Ben Shapiro Gun Control Debate Essay

President Obama just delivered the most stomach-churning press conference in presidential history, complete with histrionics, human props, impassioned pleas for togetherness, and simultaneous indictments of the National Rifle Association, Congress, Republicans, American voters, and the Constitution.

And, of course, he cried.

The tears will be the subject of a thousand media masturbation sessions today, but they shouldn’t come as a surprise: Obama is emotionally manipulative, and his entire gun control push is based on the pathetic, Piers Morgan-esque strategy of standing on the graves of victims of violence.

Obama cares, you see. And you don’t. That’s why you’re not backing his play. We know he cares, in spite of the fact that he didn’t use his original House majority and Senate veto-proof majority to push gun control. We know he cares, in spite of the fact that murder rates are up in virtually every major American city. We know he cares because he has tears.

And The Messiah’s tears will heal cancer, stop global warming, and prevent gun violence. If you wanted The Messiah not to cry, you’d simply give him what he wants.

Obama repeatedly complained that Americans who opposed his foolhardy and unconstitutional broad gun confiscation agenda, or any of his myriad foolhardy executive actions of today, simply don’t care enough about dead children. This is the same man who was willing to shut down the government to ensure that women would have taxpayer dollars to murder their own children in the womb. Most obviously, though, he blamed everyone but criminals and terrorists for gun violence. He blamed the NRA. He blamed Republicans. He blamed politicians who “want to win elections” – which is a way of blaming voters.

He lied about current federal policy, over and over again – he stated that you could purchase a gun online without a background check, for example. He explained that he would fight suicide, caused apparently by guns, although suicide has escalated radically under Obama’s watch.

Obama said that Republicans wanted those on the terror watch list to have guns for no reason, even though there is such a thing as due process in the United States. Of course, he also shrugged off the Second Amendment as something “on paper” and said that since we restrict First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights, we should certainly do so with Second Amendment rights. He said that the Second Amendment was like shouting fire in a crowded theater, which is not only bad law, but bad logic. He bragged that he taught Constitutional Law – which, as anyone who has attended law school knows, has nothing to do with the Constitution.

And then, most ridiculously, he compared gun control to giving women the right to vote and ending slavery. Except that disarming black people and women has always been a goal for those who hate black people and women.

But no matter: the tears are all that count. They are the tears of an angel.

We have a childish president. He cries because he does not get his way; he cries because he thinks he can convince us to support him through his tears; he cries because he knows that the media will provide him an oral colon cleanse so long as he shows he truly wants something.

Obama’s tears aren’t crocodile tears. They’re far more dangerous. They’re the tears of a man with nothing left to lose, and a year left to squeeze every last drop out of his waning power.

The political news cycle is fast, and keeping up can be overwhelming. Trying to find differing perspectives worth your time is even harder. That’s why we have scoured the internet for political writing from the right and left that you might not have seen.

Has this series exposed you to new ideas? Tell us how. Email us at ourpicks@nytimes.com.

For an archive of all the Partisan Writing Roundups, check out Our Picks.

From the Right

David Harsanyi in The Federalist:

“Maybe Paddock evaded or abused some gun law. Maybe it can be tightened. But those who reflexively call for more restrictive gun laws without even knowing how or why Paddock got his hands on guns — or what kind of firearms he used — give themselves away.”

Mr. Harsanyi argues that those calling for tighter gun control laws do themselves a disservice by reflexively demanding changes after a mass shooting. The rhetoric is heated and may mix anger toward the incidents with prescriptive solutions, he says. Mr. Harsanyi argues that “ideological stridency and partisanship” will never appeal to gun owners, for whom each “law feels a lot like incremental steps to undermine access.” Read more »

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Noah Rothman in Commentary:

“The American left honestly wants to see gun violence in America reduced. But appealing to the same failed tactics over and over suggests that they’re only preening for the advantage of their like-minded audience. The people they need to convince tuned out years ago.”

The problems Mr. Rothman sees in the liberal approach to increasing gun control include “displays of cultural hostility that masquerade as exhibitions of policy-oriented seriousness.” He holds particular contempt for “attacks on the prayerful” because, he sarcastically posits, “prayer for victims of violence is another waste of a few private minutes that could be spent crafting and passing new gun legislation.” And Mr. Rothman says that the “same failed tactics” of persuasion will not work. Read more »

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Ben Shapiro in The Daily Wire:

“Good policy is good regardless of timing; bad policy is bad regardless of timing. But when something horrific occurs, it’s in the interest of those pushing a related policy to suggest that those who oppose the policy somehow don’t care enough about victims.”

Among the reasons that Mr. Shapiro thinks the immediate aftermath of the shooting is a poor time to talk about gun control policy: The “motive of the shooter is still unknown,” and “how the shooter acquired his weapons is still unknown.” Absent that knowledge, Mr. Shapiro suggests now is a good time to “gather information” and “stay silent” for fear of ending up “with more heavy-handed government policy that doesn’t actually achieve the end for which it supposedly aims.” Read more »

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From the Left

German Lopez in Vox:

“The only way to get significant legislation passed is by staying on an issue, particularly when it’s on the news, usually due to a crisis. And since mass shootings help highlight the need for gun control, they are often the only major opportunity for lawmakers to act on momentum.”

Mr. Lopez thinks that “lawmakers can’t do anything about mass shootings without politicizing them.” The political dimensions are what allow the debate to take place. Alternately, “the best way to keep the status quo is by making sure debates about it never get off the ground.” Read more »

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