NRA chief not exactly wowed by Obama inaugural speech

posted at 8:01 am on January 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s mention of “absolutism” in his inaugural speech on Monday drew the ire of one of its intended targets.  Wayne LaPierre blasted Obama for equating absolutism on an explicit guaranteed right in the Constitution with extremism.  In his speech to a hunting conference, a defiant NRA chief warned that the substitution of personal preference for the plain meaning of the text is to “mistake absolutism for principle”:

In a fiery speech at a hunting conference in Nevada, Mr. LaPierre criticized Mr. Obama’s Inaugural Address on Monday when the president said Americans should not “mistake absolutism for principle.”

That reference, Mr. LaPierre said, was intended as an attack on the N.R.A. and gun owners who believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution provides an absolute right to bear arms.

“I urge our president to use caution when attacking clearly defined absolutes in favor of his principles,” Mr. LaPierre said. “When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.”

To clarify that last line, which is otherwise a keeper, it’s when absolutes are abandoned for personal principles that the Constitution becomes a blank slate for the fashion of the day.  That has long been the problem with Constitutional interpretation.  Too many times have politicians found themselves unable to push their agendas past the clear meaning of the text, and then adopt a “living Constitution” to tell us that the meaning of the words change depending on the times.  That’s nonsense, of course, especially because the crafters of the foundational legal document provided the mechanism to amend it to adapt the Constitution as the country sees fit.

It’s rather ironic that we’re having this discussion this week.  Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the deadliest Supreme Court decision in history, Roe v Wade, which allowed the killing of more than 55 million unborn children in the years since.  The word “abortion” is nowhere found in the Constitution, and yet the “right” for one is so heavily defended by the man crying “absolutism!” and his allies that not only will his DoJ block efforts by states to limit it, he campaigned on the notion that anyone debating the “right” to an abortion is … an extremist.

For a bit of pushback onto the President’s own turf, LaPierre pulled out the class-warfare card:

He said gun owners were faced with a “false ultimatum” in the debate over stemming gun violence.

“We’re told that to stop insane killers, we must accept less freedom — less than the criminal class and political class keep for themselves,” said LaPierre. “Obama is saying that the only ‘principled’ way to make children safe is to make lawful citizens less safe and violent criminals more safe.”

Well, extremists are like that.


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Join the club, Wayne.

Steve Eggleston on January 23, 2013 at 8:03 AM

When a Marxist strives for Utopia, objections carry no weight.

WordsMatter on January 23, 2013 at 8:08 AM

When Dear Liar gives up his armed security, I’ll think about giving up my guns. I still won’t, but I will think about it.

rbj on January 23, 2013 at 8:11 AM

NRA PARTY NOW !!!

Mr. Arrogant on January 23, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Well, for a ‘Constitutional Scholar’, our Prez does seem to have a hard time with complex legal phrases like, ‘Shall not’ and Shall make no’.

I’m betting he’d have no trouble at all with ‘My power shall not be infringed’…

trigon on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

That’s why they’re called Dumocrats isn’t it?

Vntnrse on January 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

So tell me, based on this idiotic “absolutism” philosophy, when the next looney-tune maniac decides to invoke mass murder and mayhem with something like explosives or crossbows, who the hell will Obama and the Left go after then?

pilamaye on January 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

“When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.”

*blinks*

LaPierre 2016!! :D

BigGator5 on January 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM

““I urge our president to use caution when attacking clearly defined absolutes in favor of his principles,”

Please Wayne, never, ever, help this man do his evil by naively confusing what he belives to be in any way related to principles-they are but part of an anti-constitutinal agenda.Words have meaning-and the left will kill you with them.

Don L on January 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Actually, the only right in America that is absolute is abortion. Men have no say, there are few restrictions on it and heading toward none at least in NY, and tax dollars are used to pay for many of them. It’s easier for a woman to get a taxpayer-funded abortion than for her to buy a handgun with her own money.

Liam on January 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

We’re told that to stop insane killers, we must accept less freedom — less than the criminal class and political class keep for themselves,” said LaPierre. “Obama is saying that the only ‘principled’ way to make children safe is to make lawful citizens less safe and violent criminals more safe.”

This is the part that gets little attention as partisan whores like Feinstein and Schumer seek to gut the Second Amendment. Not one thing being proposed goes out after ILLEGAL guns. It seeks to limit lawful gun ownership. This has been a goal of the left for decades and they are perfectly willing to use the blood of those children at Sandy Hook Elementary to try and “get the guns.”

Anybody who cares about the Constitution should be appalled and fighting mad.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM

“I believe they set aside their law when and as they wish. Their law no longer has rightful authority over us. All they have over us then is tyranny. And I will not live under that yoke.”

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM

You don’t need Obamateurism every morning when you wake up with Obama.

Electrongod on January 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Actually, the only right in America that is absolute is abortion. Men have no say, there are few restrictions on it and heading toward none at least in NY, and tax dollars are used to pay for many of them. It’s easier for a woman to get a taxpayer-funded abortion than for her to buy a handgun with her own money.

Liam on January 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Is it federal law that allows for underage girls to get an abortion and do so without anyone contacting her parents?

My 12 year old boy can’t even use the archery range without either having me there or the range master giving me a call for the ok, if he tried to buy a gun they would laugh him out of the store. Yet my daughter could waltz into a Planned Parenthood abattoir and they would be all smiles.

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

LaPierre/Levin 2016!!

ctmom on January 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Don’t tell morning Joe…. we’re all extremists listening to the nra

cmsinaz on January 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

“When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.”

Barack Obama does not want to draw graffiti on the United States Constitution, he wants to burn it to a cinder.

VorDaj on January 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

That’s nonsense, of course, especially because the crafters of the foundational legal document provided the mechanism to amend it to adapt the Constitution as the country sees fit.

Well a lot of people don’t seem to understand that.
I often ask my HS students things about the Constitution. Especially the seniors.
They don’t seem to know much. From what I see, they aren’t getting educated on our government system continually. They hit a few things here & there throughout grade screwl, get US history in the 11th grade, which the Constitution is not being studied, & then they’ve got US Govt as a Sr.
This is not enough. They need a separate civics class & reduce the electives. You don’t need to add another requirement for graduation.

Badger40 on January 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

“When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.”

“You say that as if it’s a BAD thing” – Barack Hussein Obama

Cleombrotus on January 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Some states have parental-notification requirements, but in many of them a judge can order it set aside on a case-by-case basis. Teachers have been given seminars on exactly how to ‘help’ an underage student go through the court for such an order. Cuomo’s new proposal totally removed any requirement for parents to be informed by anyone; it’s up to the minor to decide if or when she intends/has had an abortion.

Liam on January 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Obama sees the Constitution as something to smoke…

[Mooch rolls her eyes]

Electrongod on January 23, 2013 at 8:37 AM

So tell me, based on this idiotic “absolutism” philosophy, when the next looney-tune maniac decides to invoke mass murder and mayhem with something like explosives or crossbows, who the hell will Obama and the Left go after then?

pilamaye on January 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

We just better hope it’s not a white christian male.

Dr. Frank Enstine on January 23, 2013 at 8:56 AM

“When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.”

*blinks*

LaPierre 2016!! :D

BigGator5 on January 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM

And “graffiti = racism” in 3…2…1…

NickelAndDime on January 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

You don’t need Obamateurism every morning when you wake up with Obama.

Electrongod on January 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Ewwwwh! I did not need that image in my head.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Are the politicians willing to ban “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines from the Secret Service, law enforcement, body guards and any other personnel whose job it is to protect the lives of others, while at the same time they are trying to ban us from them? Uh-huh, thought so.

HiJack on January 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Obama sees the Constitution as something to smoke…

[Mooch rolls her eyes]

Electrongod on January 23, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Is it only a coincidence that if you pronounce Mooch backwards you get Choom? How can that be?

HiJack on January 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Kill millions of children if you like, just use the totally unregulated scalpel and you can get even get paid by the government to murder kids, and be a hero to liberals.

Use a handgun and a rifle to murder twenty and its the rifle that’s the pariah.

Speakup on January 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

How does Obama put down absolutism he despises without creating an absolutism of his own making? Moral relativists can never escape being moralistic . . . never. Time to call out leftists for being the worst kind of moralistic, judgmental scolds that they are.

mwbri on January 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Over at Slate, they begin up Climate Change with this quote from President Barack Obama’s inaugural address …

“That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”

Obama falls into the trap. Captain James T Kirk frames the question right in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989), … “What does God need with a starship?”

Why does God need us to do anything ? God is God, the omnipotent.

Every time I head something like that uttered by Obama, I think of the Crusaders and the Jihadists, the holy warriors, who tell us they are going it for God. No, they are not. They are doing it for themselves. An omnipotent God just doesn’t work that way.

J_Crater on January 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

…how racist!

KOOLAID2 on January 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM

I am.

tngmv on January 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Interesting subject on local talk radio this morning (based on his own interview with Piers Morgan)……

Should Stevie Wonder be allowed to buy a firearm? Turns out it is legal. Stevie Wonder calls it part of our “crazy” gun laws. But where I come down is that it is a right and with that right comes a responsibility for being able to use it safely. Only the blind person can make that assessment.

BTW, for perspective, blind people can buy cars even if they can’t drive them.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

That’s nonsense, of course, especially because the crafters of the foundational legal document provided the mechanism to amend it to adapt the Constitution as the country sees fit.

Be careful in offering the casual suggestion that the process allows amendment of the Bill of Rights, or more specifically the first ten amendments of the Constitution. It is not so, they are inalienable rights of the people that are to be guaranteed by the Federal government, not rights given by the Federal government, a government, which, after all, is merely the collective representation of the people themselves, all of whom have the obligation not to infringe upon and none of whom have the right to do so.

And remember, the Bill of Rights was put forward after the Constitution had been drafted and sent to the states, and added after it was ratified, for the sole purpose of spelling out what rights of individual citizens were immune to the controlling power of the Federal or State governments.

Dusty on January 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

BTW, for perspective, blind people can buy cars even if they can’t drive them.

[Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM]

Blind people can drive cars. They just cannot do so on public rights-of-way. If they own a race track, or even a dirt oval in their back yard, they can drive it in those locations.

Dusty on January 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Blind people can drive cars. They just cannot do so on public rights-of-way. If they own a race track, or even a dirt oval in their back yard, they can drive it in those locations.

Dusty on January 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Ray Charles ones drove a car for a car commercial. They shot it out in the middle of nowhere. He said it was one of the coolest things he’d ever done.

CurtZHP on January 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

And “graffiti = racism” in 3…2…1…

NickelAndDime on January 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Yep. ‘graffiti’ = racist dog whistle. All the Journal-Listers will be saying so before Chris Mathews even gets on-air tonight. All the illiberal dipshits will seize up right there as their excuse to ignore the whole thing.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

And remember, the Bill of Rights was put forward after the Constitution had been drafted and sent to the states, and added after it was ratified, for the sole purpose of spelling out what rights of individual citizens were immune to the controlling power of the Federal or State governments.

Dusty on January 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I’d always understood the we’re added at the constitutional convention as a counterbalancing compromise in order to secure the necessary votes for ratification from the anti-Federalists.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I’d always understood the we’re added at the constitutional convention as a counterbalancing compromise in order to secure the necessary votes for ratification from the anti-Federalists.

[rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM]

The Constitution was completed and issued for ratification in September, 1787. By the Fall of 1788, over 11 states had ratified it, some with amendments. This all occurred while the need for a Bill of Rights was hotly debated. Actually the first federal congress under the new Constitution considered those amendments including the Bill of Rights and, a list numbering 12 amendments was passed by the House and Senate and was sent to the states for ratification in the Fall of 1789. Ten of those were ratified by three fourths of the states by 1791.

Another one of the original 12 was finally ratified and entered as the 27th Amendment, in 1992. Here’s a brief post from yesterday on that one.

Dusty on January 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM