Among the many groups that opposed Barack Obama's presidential race, few were more certain or vehement than gun-rights organizations. "Barack Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history," the National Rifle Association announced. "Obama is a committed anti-gunner," warned Gun Owners of America.
So it's no stunner that after a year in office, the president is getting hammered by people who have no use for his policy on firearms. The surprise is that the people attacking him are those who favor gun control, not those who oppose it.
Obama's record on this issue has been largely overlooked — except by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which recently issued a report card flunking Obama on all seven issues it deems important. Said President Paul Helmke, "If I had been told, in the days before Barack Obama's inauguration, that his record on gun violence prevention would be this poor, I would not have believed it."
What can explain the grave miscalculation, admittedly a happy one in retrospect, on the part of the gun rights groups? The article blames it on Obama being a slick politician who doesn't want to fight losing battles over guns. But didn't his critics in the NRA and the GOA realize he was a slick politician even before he was elected? Why didn't they admit back then that no president, regardless of his record on the issue, would have the support necessary to fight them? Didn't they know that back then?
Of course they did. I think what explains it is the peculiar character trait of the gun owners, who are after all the folks who make up these organizations. For reasons that partly elude me, these guys cannot help exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion. Take for example the oft-used phrase, "god-given right." What could be more grandiose than that?
Another example came up just yesterday in my post entitled "Gun Nuts vs. Constitution Nuts." I referenced a quote by one of the leaders of the pro-gun internet movement.
David Hardy said, "They're going into the fight of their lives, no OUR lives, and don't need the distractions."
I ask why would he refer to the McDonald vs. Chicago case in such exaggerated language? It's obviously not the "fight of your lives" any more than the happenings in Seattle are truly significant, as Zorro rightly pointed out. I like what someone said the other day, that what's coming up in the Supreme Court is like winning a football game by a touchdown or a field goal, either way it's a sure win.
What's your opinion? Do gun rights people tend to exaggerate? Do you think like I do that they do this as a self-aggrandizing trick of rhetoric? I mean, the higher the stakes the greater their victory, right? And let's not forgot those with fantasies of fighting to the death against incredible governmental odds. It's all part of the same mental quirk.
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