President Obama today cried during a speech discussing the child victims of gun violence—an unusual moment of emotion that came during his proposal for executive actions intended to circumvent Congress’s flat-out refusal to pass legislation on the matter.
Accusing the NRA and gun lobby of “taking Congress hostage,” the president announced his plan, which would require all gun sellers—not just federally licensed dealers—to conduct background checks.
“This is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns,” Obama said during his speech from the East Room of the White House. “You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm. The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules.”
The president began to cry as he discussed the child victims of mass school shootings, highlighting the twenty first-graders who died during the Newtown attack.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” he said, wiping away a tear.
And Republicans are mad too, just not about the victims.
“Any executive order President Obama signs that regulates firearms transactions will merely regulate the freedom of law abiding citizens,” Ben Carson tweeted after the speech, correctly defining the concept of a “law.”
Marco Rubio, promising to overturn the executive action, reportedly accused Obama of being “obsessed” with overturning the second amendment by way of checking to make sure gun purchasers aren’t criminals or crazy.
Similarly touting the second amendment, Speaker Paul Ryan accused Obama of going after “the most law-abiding of citizens” with “a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.”
Nor can some critics comprehend why anyone would get so worked up about a school shooting or twenty. “I would check that podium for a raw onion,” Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros—a woman utterly unmoved by the thought of dead first-graders—said after Obama’s speech.
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