For President Obama’s statement after yesterday’s gun bill failure, see transcript here.
Allahpundit (who has video) is not my favorite, but when he’s right, he’s right:
[Obama] kept his mouth shut nice and tight about guns when it was his own ass on the line last year in purple states; he ignored gun control almost completely when he had 60 Democratic votes in the Senate early in his first term; and as we know from the gay-marriage farce, he isn’t above lying outright to voters about his true positions in the name of getting elected…
Given his record, there’s every reason to believe that what’s really bothering him is the fact that red-state Dems [ed: and Senator Toomey(R)!] denied him an easy chance today to demagogue Republicans as the party of child murder…
I think Obama’s statement is itself an example of demagoguery.
- Obama pulls figures from thin air, like his claim that “90% of the American people” supported the bill.
- Obama calls the Senate cloture rules under which the bill failed, “A continuing distortion of Senate rules.” Huh? How can the actual Senate rules, which Democrats gladly use to stop legislation when it suits them, be a distortion of the rules? Or does Obama mean that the rules should only ever help himself?
- Obama once more tries to play the Gabby Giffords card and the Sandy Hook card. But neither of those shootings would have been prevented by the bill.
- Obama claims “There were no coherent arguments” against the bill, then misrepresents arguments against it, revealing the true problem (that he never understood the arguments and never wanted to).
- Obama also plays the Dirty Gun Lobby / Dirty Money In Politics card. But, as Bruce’s post mentions, it was the pro-bill side (if anyone) which may have tried to buy votes with money.
The problem with all gun control legislation is that it burdens the freedom *of the law-abiding*. It’s justifiable only if it will directly hurt law-breakers, a small (if destructive) minority. And, in practice, it usually doesn’t.
Even if it does, there is still the Constitution to consider. As with speech restrictions, property restrictions, measures that would expand home invasion (or search & seizure), etc.: gun control legislation should be difficult to get passed. It should be passed only on cold, slow-moving rationality; never on demagogic falsehoods or appeals to emotion.
 For example, Obama says “One common argument I heard was that this legislation wouldn’t prevent all future massacres”; Obama’s insertion of the word “all” making it clearly a Straw Man.