In a speech at the White House this evening, President Obama minced no words when it came to criticizing those he deems responsible for the Senate's failure to pass expanded gun-sale background checks today. Flanked by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown shooting victims, among others, the president outright called gun lobbyists liars.
The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of Big Brother gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation in fact outlawed any registry—plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter. And unfortunately this patter of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose. Because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.
Obama also seemed to speak directly to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who earlier today said the president has been using Newtown victims' families as "props" to help him win the nation's battle over guns.
I've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. A prop, somebody called them. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue?
The president also said this: "All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington."
Though when isn't it anymore?