In a recent article The Economist wrote about Obama’s town hall on guns in America, the author (Lexington, an anonymous author whom this blog has criticized in the past, on this very same topic) was dismayed by what he (she?) saw.
“What came across, with dismaying clarity, was that this president’s critics listen to what he says about guns, and do not believe a word of it.”
Why should we? Why should we believe or listen to anything Mr. Obama says about guns? He says “I respect the 2nd Amendment” and yet he clearly doesn’t. Anyone who actually respects the 2nd Amendment never follows that statement with a “but”–the same way anyone who actually believes in free speech never says “I believe in free speech…but…”
That would be like saying “I respect women, but….”–whatever follows, it is just going to undermine your assertion. Someone who actually respects something usually does not feel the need to qualify it or put conditions on it. Of course, nobody is a mind reader. It is impossible to know Mr. Obama’s true sentiments on the 2nd Amendment, but to those of us who do respect the 2nd Amendment, Mr. Obama’s assertion comes across as pandering at best, disingenuous more commonly, and an outright lie occasionally. Put simply, to many–including this author–it is impossible to have “respect” for the 2nd Amendment and yet still believe in gun control beyond the most basic limitations, and anyone who is in favor of more control–by the government, just to be clear–is given a very healthy dose of skepticism.
However, one doesn’t need to be a mind reader–nor a pro-gun fanatic–to disbelieve any and everything Mr. Obama says about guns.
We the people who actually respect the 2nd Amendment don’t believe anything Mr. Obama says because his words do not match his actions.
Mr. Obama lives in a world where good intentions>results; we, by contrast, live in a world where results are what counts. Mr. Obama predicates his actions on words about mass shootings and yet among rational minds it is widely agreed his proposals would have done nothing to prevent any of the mass shootings he referenced.
We do not listen to Mr. Obama because there is a gap between his stated intent and his proposed action–that gap is what causes among us a lack of belief and a lack of trust. We do not trust Obama; we do not take him at his word, because his word, when compared to his action, makes no sense. The only logical conclusions therefore are either that Mr. Obama is incompetent on the matter–in which case discussion with him is going to be fruitless–or he has an ulterior motive he is not sharing with us. Is it any surprise that we believe a man who is otherwise brilliant in many respects could not be incompetent on this issue?