Plenty of doomsday scenarios were put forward by Barack Obama’s enemies when he became president in 2009. Most of them made no sense. One of them was particularly absurd.
I refer to politically active groups, such as the National Rifle Association, which fomented fear among the ranks of gun owners that the president was going to order federal agents to disarm us all. He would flout the Second Amendment and push legislation through Congress that would deprive of us of our constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” … they said.
Do you remember all that crap? I do.
It was all meant to scare the daylights out of us, to suggest that this president — who really isn’t one of “us,” if you’ll recall that other “birther” baloney as well — was hell bent on coming after our guns.
One of the social media themes that made the rounds not long ago was that the president had endorsed the Australia law that essentially took away everyone’s gun. The result of that law was a precipitous decline in gun violence Down Under; Obama thought that was a good result.
That never happened. It won’t happen, either, as long as we have a Constitution that includes the Second Amendment.
What the gun-owner-rights fearmongers ignored, too, was that the president lacks absolute power to impose his will over the nation. I hope the new president understands that, too. The president has that other co-equal government arm with which he must deal: Congress, which is populated by members who get lots of campaign dough from the gun lobby.
I mention this — as we draw closer to the end of President Obama’s time in office — to remind us all of the fearmongering that at times can overcome reasonable discussion of serious public policy issues.