myke on the soapbox: obama and gun control

Recently a facebook friend posted a photo on his wall regarding gun control in the United States.  I know this person is a conservative Christian and a capital R Republican, and generally try to view his posts through that filter, however this image offended me deeply.

The post has the caption “All those in favor of gun control, raise your hand!” and has images of Fidel Castro, Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin and of course President Barack Obama.  Yup, this piece of propaganda associates Obama with Fidel Castro, Hitler and Stalin.

Let’s first say this, I am a Canadian citizen and tend to have liberal views, however I am not a supporter of gun control legislation banning firearms ownership.  However have to point out that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was written when “arms” meant muzzle loaded flintlock muskets, NOT, fully automatic assault weapons with laser sights and that this was in a militia to protect one’s country and territory.  I support firearms for sport and protection of property (farmers with crops, etc.) however fully believe that the only thing people “hunt” with handguns and assault weapons is OTHER PEOPLE.

I personally support strong and strict restrictions for ownership of weapons, including licensing, waiting periods, formal education in the proper use, storage and transportation, psychological testing and a suitable reason for ownership of said guns (ie. membership in a sporting group, evidence of training for safe hunting, etc.) and I also believe that regular inspections should be undertaken to ensure that the person owning said weapon is of sound mind, has the ability and knowledge to safely own, store and operate this weapon.

I don’t support an outright ban, I simply support intelligent restrictions with regards to something that can be used to end another person’s life.

Let’s first address the gun control issue:

Barack Obama has historically:

  • Opposed bill okaying illegal gun use in home invasions – in essence people using guns illegally in accordance with local and state laws could not use protection during a home invasion as a defense.
  • Supported the Second Amendment to the US Constitution however supports that individual states and cities have the right to determine local gun laws
  • Supported banning assault weapons, and supported mandatory waiting periods and background checks for gun licenses.
  • Recommended common-sense enforcement on gun licensing.
  • Sponsored bill to LIMIT gun purchases to 1 gun per month.
  • Supported concealed carry for retired police officers.
  • Supported ban on semi-automatic weapons and recommended increased restrictions on the purchase and possession on fire arms
  • Recommended that gun manufacturers provide child-safety locks with ALL firearms.
  • Voted no on a bill prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Since the mass shooting and injuring of Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson Arizona in February 2011, President Obama has recommended that laws regarding gun ownership, noting that a man who was  rejected by the US army as unfit for service, rejected by colleges of being to unstable to study, was able to walk into a store and buy a gun.

Obama’s formal statement on gun control was threefold:

  • “First, we should begin by enforcing laws that are already on the books. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the filter that’s supposed to stop the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun. Bipartisan legislation four years ago was supposed to strengthen this system, but it hasn’t been properly implemented. It relies on data supplied by states – but that data is often incomplete and inadequate. We must do better.
  • Second, we should in fact reward the states that provide the best data – and therefore do the most to protect our citizens.
  • Third, we should make the system faster and nimbler. We should provide an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing, and make sure that criminals can’t escape it.”

Please note, nowhere in his historical comments did he directly say anything about banning sales of all firearms, just making the process more intelligent, logical and responsible.

Since those remarks in March 2011, he has remained virtually silent.  So, where is this photograph coming from?

Let’s then look at the contents of the photo, in it Obama is being compared to the following leaders:

Fidel Castro

  • President of Cuba from 1959 until his resignation in 2008.
  • Baptised and raised as a Roman Catholic, was excommunicated in 1962 after he publically criticized elements of the Bible used to justify the oppression of women and people of African descent.  Considered himself Christian “from the standpoint of social vision”.
  • On gun control “Weapons for what? (¿Armas, para qué?) To fight against whom? Against the revolutionary government, that has the support of the whole people? … Weapons for what? Hiding weapons for what? To blackmail the President of the Republic? To threaten to break the peace here? To create organizations of gangsters? Is it that we are going to return to gangsterism? Is it that we will return to daily shootouts in the capital? Weapons for what?”  Supports gun control to secure his government’s power.

Adolph Hitler

  • Leader of the Nazi party, chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, commonly associated with the rise of fascism in Europe, World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Laws banned marriage between Jewish and non-Jewish Germans, laws deprived non-Aryans of benefits and rights of German citizenship.
  • Recommended non-German populace of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union be deported, enslaved or murdered for those territories to be repopulated by German settlers.
  • Forbade employment of non-Jewish women under age 45 in Jewish households
  • In January 1942, responsible for the imprisonment and extermination of 6 million Jews, 1.5 million Roma (“Gypsies”), Polish, Soviet prisoners of war and the systematic eradication of homosexuals, physically and mentally disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists and trade unionists.
  • Raised Roman Catholic, favoured Protestanism, however was a nominal church member.  Praised Christian heritage and used interpretations of Christian doctrines as a central motivation for anti-Semitism.  Admired Muslim military tradition and Shinto beliefs.
  • No sign that he ever openly spoke about gun control as guns were already banned in Nazi Germany prior to his coming to power, however Nazi policy banned weapons ownership for Jews and other “Non-Citizens”.

Josef Stalin

  • Premier of Soviet Union from 1941-1953, among Bolshevik revolutionaries responsible for Lenin’s October Revolution in 1917
  • Entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in order to regain former territories in Eastern Europe.  This pact ended in 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
  • Responsible for imprisonment of 344,000 people and the purge and execution of 247,157 people while in power.  He personally signed the death orders for 40,000 people.
  • Responsible for 3.3 million people forcibly relocated to Siberia, an estimated 43% of these transfers died from disease or malnutrition due to this forced move.
  • Total number of people estimated killed or died under Stalinist regime and policies: 17 million.
  • Raised Orthodox Catholic, but was a staunch atheist.
  • Supported gun control in 1929, allowing him to crush any dissidents and establish control over his populace.

So President Obama is being compared to:

  1. A socialist leader who overthrew a US controlled military regime.
  2. A fascist madman who murdered millions of people due to race, religion, sexuality, union affiliation or mental or physical disability.
  3. A totalitarian who is responsible (directly or through his policies) for 17 million of his own people’s death.

President Barack Hussein Obama

  • Overhauled the food safety system
  • Advanced women’s rights in the work place
  • Ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) in our military
  • Stopped defending DOMA in court.
  • Passed the Hate Crimes bill.
  • Appointed two pro-choice women to the Supreme Court.
  • Expanded access to medical care and provided subsidies for people who can’t afford it.
  • Expanded the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Fixed the preexisting conditions travesty [and rescissions] in health insurance.
  • Invested in clean energy.
  • Overhauled the credit card industry, making it much more consumer-friendly.
  • While Dodd-Frank bill was weak in many respects, it was still an extremely worthwhile start at re-regulating the financial sector.
  • He created a Elizabeth Warren’s dream agency: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • He’s done a lot for veterans
  • He got help for people whose health was injured during the clean-up after the 9/11 attacks.
  • Authorized an assault team to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, responsible for the 9/11 attacks
  • Eliminated several other Al-Qaeda leaders
  • Ended the War in Iraq
  • Begun the drawdown of forces from Afghanistan
  • End obstructionism by recess-appointing Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Board.

I fail to see how supporting safe foods, affordable health care for your entire country’s population, ending the systematic discrimination against homosexuals in the military and promoting an anti-hate crime bill can be compared to systematic crushing of human rights and murdering or enslaving your idealogical opponents, but then again, that may just be my liberal bias showing…

Now as the people coming off supporting this image seem to be Christian, I would like to draw to their attention that ALL THREE of these men that President Obama is being compared to were raised Catholic – just sayin’!  And by the way, President Obama is a practicing Christian, raised by Christian (albeit non-practicing Methodist and Baptist) parents and was sworn into Senate using his own personal Bible.

Next allow me to address his “un-Christian” name.

His full legal name is Barack Hussein Obama II – he was named after his father.  He was baptized as an adult in 1988 at Trinity United Church of Christ and worships regularly at the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David.  If folks have issues with his un-Christian name, they should further ask themselves if it is less Christian than Yeshua ben Yosef?

 One final comment before I step down off of the soapbox:  some famous Republican Supporters of Gun Control Legislation:

  • President George Bush Sr. banned import of assault weapons in 1989 and promoted the view that Americans be allowed to own weapons suitable for “sporting purposes.”
  • Governor Ronald Reagan of California signed the Mulford Act in 1967, which prohibited the carrying of firearms on one’s person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street.
  • President Ronald Reagan openly supported the Brady Bill in March 1991, urging Congress to enact it without further delay.
  • Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s NYC administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in June 2000 and proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, involving yearly “safety” inspections.
  • Governor George Pataki of New York State signed a low which provided the strictest gun controls in the US, mandating trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and ballistic fingerprinting of guns sold in state.  It also raised the legal age to purchase a handgun to 21 and banned assault weapons, the sale of possession of which is now punishable by seven years imprisonment.

So gun control is not strictly a “liberal” issue folks.  Some of the strongest supporters of gun control legislation in recent times have been Republicans.

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One thought on “myke on the soapbox: obama and gun control

  1. Gun control laws should really be passed. There are just so many violent events that is happening these days because of loose firearms. I just hope that the government will be more strict when it comes to guns.:”;.`

    Take care

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