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May 22, 2023

His Record Shows Why President Obama’s Australia Gun Control ‘Lecture’ Absurd

By Larry Keane

Former President Barack Obama decried “American gun culture” as a problem in a recent interview. He didn’t point out the actions of individuals who commit violent crimes. We should aspire to be more like a different country down under, he said.

“You know, in Australia, you had one mass shooting fifty years ago and they said, ‘Nope, we’re not doing that anymore.’ That is normally how you would expect a society to respond when your children are at risk,” the president said, according to Fox News.

President Obama’s own record on gun control policies and history of targeting the lawful firearm industry and the millions of Americans who exercise their right to lawfully purchase and own firearms isn’t the aspirational shining example he believes it to be.

One Tremendous Difference

Speaking to CBS, the forty-fourth president lamented the inaction and cowardice of politicians who fail to enact stricter gun control. He ignored criminals who break existing laws to commit crimes, often using illegally obtained firearms, aside from the fact that the principle of American government is that voters elect politicians who will reflect their beliefs.

“We are unique among advanced, developed nations in tolerating on a routine basis, gun violence in the form of shootings, mass shootings, suicides,” President Obama said.

The former president might want to examine each country’s founding documents. The U.S. Constitution explicitly protects the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear commonly-owned firearms. That includes legally purchasing them. Firearm ownership for self-defense and protecting one’s family and property was a bedrock principle the Founding Fathers understood. They knew they needed to guarantee the ability of citizens to protect themselves from tyrants and an overstepping government.

Australia has no guaranteed legal right for its citizens to own firearms. To the contrary, the Australian Parliament notes, “First, and in contrast to the position in the United States, there is no legal right to gun ownership. Owning and using a firearm is limited in Australia to people who have a genuine reason and self-protection does not constitute a genuine reason to possess, own or use a firearm.”

That Australian idea that gun owners must demonstrate “having a genuine reason” was the same flawed logic the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in the Heller and Bruen decisions, stating it’s the individual’s right to purchase and possess lawful firearms, not up to the whims of a local government to decide.

Choking Off Clingy Americans

President Obama told media he has never owned a firearm. As president, he infamously mocked millions of Americans as clingy for lawfully exercising their Constitutional rights.

His administration had its own issues of illegal firearm actions. It carried out an illegal scheme to deny banking services to lawful firearm businesses, jeopardizing thousands and thousands of jobs. That was “Operation Choke Point,” launched by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to stop financial institutions from offering services to some regulated industries in an attempt to choke off banking services. The goal of the operation was to nudge banks, third-party payment processors and other financial institutions to shut down or deny business services to clients that the FDIC classified as “high risk” or as a “reputational risk” for the financial institution.

The Obama-era discrimination against lawful businesses and the highly-regulated firearm and ammunition industry has continued today through privatized efforts by large banking institutions; however, firearm industry efforts on the state and federal levels have helped to minimize and, in some cases, block the effort.

Gun Running Fiasco

It was no surprise that President Obama also failed to mention a particular dark spot on his gun control track record. He was responsible for the ill-fated gun-running scheme “Fast and Furious” which allowed U.S. firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of gangs, criminals and vicious cartels. That scheme led to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Keeping firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t possess them is a pillar focus of the firearm industry under the Real Solutions. Safer Communities.® umbrella. Partnership programs between industry and federal agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice (DOJ) and local law enforcement across the country have proven to be effective at this goal.

My Brothers Keeper

The former president decried how gun ownership in American has become a racial and ideological wedge issue. “Somehow – and there are a lot of historical reasons for this – gun ownership in this country became a ideological and a partisan issue in ways that it shouldn’t be,” he said. “It has become sort of a proxy for arguments about our culture wars.”

If the president were paying any attention, he likely wouldn’t be surprised by the growing diversity within the American gun-owning community. NSSF industry data has revealed large percentages of African Americans, including Black women, have lawfully purchased firearms over the past three years. Between 2019 and 2020, 58 percent more African Americans did so. The data among other gun-buying minority groups is similar, including Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. In fact, so many Black women have lawfully purchased guns that The Cut magazine highlighted the trend, reporting “Black women are the new face of the new face of American gun ownership.”

President Obama has been out of office for more than six years. The American electorate has changed dramatically during that time, especially so among Americans lawfully exercising their Second Amendment rights. Ignoring that our Constitution guarantees their ability to do so, while lamenting that America isn’t more like another country, completely ignores what the American people are saying.

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