Sunday, March 13, 2011

...On President Obama's Op-Ed in AZ Daily Star

Tucson's local paper, The Arizona Daily Star, ran an interesting op-ed today about gun laws and public safety written by none other than President Barack Obama. You can read it here - it's called "We must seek agreement on gun reforms". The President argues for common sense safety measures, like more accurate and effective background checks. Publishing this in a local Arizona paper is an interesting move, politically and rhetorically. His speech following the Tucson shooting was generally well-received, but there are many Arizonans who hate nothing more than gun legislation, so I doubt this will go over well. In Arizona, if you know what kind of gun you want, it takes less than 15 minutes to walk out of a gun shop with a high-powered weapon that you're free to conceal. NWA might have coined "Fuck the police," but Jan Brewer & Co have made it a reality.

It might gain Obama some miniscule bit of credit on the national stage when people learn about this op-ed, see that he remembers Tucson, remembers the tragedy, and is trying to remain engaged in the conversation about gun safety in our state. He's giving Arizona a chance to do something level-headed for once, to model for the country that, in the face of tragedy, good, logical people can come together and do the right thing. Unfortunately, he doesn't understand that many Arizonans are happy to sacrifice a liberal representative, a judge, some old people and a couple of kids every so often to maintain their easy access to unnecessary weapons. If you'll excuse the pun, the President's message is likely to backfire locally, earning him perhaps more enemies than supporters. And there is a 0% chance of Arizona actually listening to his words, considering them, or enacting sensible gun laws.

Oh, and I suppose I should point out that I'm not anti-gun...at all.  If you assume anyone who supports laws to prevent people who are documented threats from easily buying guns is trying to take away your Second Amendment rights, then I'll see my way out of that conversation before it starts.

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