Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Obama’s executive action on gun control misses its mark
On your right
At 11:30 on Christmas morning, police rushed to the 700 block of 71st street in Chicago’s University Park neighborhood after someone reported gun shots. They found 20-year-old Angelo Frazier bleeding profusely from a gunshot to the thigh. An hour later, he was pronounced dead, one of the last of Chicago’s 2,995 shooting victims in 2015.
His death is a slap in the face to our smug elitist-in-chief, who recently announced that one of his New Year’s resolutions is to sidestep the U.S. Constitution once again to address the “epidemic of gun violence” in our country.
Waving the bloody shirt of the Newtown, Connecticut mass shootings, he promised to take unilateral action to keep “a dangerous few from inflicting harm on a massive scale.” Through universal background checks and other administrative and legal bars to sales, of course.
It’s Kabuki theatre at best. To understand why, one must return to Chicago, the murder capital of the United States — a city run by the president’s political crony Rahm Emanuel and home to some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. If what Pres. Obama proposes to enact with his pen and his phone would actually work the miracles he promises, Chicago would be a haven of peace and bliss. It is not. Four Chicago neighborhoods have murder rates higher than that of the world’s four most homicide-plagued countries. The lowest rate is 11 times higher than the U.S. average.
People cringe at mass shootings on college campuses in small Oregon towns or at Christmas parties in sunny Southern California — as well they should. But they don’t seem to notice the 192 mass shootings that occurred in Chicago alone in 2015. That’s right: 192. Attention isn’t drawn to them because they — and the statistics of which they are a part — fly in the face of what the president and his liberal allies endlessly and witlessly propose.
Chicago saw 2,995 shootings in 2015; 376 more than in 2014. 442 ended in death — a 12-percent annual increase. If Federal Bureau of Investigation national crime statistics are to be believed — and there is no reason not to — an overwhelming number of the murderers were between 17-29, as were their victims. Similarly, by large majorities, both the shooters and victims were black or Latino. Both were likely to be known to each other, but not in a family arrangement: One is five times as likely to be shot by an “acquaintance” than by a spouse or romantic partner.
Situationally, criminal behavior or “argument” resulted in gunplay in about 75 percent of the 11,900 murders in the United States in 2014. That includes the 570 murders the FBI ascribes to “juvenile gang killings.” Applied to Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, it means that 331 of this year’s murders involved criminality and six to minors in gangs. Searching Chicago-specific sites will result in much higher numbers for the latter.
So the president’s blustery promise to act, his “blame the Congress” approach, the tough talk he reserves for his domestic opponents but not his foreign foes — it’s all nonsense. Or, to put as positive a light on it as possible, it’s a theoretical fantasy of Leftist utopianism that sounds good but hasn’t the slightest chance of reducing “gun violence” due to the real sources thereof.
Criminal gangs care not a whit for background checks nor, I suppose, do their suppliers. Neither do terrorists, who are just as likely to use propane cylinders or pressure cookers as Kalashnikovs. The people affected by this presidential diktat will be ordinary, law-abiding citizens.
But the president’s purposes will have been served. The narrative of national danger ignored by a do-nothing Congress but turned back by the unilateral action of a caring, powerful executive will be advanced. It’s a compelling fairy-story, and Congressional leaders have only themselves to blame for being made its villains. They steadfastly refuse to use the tools at hand in defending the nation and people against a chief executive whose overreach, guile and malice exceeds even Richard Nixon’s.
If one wanted really to address the “unfinished business of our epidemic of gun violence,” one could. But that would require some very politically-incorrect approaches to profiling, policing, incarceration and correction. It would also mean some extremely uncomfortable questions about the genesis of an American underclass produced by a welfare state; nurtured by a culture of ultraviolence, egoism and avarice; schooled by an uncaring and broken educational system; and living in a world, which demands competition at a level of performance for which this group is woefully unprepared.
So that won’t happen. Instead, we will have bold pronouncements, political maneuvering, ineffective regulations and failed programs — all hallmarks of the Left’s attempts to “improve” things, all of which inevitably make things worse.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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