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Obama’s Big Lie

Obama’s Big Lie

Photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

This feature appears in the September ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

When a politician makes a statement so blatantly false that everyone knows he is lying, is there any reason to take seriously anything else that politician has to say?

That question occurred to me when President Barack Obama recently spoke at a memorial service for five murdered officers in Dallas. Instead of giving a speech aimed at bringing Americans together and honoring the fallen officers, Obama chose to lie about guns.“We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book,” Obama said. 

“We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book,” Obama said. 

Anyone—regardless of what side of the gun-control debate they are on—should be smart enough to recognize that statement as an outright lie. Yet when questioned about it, White House representatives actually tried to justify the statement by sending the Washington Post “supporting information that addresses lower-income areas that have limited bookstores or educational resources, compared with higher-income areas.” 

The fact is, there are no neighborhoods where it is easier to get a gun than a book. Libraries are widespread in every American city, and lend books for free, legally, with no background check or other restrictions. And even in our most crime-ridden neighborhoods, the black market in firearms is a dangerous business. In contrast, borrowing Catcher in the Rye from a library is one of the safest, easiest activities a young person could engage in. The one thing that the black market in guns proves is how impotent gun laws are to stop felons from committing crimes. 

Teens getting handguns for the purpose of committing crimes are nearly always committing felonies simply by acquiring and possessing the firearms—before they ever use the guns to commit an armed robbery, murder or assault.While Obama’s apologists have attempted to walk back the president’s statement by saying things like, “He was just trying to make the point that it is too easy for criminals to get guns,” the larger point that they’re universally failing to acknowledge is that Obama himself is a big part of the problem. While violent crime has risen in several large cities this year—Chicago saw a nearly 50 percent increase in murders during the first half of 2016—under the Obama administration, federal weapons convictions have fallen by 15 percent over the past five years, and 34 percent over the past decade. 

Teens getting handguns for the purpose of committing crimes are nearly always committing felonies simply by acquiring and possessing the firearms—before they ever use the guns to commit an armed robbery, murder or assault. Yet Obama’s “answer” always involves pushing more restrictive regulations on law-abiding gun owners, as though criminals are paying any attention whatsoever to the ones already on the books. 

When the president lies so blatantly and boldly at a memorial service for murdered police officers, is it any wonder many in the country simply turn off their televisions when they hear of his plans to make yet another speech addressing America’s “gun problem”?