Getting the attention of the White House was always a difficult undertaking, especially as one voice in a sea of millions. To make things “easier”, President Obama launched We the People in 2011. This extension of the White House was meant to give citizens a platform to voice their concerns with the current administration. And to prevent the Oval Office from ignoring controversial petitions, they had to make an official response if over 100,000 signatures were obtained.
Sounds like a great idea. So what’s the catch?
Well, they only have to deliver a response, not an answer. If you’ve ever watched a Jay Carney press briefing, you can see where this is going. More often than not the administration has a staffer respond…and not in kind. As we’ve come to realize over this president’s tenure, a condescending air of superiority pervades the majority of their responses.
The most recent example comes from a petition filed under, “Eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their families, and establish Gun Free Zones around them”. A little drastic (and intentionally so), but it definitely serves a point. Gun Free Zones have been proven to leave children vulnerable, as signs won’t deter a criminal bent on inflicting harm.
And since celebrities, politicians, and pundits often surround themselves with armed guards, are we prepared to admit that their lives carry more weight than our children?
Here’s an excerpt from the White House response:
At the same time, all of us deserve to live in safer communities, which is why we need to take responsible, commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, even while respecting individual freedom. And let’s be clear: President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. You can see him talk about that in a previous petition response:
We ought to be able to keep weapons of war off the streets. We ought to close the loopholes in the background check system that make it too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns — an idea that has the support of 90 percent of people in the United States.
That’s why the President and an overwhelming majority of Americans are calling on Congress to pass gun safety legislation that closes loopholes in the background check system and makes gun trafficking a federal crime.
A minority in the Senate is blocking this common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, but President Obama is already taking action to protect our kids with executive actions. He is taking the steps available to him as President to strengthen the existing background check system, give law enforcement officials more tools to prevent gun violence, end the freeze on gun violence research, make schools safer, and improve access to mental health care.
Talking points, talking points, talking points. It’s as if the staffer charged with writing this blacked out and forgot to mention anything about gun free zones. This wasn’t about background checks (which has never been the big point of contention for gun owners). It was about protecting children with a sign, and how that logic is ultimately flawed.
It’s also convenient that they left out banning assault weapons, limited magazine capacity, and passing restrictions on carry laws. Maybe the president believes in an individual right to bear arms, but only the ones he approves of (See: muskets, single shot, etc.)
If this administration really cared about our children, they’d be taking more significant steps to secure schools. But instead of a solution, they’ve responded with yet another sleight of hand that insults the intelligence of the American people. It’s depressing to see the future of this country handled by such incapable hands.