In a press conference from the White House, between all the jokes and self-deprecating remarks about his age and acting like the host of a late night show, amidst the clapping and laughing, cheering and “tears”, Obama made some remarks about his plans to take executive action on gun control.
While it was hard to tell if I was watching a sitting president discussing a subject he deems in “fierce urgency of now” or an actress at an awards show, I took the liberty of selecting a few quotes from his
red carpet performance:
“The last time I met with Mark — this is just a small aside — you may know Mark’s twin brother is in outer space. (Laughter.) He came to the office, and I said, how often are you talking to him? And he says, well, I usually talk to him every day, but the call was coming in right before the meeting so I think I may have not answered his call — (laughter) — which made me feel kind of bad. (Laughter.) That’s a long-distance call. (Laughter.) So I told him if his brother, Scott, is calling today, that he should take it. (Laughter.) Turn the ringer on. (Laughter.)
“Everybody should have to abide by the same rules. Most Americans and gun owners agree.”
“Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking.” (Applause.)
“I believe in the Second Amendment. It’s written there… on the paper.”
“Second Amendment rights are important but there are other rights that we care about as well.”
“So the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage. (Applause.) We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.” (Applause.)
“If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure they can’t pull a trigger on a gun.”
“The constant excuses for inaction… no longer suffice”
“We’re also expanding background checks to cover violent criminals who try to buy some of the most dangerous firearms by hiding behind trusts and corporations and various cutouts.”
“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage”
“And for those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding action on guns, here’s your chance to support these efforts. Put your money where your mouth is.” (Applause.)
“If there’s an app that can help us find a missing tablet — which happens to me often the older I get — (laughter) — if we can do it for your iPad, there’s no reason we can’t do it with a stolen gun. If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun.” (Applause.) Right?”
It’s a whole lot of spin and I’m sure we’ll be picking it apart in the next few days, but for right now, I’d like to highlight one particular call to arms he made. Like most of what Obama says, these words can be interpreted in different ways by different people: it’s one of the traits that make him a successful a politician. Unlike the outright lies he stated during the press conference, we should listen to this statement:
“But if we love our kids and care about their prospects, and if we love this country and care about its future, then we can find the courage to vote. We can find the courage to get mobilized and organized. We can find the courage to cut through all the noise and do what a sensible country would do.
That’s what we’re doing today. And tomorrow, we should do more. And we should do more the day after that. And if we do, we’ll leave behind a nation that’s stronger than the one we inherited.”
Okay, America: the great and powerful Obama has issued his marching orders!
Let’s work tirelessly; today, tomorrow, and the day after that.
Let’s find the courage to get mobilized and organized.
Let’s help the gun lobby continue to fight in DC on our behalf.
Let’s educate people on how much our foundations do for gun safety.
Let’s work to uncover and promote the truth about guns in America.
Finally, let’s commit to vote for candidates who support our rights.