January 18, 2013 by Nash Riggins
America’s National Rifle Association has sunk despicably low in its fight to prevent the introduction of impending gun control legislature – and, if nothing else, it illustrates little more than the organisation’s inability to produce a realistic argument against gun control.
Indeed, the NRA has apparently chosen to appeal its case to the American people by releasing a video that accuses President Barack Obama of being a hypocrite – why? For having the Secret Service protect his daughters, whilst simultaneously opposing the group’s call for armed guards in schools.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he sceptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?” the video’s narrator asks. “Mr Obama demands that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
If nothing else, the NRA’s move indicates a clear shift in the nation’s gun debate from one composed of credible, proactive arguments to one led by election-style, nonsensical gibberish.
No, the President’s kids are not fundamentally more important than any other children – but they are certainly more likely to be targeted with violence or an attempted kidnapping. In fact, the Secret Service – originally a tool used solely by the Treasury Department – only began to protect the Presidential family after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. Unless the NRA is suggesting they want President Obama or his family to share the same fate, it should be considered irrational to argue that they don’t need protecting.
Let’s explore why, shall we?
In November 2009, a 35-year-old woman called the Boston office of the Secret Service and told them she planned to “blow away” Michelle Obama while the family visited Hawaii on vacation. In April 2010, a man named Joseph McVey was arrested in Ashville, NC after impersonating a police officer at the city’s airport in order to access the President as he was leaving the airport with Air Force One. In November 2011, Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired 9 rounds at the windows of the first family’s living quarters in the White House with a Romanian Cugir semiautomatic rifle.
It’s not hypocritical of the nation’s President to have special protection, whilst the ‘Average Joe’ down the road is left to fend for himself – because unless Joe has fallen in with one insatiably bad crowd, chances are that he doesn’t receive two dozen death threats a day. Subsequently, President Obama’s proposed gun legislature – which will ban assault weapons, limit the number of rounds guns can carry and tighten regulations for background checks – will be the first step towards ensuring that Joe won’t have to live in fear of a death by smoking barrel.
The NRA knows this to be true, which is why they’ve now resorted to lashing out at the President’s children, rather than just admitting that a few less AR-15s in the hands of troubled youths is a good thing. There have been 926 gun-related deaths in America since the Sandy Hook massacre on 14 December – including 55 children. The US can no longer pretend that gun crime is not one of the most prevalent issues infecting its country. Pop culture is not the problem, and neither are the mentally ill. 300 million guns are the problem, and the NRA is apparently only able to combat this inherent truth by way of pathetically pointing the finger at Barack Obama’s two daughters. Best ignore them and carry on.