American Elephants

“This Just Doesn’t Happen in Other Countries” by The Elephant's Child

leadBig-0b16e62c331a5b2030f4f0923a17994bAt a press conference today in Paris, President Obama responded to questions about the shooting in Colorado Springs this weekend:

“With respect to Planned Parenthood, obviously, my heart goes out to those families impacted. I mean, I say this every time we go one of these mass shootings, this just doesn’t happen in other countries,”

This was in Paris, a city which had just experienced a real, coordinated terrorist attack by ISIS, that left over 130 dead — but some disturbed person shooting 3 people in a Planned Parenthood establishment just doesn’t happen in other countries. Embarrassing.

The president criticized the lack of gun control in the United States and pledged to remain focused on using executive action to enact new controls where possible.

The Pew Research Center pointed out today that the gun homicide rate was down 49% since 1993, but the public is unaware of that fact. The president isn’t either, or else he is uninterested.

Is there any other head of state who goes to a big foreign meeting and pops off about his personal troubles with his opposing party? Was David Cameron expressing his concerns about the newly elected Labour leader? Was Vladimir Putin discussing his problems in Ukraine? It seems rather ill-mannered, to say the least.

I think there’s something going on here. Obama has made no bones about his intent to “fundamentally transform America” into something that he finds more agreeable. I think he was outraged, in his opposition to the Iraq War, by what he assumed was the negative opinion of the nations of the world towards George W. Bush and the fighting in Iraq. I think his rush to get out of Iraq, leaving a disastrous mess behind him — was because of the opinion of world lefties about Iraq.

I think his drive to get rid of all the detainees in the detention facility at  Guantanamo Bay was because he believed, and he thought the world believed, that it was an evil place where detainees were tortured and abused. I think his releasing thousands of drug dealers and “non-violent” criminals in American prisons, is because he thinks world opinion is appalled by the numbers of prisoners we have in Americas prisons.

He is a confirmed leftist, more attuned to world leftism and their opinions, which are more important than our own views of American exceptionalism which he finds repugnant, and he’s told us so. If you remember, when he first became a candidate, he was quite determined not to wear any little flag pin in his buttonhole as the rest of the candidates did, and he wasn’t going to do the hand over the heart thing for the Star Spangled Banner either, until someone told him to cool it.

That ‘s my take.


The Do Something Urge v. The Complications of Reality. by The Elephant's Child

In the saga of the prevention of the next mass shooting, there are many stories. One comes from the failed state of California. California authorities are empowered to seize weapons — owned by convicted felons and people with mental illness.  Unfortunately staff shortages and funding cuts have left a backlog of more than 19,700 people to disarm, according to a law enforcement official.

Those 19,700 convicted felons and people with mental illness (assuming that there is real reason to identify them as dangerous) typically acquired the firearms legally, before they were convicted of a felony or diagnosed with mental illness. There are many felonies that do not involve threatening anyone with firearms, nor indicate any difference between those who have no problem pointing guns at innocent people and those who do not. Sounds pretty inexact. Nevertheless, those 19,700 people have roughly 39,000 weapons.

Each year, the state investigates and seizes the guns of about 2.000 people on the Armed Prohibited Persons list, but each year about 3,000 names are added to the list. The bureau does not have the funding to keep up.

Testimony and theater. Anti-gun activists summoned dead children.  Law enforcement officials displayed weapons, retired legislators complained that they were intimidated by gun-rights advocates. Victims of gun crimes somberly recounted their stories. Proposals for a 5¢ tax on every bullet purchased. Legislation drafted to require ammunition buyers to provide a thumbprint and ID for background checks. A suggestion that cities and counties be able to enact their own, tougher gun laws. A proposal that gun owners be licensed and insured like motorists drew some opposition.”There is a big question of whether you can license a constitutional right.” Well, so there is.

In the saga of the prevention of the next mass shooting, there are many stories. Unfortunately the record of past mass shooters is one of unknown people with unrecognized problems borrowing or stealing weapons and carefully planning in secret to commit a dreadful act. There really isn’t anything much that government can do to prevent these dreadful one-off, Black Swan events which have actually been growing less frequent. Britain and Australia engaged in complete gun-banning, confiscation of all firearms, strong laws to prevent violence, and crime has increased drastically, violence increased. home invasions increased. The record is quite clear. But a dreadful event happened and everyone wants to do something.

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