Walters: Obama’s amnesty speech presages new curbs on gun rights
[Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Concealed Carry Report weekly e-letter, a publication of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.]
The following text is from Mark Walter’s 11-23-14 opening segment of Armed American Radio. It substitutes “gun control” for “immigration” as the topic of President Obama’s recent speech in an attempt to examine the chilling effects of Obama trying to justify executive action on “universal background checks”—just as he did with immigration—in the face of a Congress that “refuses to act” on his gun control agenda. By using the phony stats of the gun-grabbers in the text Mark has painted a frightening picture of what an Obama executive move on gun control might sound like. Chilling indeed!]
11-23-2014 –Armed American Radio with Mark Walters
My fellow Americans, tonight I’d like to talk with you about gun control. For more than 200 years, our right to bear arms has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.
It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial and more importantly, free. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities. But today, our background check system is broken, and 90 percent of you know it. Law-abiding gun owners playing by the rules watch others flout the rules. Gun shop owners offer their products under the watchful eye of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms instant background check system only to watch 40% of gun sales go unchecked. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of gun ownership in America without taking on the responsibilities of getting a background check and paying their fair share.
It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it. When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken and weak background check system. And I began by doing what I could to exploit the tragic murders at Sandy Hook.
Hear the audio of Mark Walters reading his reworking of Obama’s #amnestry address here:
Today we have more ATF agents, technology, and regulation deployed to secure our nation’s privately owned gun dealers than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, largely due to me, civilian gun ownership is at historic highs, while violent crime continues to drop to record low levels.
But that’s not good enough. We can do more…we owe it to our children…if we can save one life….
Although this summer there was a brief spike in certain violent crimes, the number of such crimes is actually lower than it’s been in nearly 20 years. Those are the facts.
Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix to this problem immediately after Newtow; however, a dysfunctional Congress, lead of course by Republicans who take their marching orders from the NRA and the gun lobby extremists, failed to enact my common sense proposals to create a universal background check system that 90% of Americans (including 60% of NRA members) approve of. It wasn’t perfect. It was a compromise. But it reflected common sense proposals that would save lives and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who have no use for such firepower. It would have doubled the number of ATF agents, while giving undocumented gun owners a pathway to legal gun ownership.
And independent experts like Jonathan Gruber said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives, lead by Republicans, worked with the Senate in bipartisan fashion to craft a common sense bill that allows you to keep your gun rights while enacting simple common sense background measures, I would have signed it into law and my actions today would be unnecessary. But for a year and a half now Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote. Now I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense gun control that 90% of you have told me you want. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president, the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me, that will help make our firearm laws and background check system more fair and more just.
Tonight I’m announcing those actions.
First, we’ll build on our progress at the ATF with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can continue to stem the flow of guns into our communities, our cities and towns, our schools and shopping centers.
Second, I’ll make it harder for just anyone to buy a gun. And while it might be an inconvenience to those of you who insist on continuing to buy guns, I think paying fees and taxes for your privilege to bear arms is only fair. Those of you who are honest with yourselves agree with me. I know you do, I heard your vote. And I heard those who didn’t vote because the system is rigged against them.
Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of gun owners who we expect will not comply with my executive order.
I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation awash in firearms ownership, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented owners of guns, the 40% of those who currently do not get background checks…I believe that they must be held accountable, especially those who may be dangerous.
Over the past six years, tens of thousands of people were stopped trying to buy guns due to our current background check system….and while only 42 of them were prosecuted by my Attorney General Eric Holder, a man who continues to receive my fullest support, we know we can do better! We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.
You may be asking why it appears I’m focusing on law-abiding gun owners…some of you are asking why I don’t go after criminals…the cold hard fact is that every honest American knows that every criminal or murderer started out as a law-abiding citizen until they murdered someone with a gun, or robbed that family liquor store, or shot up a school. It starts here, with you…and fair Americans realize this.
But even as we focus on law-abiding citizens, the fact is millions of gun owners in every state, of every race and nationality, are still just that…law-abiding gun owners…I understand that and to you I say, you have nothing to fear. If you like your guns you can keep your guns….no one is going to take your guns away.
And let’s be honest: tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of gun owners isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans.
After all, most of these gun owners have been here a long time. They work hard often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. And their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like mine.
As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it, they are a part of American life.
Now here is the thing. We expect people who own guns to play by the rules. So we’re going to offer the following deal: if you’re a gun owner more than five years and if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to keep your guns. You can come out of the shadows and get right with me.
That’s what this deal is.
Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not take your guns away…it only makes it a little more inconvenient for you to obtain one after I sign this order…and any law-abiding gun owner, in fact 90% of you, have told me you agree with the common sense measures I’m outlining here tonight. It doesn’t confiscate your guns.
I know some of the critics of the action call my proposals an attack on your Constitutional rights…well it’s not…I am still letting you have your right to bear arms…I’m simply keeping my promise to the gun control lobby and initiating common sense background checks. Mass incarceration would be unfair. Mass confiscation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.
What I’m describing is accountability. A common sense middle- ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can keep your guns and even buy a new one once in a while.
And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our background check system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: pass a universal background check bill. I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.
Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal breaker on every issue. That’s not how our Democracy works, and Congress shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this.
Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs right now is a common purpose, a higher purpose. Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight, but I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home.
Millions of you go back generations in this country, with ancestors who owned firearms for hunting or sport.
I know some worry that universal background checks will change the very fabric of who we are, or stick it to law-abiding gun owners, millions of you who feel you’ve gotten a raw deal already by paying for the actions of criminals who misuse guns. I hear those concerns, but that’s not what these steps would do.
Because for all the back and forth in Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It’s about who we are as a country and who we want to be for future generations.
Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system that lets 40% of gun owners buy guns without a background check? Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of incarcerating those who could simply have avoided it by getting a simple common sense background check that 90% of you, including 60% of NRA members, say they approve of?
That’s what this debate is all about.
I know the politics of this issue are tough, but let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it. Over the past years I’ve seen the determination of gun owners who worked two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government who think they need a gun to keep their family safe rather than the police. I’ve seen the heartbreak and anxiety of mothers who have lost their children to criminal gun violence and I say to that mother, I feel you and I hear you as a father myself…there is more we can do and although the vast majority of you are law-abiding, responsible parents and gun owners…the fact is that the next murderer will come from your ranks if I do nothing…and I wasn’t elected to do nothing…I’ve seen the courage of the gun control lobby who in the face of the NRA and other extremists in the gun rights community have stood tall and proud against a firearms industry that puts profits in front of common sense universal background check legislation.
My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of gun owners. My universal background check executive order will not change that. It will only make us safer and if we can save one child, we have done our jobs and I have done what I came here to do…to act when Congress will not. I look forward to signing this lawful executive order. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless this country you love.
Much like immigration, Obama has seized on his belief that congress has “failed to act” his gun control agenda “starting with “common sense reform” such as “universal background checks.” Here’s a taste of what he has said in the past, much like his previous statements on immigration including his promise to act, “with or without congress.”
Obama on gun control-universal background checks *
Presidential Debate, Oct. 16, 2012
“We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. My belief is that we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement. But weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”
“It has been two months since Newtown. This is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans —Americans who believe in the Second Amendment—have come together around common-sense reform—like background checks.”
State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2014
“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid,’ and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”
2008 Philadelphia Primary Debate, April 16, 2008
“I think we can provide common-sense approaches to the issue of illegal guns that are ending up on the streets. We can make sure that criminals don’t have guns in their hands. We can make certain that those who are mentally deranged are not getting a hold of handguns. We can trace guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers that may be selling to straw purchasers and dumping them on the streets.”
Las Vegas Democratic Debate, Jan. 15, 2008
“I don’t think that we can get that done, but what we can do is to provide just some common-sense enforcement. The efforts by law enforcement to obtain the information required to trace back guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers. As president, I intend to make it happen. We essentially have two realities, when it comes to guns, in this country. You’ve got the tradition of lawful gun ownership. It is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot. Then you’ve got the reality of 34 Chicago public school students who get shot down on the streets of Chicago. We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets.”
Minneapolis Town Hall Meeting, June 2014
“Honestly, this is not going to change unless the people who want to prevent these kinds of mass shootings from taking place feel at least as passionate, at least as mobilized and well-funded as the NRA and the gun manufacturers are because the politics in Congress are such where even members of Congress who know better are fearful if they vote their conscience and support common sense measures like background checks, they’re worried they’re going to lose.”
Armed American Radio with Mark Walters is distributed nationally by The Salem Radio Network and airs in hundreds of cities across America every Sunday from 8p-11p ET, 5p-8p PT. For more information on the program and to hear previous broadcasts, please visit www.armedamericanradio.com. For up to the minute programming info and guest lineups, please join Armed American Radio on Facebook.