Obama Invites a Symbol of Emotion-Driven Gun Control to His SOTU Address

stryker

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Obama Invites a Symbol of Emotion-Driven Gun Control to His SOTU Address
Citing horrific acts of violence to push policies that have nothing to do with them


Richard Martinez, whose 20-year-old son, Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez, was murdered by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, California, last year, will be in the audienceat tonight's State of the Union address, presumably so he can serve as a prop when President Obama pays lip service to gun control. Martinez is an excellent choice, because he embodies Obama's approach to this issue, which consists of citing horrific acts of violence while advocating policies that have nothing to do with them.

To be fair, that is the gun control movement's general strategy, and Martinez's attraction to it is perfectly understandable as a response to his loss and an attempt to give his son's death meaning. The Los Angeles Times notes that gun controllers turned Martinez's scream after the massacre—"Not One More!"—into a rallying cry. But a rallying cry for what? When grief drives public policy, it is fair to ask whether that policy makes sense.

The Times mentions two policies that Martinez has been advocating since the Isla Vista massacre, which he memorably blamed on "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA." One response, embodied in a California law enacted last fall, strips people of their Second Amendment rights based on claims that they pose a danger to themselves or others. Such claims can be made by a police officer or by "an immediate family member," which includes not just spouses, children, siblings, and parents but also in-laws and roommates, both current and former. As I noted at the time, the law's standards for issuing a "gun violence restraining order," which can initially be obtained without notice or any sort of adversarial process, are pretty flimsy, leaving lots of room for mistakes and mischief. Furthermore, the connection to Elliot Rodger's crimes is rather mysterious. Although Rodger's mother was at one point concerned that he might harm himself (based on a YouTube video she had seen), as far as I know no one in his family was aware that he owned guns. The Times obfuscates this point, saying "Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista killer, had guns despite his family's fear that he posed a threat."

The other policy Martinez favors is also unrelated to his son's death. Martinez backed a successful ballot initiative in Washington state that requires background checks for all gun transfers, including private sales. But California already has that policy, so we needn't speculate about whether it could have prevented the Isla Vista murders. Rodger boughtthree handguns in three separate transactions, and each time he was cleared by the California Department of Justice. He passed those background checks because he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record. In California that means not only that he was never involuntarily committed but also that he had not been put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold for evaluation as a possible threat to himself or others within the previous five years.

Even if the policies Martinez is pushing either did not or would not have saved his son, that does not necessarily mean they would not prevent other mass shootings. But the pattern of facts in this case—a killer with a clean background who used legally purchased guns and never showed enough "warning signs" to be legally restrained—is typical of mass shooters. Possibly this is a problem that has no simple solution.

Martinez conceded as much in the weeks after Rodger killed his son, demanding that Congress "get to work and do something" even though he admitted that "we don't know what we are doing." Since then he has shifted his focus to the state level, where he has been more successful, assuming that success is measured by passing new laws of dubious fairness and effectiveness. Although he calls gun violence "a complicated problem," his framing of the issue is not exactly nuanced. "I can't believe that the gun lobby can win," he tells the Times. "They're worried about profits; we're worried about our kids." His appeal to Obama should be obvious: They speak the same language.


Source: Obama Invites a Symbol of Emotion-Driven Gun Control to His SOTU Address - Hit & Run : Reason.com
 

Peachdejour

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Well, at least he did not invite the parent's of the children who died in school shootings. I still hold to my belief that Congress does need to get to work and do something about the holes in our mental health system. More people would benefit from pumping money into that than from taking guns away from law abiding, responsible citizens. Now, I do believe in background checks. It would be stupid to put a gun in the hand of a violent felon. However, if we had more mental health safeguards in place, crazies are less likely to run around shooting up schools and public places. We need to start a dialogue about the value of human life with our kids and that includes their own.
 

JonMark

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Obama Invites a Symbol of Emotion-Driven Gun Control to His SOTU Address
Citing horrific acts of violence to push policies that have nothing to do with them


Richard Martinez, whose 20-year-old son, Christopher Ross Michael-Martinez, was murdered by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, California, last year, will be in the audienceat tonight's State of the Union address, presumably so he can serve as a prop when President Obama pays lip service to gun control. Martinez is an excellent choice, because he embodies Obama's approach to this issue, which consists of citing horrific acts of violence while advocating policies that have nothing to do with them.

To be fair, that is the gun control movement's general strategy, and Martinez's attraction to it is perfectly understandable as a response to his loss and an attempt to give his son's death meaning. The Los Angeles Times notes that gun controllers turned Martinez's scream after the massacre—"Not One More!"—into a rallying cry. But a rallying cry for what? When grief drives public policy, it is fair to ask whether that policy makes sense.

The Times mentions two policies that Martinez has been advocating since the Isla Vista massacre, which he memorably blamed on "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA." One response, embodied in a California law enacted last fall, strips people of their Second Amendment rights based on claims that they pose a danger to themselves or others. Such claims can be made by a police officer or by "an immediate family member," which includes not just spouses, children, siblings, and parents but also in-laws and roommates, both current and former. As I noted at the time, the law's standards for issuing a "gun violence restraining order," which can initially be obtained without notice or any sort of adversarial process, are pretty flimsy, leaving lots of room for mistakes and mischief. Furthermore, the connection to Elliot Rodger's crimes is rather mysterious. Although Rodger's mother was at one point concerned that he might harm himself (based on a YouTube video she had seen), as far as I know no one in his family was aware that he owned guns. The Times obfuscates this point, saying "Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista killer, had guns despite his family's fear that he posed a threat."

The other policy Martinez favors is also unrelated to his son's death. Martinez backed a successful ballot initiative in Washington state that requires background checks for all gun transfers, including private sales. But California already has that policy, so we needn't speculate about whether it could have prevented the Isla Vista murders. Rodger boughtthree handguns in three separate transactions, and each time he was cleared by the California Department of Justice. He passed those background checks because he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record. In California that means not only that he was never involuntarily committed but also that he had not been put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold for evaluation as a possible threat to himself or others within the previous five years.

Even if the policies Martinez is pushing either did not or would not have saved his son, that does not necessarily mean they would not prevent other mass shootings. But the pattern of facts in this case—a killer with a clean background who used legally purchased guns and never showed enough "warning signs" to be legally restrained—is typical of mass shooters. Possibly this is a problem that has no simple solution.

Martinez conceded as much in the weeks after Rodger killed his son, demanding that Congress "get to work and do something" even though he admitted that "we don't know what we are doing." Since then he has shifted his focus to the state level, where he has been more successful, assuming that success is measured by passing new laws of dubious fairness and effectiveness. Although he calls gun violence "a complicated problem," his framing of the issue is not exactly nuanced. "I can't believe that the gun lobby can win," he tells the Times. "They're worried about profits; we're worried about our kids." His appeal to Obama should be obvious: They speak the same language.


Source: Obama Invites a Symbol of Emotion-Driven Gun Control to His SOTU Address - Hit & Run : Reason.com
I know this is from somewhere else but I kind of want to break this down if I may. From the first paragraph, we can already see the wind up for the pitch with things such as serve as a prop followed by paying lip service to gun control. By the last sentence, he's already talking about the disconnect of policies that have nothing to do with the violence he cites.

The second paragraph points to the grief. The writer says that the statement "not one more," is too generic to make clear just what exactly Martinez means by it and then easily dismisses it because it inches toward policy that is emotionally driven. Let's not forget that the pro-gun lobby does it's share of emotional grandstanding to drive their policy straight into congress, as well as when they say insist that good people with guns need to be there and ready to kill a bad guy with guns.


So what's the point to this article? It's basically to point out that with Martinez not knowing what to do, he's not a good contender to take on pro-gun people at the federal level?
 

stryker

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I know this is from somewhere else but I kind of want to break this down if I may. From the first paragraph, we can already see the wind up for the pitch with things such as serve as a prop followed by paying lip service to gun control. By the last sentence, he's already talking about the disconnect of policies that have nothing to do with the violence he cites.

The second paragraph points to the grief. The writer says that the statement "not one more," is too generic to make clear just what exactly Martinez means by it and then easily dismisses it because it inches toward policy that is emotionally driven. Let's not forget that the pro-gun lobby does it's share of emotional grandstanding to drive their policy straight into congress, as well as when they say insist that good people with guns need to be there and ready to kill a bad guy with guns.

So what's the point to this article? It's basically to point out that with Martinez not knowing what to do, he's not a good contender to take on pro-gun people at the federal level?
I really can't tell you what point, exactly, the writer of this article is trying to convey.

As for myself, though, I have a particular problem with something in the last paragraph. Specifically with what is said in the last three sentences, with emphasis on the second from the last.

He says: ...Although he calls gun violence "a complicated problem," his framing of the issue is not exactly nuanced. "I can't believe that the gun lobby can win," he tells the Times. "They're worried about profits; we're worried about our kids." His appeal to Obama should be obvious: They speak the same language.

Although the manufacturers of guns are likely concerned about profit, I don't see that as nearly as important as the fact that the gun lobby is backed by far more people who are genuinely concerned about the greater issue here, our right to bear arms and the continual push against that particular freedom by those in power who would like to have greater power themselves by taking it away.

And the writer is correct, that is exactly the same language that Obama speaks, along with the left in general. They love to go after the ones making the money, as if they and their own interests don't themselves make hideous amounts of it by doing things every bit as crooked if not more so than any others on the planet.

And then there's the insertion of the kids. Do they actually think that those who rally for gun rights don't worry about the safety of their own children and that of others at least as much as they do?

Of course not; but they would like to make you believe so if they can.

Personally, I think the kids are not at all safe in the hands of a government that wants to chip away at freedoms until there really are none left. And what is most unfortunate is that I also believe the government will succeed in doing exactly that. Especially if people continue to swallow the language of the left.
 

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