When it comes to exploiting the tragedy of the Sandy Hook massacre to push a completely unrelated gun control agenda, President Obama has no peer. The White House announced today that it would hand over the President’s weekly internet and radio address to Francine Wheeler, mother of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler, who was murdered by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut. Jay Carney, summing up the emotional appeal of the administration’s gun control agenda, admitted that the exploitation of the families had been “critical” to progress on gun control.
On Friday, Senator Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the Republican behind the bipartisan push for gun control in the Senate, admitted that his plan for expanded background checks would not have done anything to stop the massacre in Newtown. It is patently obvious that Lanza, who had never been adjudicated mentally ill, had no criminal history, and stole the guns used at Sandy Hook from his mother, would not have been stopped by the Senate’s newest gun legislation.
But that’s not the point. The point is political. It is certainly the prerogative of the family members of Sandy Hook victims to speak out as they see fit. But it is the White House’s choice to exploit those family members based not on some greater expertise about gun policy, but based on their sympathy factor. Everyone, right and left, cares deeply about preventing the next Sandy Hook. Claiming the exclusive mantle of Sandy Hook to push an agenda that has nothing to do with Sandy Hook is the simplest form of bullying. And that’s precisely what this White House will do tomorrow.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).