Setting the Stage for Gun Control to be a 2016 Campaign Issue?

Clinton Joins Obama in Call for Additional Restrictions on Constitutionally Protected Rights

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.  And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

Clinton_Senate_Armed_ServicesAlthough the quote above is from 2008, the concept is nothing new for anti-gun zealots on the left, including Emanuel’s political cronies.  The current mayor of Chicago – a prime example of the failures of gun control – has close ties with many other anti-gun politicians, including President Obama and 2016 democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton, and it is obvious that they are sharing the same playbook.

Emanuel was first appointed as the finance committee director for Bill Clinton’s presidential bid in 1992, before going on to be Clinton’s Assistant to the President for Political Affairs.  Emanuel was later serving as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy when when the 1994 “Assault Weapon Ban” (another fine example of the failures of gun control) was enacted.  After a stint as a US Congressman representing Illinois’s 5th district, Emanuel was appointed by the Obama administration to serve as White House Chief of Staff following the 2008 election.  Perhaps it was during all of this close time together that Emanuel shared his strategy of capitalizing on crises to push unpopular political agendas like the ones that top democrats are now espousing with renewed vigor in the wake of the recent tragedy at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.   

In a speech over the weekend, Clinton posited that she “[is] not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms, and along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country.”  Clinton went on to vow that she would somehow tiptoe through the Second Amendment to “keep [guns] out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable while not penalizing responsible gun owners.”  Given that there are already strict controls on who can legally purchase firearms, coupled with studies indicating that the vast majority of firearms used in crimes are obtained illicitly (through theft or purchase from other criminals), perhaps what is needed is more criminal control, not more gun control.

Unlikely-but-potential 2016 candidate Joe Biden also weighed in on the matter, further setting the stage for gun control to be a talking point on democratic presidential campaigns.  “[A]s a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities.

Biden’s statements appear to contradict his previous statement that “nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to 1,000 a year from what it is now.”  Note that 1,000 a year is a lofty goal, especially given that Chicago alone, seen as a bastion of gun control and cited as a national model,  has seen approximately 200 homicides and well over 1,100 shootings already this year – something about which politicians, anti-gun zealots, and the media are largely silent.  Somewhat ironic for an area currently under the purview of Mayor Emanuel and, previously, state senator Obama.

Statements from both 2016 potentials came shortly after comments from the president, who used his statements on the Charleston tragedy – before the victims’ bodies were even cold – as a tool to call for more restrictions.  Hearkening back to Rahm Emanuel’s 2008 “words of wisdom” about not wasting a crisis, even CNN acknowledged that “Thursday isn’t the first time Obama has used a shooting tragedy in the United States to make a renewed call for toughening gun ownership laws” – making reference to previous occasions that the president has used solemn memorials and prayer vigils toward such ends.  CNN also acknowledges “pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association” as a major part of the reason that such efforts have been largely unsuccessful.

Regardless of how hypocritical or blind some of their statements may be, or how insensitive it may be to use the death of the nine victims in Charleston, it certainly does appear that gun control may be set as a 2016 campaign talking point, given the political players who are currently making noise about it at.

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