnies at the White House. I am supposed to be concentrating on the letters from little ones who, in the wake of Sandy Hook, asked the president to take such measures, Obama said. As the president put it: “On the letter that Julia wrote me, she said, ‘I know that laws have to be passed by Congress, but I beg you to try very hard.'”
There was a burst of laughter, perhaps unexpected, given that the president was winding up for a solemn pledge. “Julia, I will try very hard,” Obama continued, taking up his gauntlet against Congress on behalf of Julia and her four brothers and sisters.
Outside the claustrophobic White House bubble — definitely not a gun-free zone — Americans are as concerned as the president with protecting their children. Even more so, I think, since schools attended by the president's daughters and other children of privilege are protected by armed guards.
Why one solution for elites and one solution for everyone else?
Diana West is the author of “The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization” and blogs at dianawest.net.