On cue, before the President’s speech announcing the expansion of background checks (which 90% of Americans support) and closing of private gun sales loopholes was even finished, the right-wing exploded with hysterics, making it sound like President Obama had torn up the Constitution onstage and ordered the military to seize all civilian guns. The amount of hyperbole and outrageous misrepresentation of what was really just common-sense rules to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals or the mentally ill is astonishing, and really goes to show just how close-minded and obsessed the right wing is about their precious guns.
Here is a list of the most absurd reactions to President Obama’s speech. It really is astonishing that we can endure so many mass slaughters every year, so many deaths and maimings, so many lost children, and STILL see people reacting like this.
10. Every person on conservative Twitter. Nothing like a comparing the a background check for buying a deadly weapon to an authoritarian dictatorship and genocide:
9. The new Speaker of the House ignoring the fact that President Obama literally said he respects the Second Amendment:
8. “And it is delusional, dangerous, not to mention unconstitutional for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to continue to talk about climate change and gun control in the wake of a Paris terrorist attack, a San Bernardino terrorist attack, instead of talking about a plan to defeat [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria]” – disgraced CEO Carly Fiorina, ignoring the fact that these new reforms would have helped keep guns out of the Bernardino shooters AND the Paris shooters.
7. House Representative John Culberson (R-TX, of course), has promised to defund the Department of Justice in response to the executive actions – “I have formally notified Attorney General Lynch that I will aggressively protect our Second Amendment rights using Congress’ power of the purse. I notified the attorney general that if the Department of Justice attempted to create new restrictions on our Constitutional rights that I would use every tool at my disposal to immediately restrict their access to federal funding.”
6. The far-right wing neo-Nazi website that called Donald Trump their “Glorious Savior” had this to say:
5. The right-wing hate-rag posing as news source known as Breitbart called the President a fascist:
4. A United States Senator who doesn’t understand how the Constitution works
3. FOX Host Andrea Tantaros insulted the President’s passionate speech by saying that he “had a raw onion” in the podium to trigger his fake tears:
2. On to some tinfoil action from Red Flag News:
1. And finally, a dash of “New World Order!”
It is unsurprising but truly abhorrent that this is the reaction that the right-wing has to the President’s noble efforts to protect American lives. Rather than a threat to the American right to bear arms, his actions are a defense of the American citizen’s right to go to the movies, the mall, the doctor without fear of being gunned down by a disgruntled white man with military-grade weapons and extended clips. As the New York Times noted:
Mr. Obama is not taking away any law-abiding citizen’s guns or changing the Second Amendment. To the contrary, his actions are in line with the stated priorities of gun-rights activists: keeping guns from people likely to use them in crimes, and enforcing gun laws already on the books.
The president’s actions are concrete steps towards preventing Islamic terrorists like the San Bernadino shooters from getting their hands on the ridiculous arsenal that they amassed, which were all purchased legally. This frenzy from both NRA-bought politicians and misinformed voters is inappropriate and absolutely unacceptable.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.