Notable not just for the politicization of the memorial service, but also for one of the comparisons Barack Obama makes in this speech. Usually, memorials are about the victims, not about political agendas, but this time the media seems less inclined to carry Obama’s water (or more to the point, wave the bloody shirt on his behalf). Instead, Obama tried to do it himself — and might have a bigger problem on his hands:
As President, I have now grieved with five American communities ripped apart by mass violence. Fort Hood. Tucson. Aurora. Sandy Hook. And now, the Washington Navy Yard. And these mass shootings occur against a backdrop of daily tragedies, as an epidemic of gun violence tears apart communities across America — from the streets of Chicago to neighborhoods not far from here.
Fort Hood? The Obama administration has tried mightily to keep that labeled a case of workplace violence, but everyone knows that this was a case of radical jihad. Army Major Nidal Hasan had communicated with al-Qaeda recruiter and leader Anwar al-Awlaki, which a series of investigators managed to slough off over several months until Hasan launched his attack. That wasn’t a case where a lack of gun control allowed the massacre to occur; Hasan used a legally-purchased semi-automatic pistol, which as an Army officer shouldn’t have proved too difficult to do. Some could argue that the Pentagon’s bar on carrying weapons forced victims to remain disarmed, just as it did at the Washington Navy Yard. Either way, the government failed in dealing with Hasan properly which lead to the terrorist attack, not lax gun laws leading to “workplace violence.”
Besides, in this case the shooter bought the weapon that Vice President Joe Biden endorsed as an alternative to the guns Obama wants most to control and/or ban — a shotgun instead of an AR-15. The shooter also purchased it legally, complete with a background check.
Katie Pavlich points out the confusion:
Got that? If you don’t support new “common sense” gun control measures, you just don’t care about preventing mass shootings. And with all due respect, mass shootings are not the new normal and are not on the rise as President Obama would like the country to believe. Violence in the streets of Chicago between rival gangs is normal. Mass shootings, are not.
Let’s refresh what happened last week: Mad man Aaron Alexis, who was hearing aliens talk to him, purchased a shotgun legally at a Virginia gun store after passing two background checks. He carved cryptic sayings into the shotgun like “better off this way,” and “my elf gun.” He then illegally took that gun into Washington D.C., illegally brought it into the Navy Yard and committed mass murder. When it comes to more gun control, I’m not exactly sure what Obama is trying to get out here. Is he implying we should institute more restrictions on basic shotguns?