(Politico) President Barack Obama offered a personal reflection on gun violence here Friday, tackling the issue not as a policymaker or parent, but as a black man himself who knew how close he’d come to a very different fate.
Obama’s talked frequently about gun violence since the Newtown massacre, but never in these terms. Straying from a speech meant to discuss initiatives from his State of the Union address aimed at supporting poor communities, the president reflected instead on the group of at-risk male teens he’d met with just before he took the stage.
“I had more of a safety net, but these guys are no different than me,” Obama said at Hyde Park Academy, where the teenagers are in school. “I had issues too when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
Speaking of the economic struggles and broken homes that he identified as the root causes, Obama talked about his own experiences as a young African-American man, causing trouble and, later, trying to affect change on the streets here.
“Don’t get me wrong, as the son of a single mom … I turned out OK … but at the same time I wish I had a father who was involved, around,” Obama said.
There’s quite a bit of difference between growing up on the streets of Portland, Jakarta, and Honolulu, before heading to Los Angeles and NYC for college, and finally ending up in Chicago as a grown adult to community agitate.
“Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under. That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said. “That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”
Yet, none of his proposals will keep guns out of the hands of criminals: they’ll just turn the rest of the country into mostly into a camp of disarmed law abiding citizens left to the mercy of criminals.
“No law or set of laws can prevent every senseless act of violence in this country,” Obama said. “When a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill, only community and parents and teachers and clergy can fill that hole. and “when a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill,” he added, drawing on language he used during a 2007 speech in Anacostia, a poor and violent area of Washington.
Well, Chicago’s gun laws sure aren’t preventing anything, particularly in the case of criminals getting and using all manners of guns. But, hey, let’s slap the same restrictions on the rest of the country. And, after he gave his speech about know the mean streets, Obama’s off on a ritzy vacation, with Michelle going her own way, which includes $1,000 an hour golf lessons.
Meanwhile, in companion Politico article, Illinois Rep. Danny Davis tells us exactly where Obama and the Dems really want to go with gun control
“One of the best things we can do is reduce the number of guns on the streets, in our possessions, and to make sure that nobody except military personnel and some law enforcement people have access to these weapons of mass destruction that people are walking up and down the streets with,” Davis said.
There you go: no private ownership of weapons. On The Government would posses them. Except, of course, criminals who do not follow the law. So that the country looks much like Chicago.