Obama: Senators who don't exploit emotion to gut Second Amendment guilty of 'shameful cowardice'

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Tuesday June 21st, 2016

Or maybe the opposite is true.

Trying to follow the purported logic of Barack Obama is rarely an easy proposition, but I think I've got this one worked out. As he sees it, your duty as a U.S. senator is to take advantage of the high emotion of the moment to decimate the Second Amendment, regardless of whether the gun-grabbing, Constitution-shredding move you make would have done anything to stop the shooting that's provided the convenient pretense for your legislative recklessness.

And if you don't do this, you're a coward, and he'll make sure everyone knows it by saying so.

The White House accused U.S. senators of a "shameful display of cowardice" on Tuesday and said they failed the American people by not advancing any gun control measures after the nation's largest mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, last week.

"Gun violence requires more than moments of silence," President Barack Obama said on Twitter. "It requires action. In failing that test, the Senate failed the American people."

Earlier, White House spokesman Josh Earnest appeared on morning television news shows excoriating the U.S. Senate for rejecting on Monday four gun bills aimed at keeping firearms away from people with suspected ties to militants.

"What we saw last night on the floor of the United States Senate was a shameful display of cowardice," Earnest said on MSNBC.

After Monday's votes, the Senate turned away from gun control, at least temporarily, to debate a different tactic for battling domestic attacks that could be inspired by Islamic State and other foreign militant groups.

Senators were aiming to vote by Wednesday on legislation by Senator John McCain of Arizona expanding the Federal Bureau of Investigation's ability to conduct secret surveillance in counterterrorism investigations.

"This week we’ll have the opportunity to strengthen our ability to combat lone wolf terrorists and connect the dots so we are better able to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States" such as the Orlando massacre, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

A quick word about the substance of the competing approaches: The Republicans want to focus on the likely perpetrators of these attacks and connect the dots so they will have a better chance of stopping them in the future. Maybe it would help if, when someone reports a guy as acting suspicious and seeming like he could be a threat, the FBI didn't dismiss the concerns because it thought those making the report were anti-Muslim bigots. That might help.

The Democrats, by contrast, want to curtail the rights of all Americans - including the right to arm yourself for protection against these thugs - on the theory that this is really "home-grown terrorism" unrelated to radical Islam. I guess Americans are so prone to fly off the handle that none of us can be trusted with guns.

But let's get back to this idea that the senators who oppose the gun control measure are cowards. It's hard to imagine a politically easier move to make in the emotional aftermath of a shooting like this than to fall in with the gun control hysteria. You can throw your hands up and say "enough is enough," conveniently ignoring the fact that the shootings aren't happening because you haven't passed a bill like this. You can blame the NRA for caring more about guns than people, even though that's a complete crock of s****. And of course, if you go along with the gun control measure, you get praised by the president and the media, while those who stand firm in defense of the Second Amendment get blasted for "failing the American people" or whatever.

Killing Obama's gun control bill makes you a coward? I don't think so. Support for the Second Amendment is one of the few issues where Republicans on Capitol Hill consistently show backbone. And if the NRA is responsible for it - because it provides a counterweight to the pressure that would otherwise come from the news media and an increasingly disingenuous president - then good for the NRA.

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