When Obama spoke to BBC last week he stressed his frustration over not being able to secure more gun control and suggested that the guns outweigh terrorism as a threat to Americans’ safety.
Obama’s exact words: “If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands.”
In the lead up to this statement, Obama mentioned “mass killings” with guns but did not mention mass killings or attempted mass killings in which those holding the guns were jihadists.
He said, “The United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws.” However, it is not that America does not have gun control. Rather, it is that Americans increasingly see that gun control does not stop criminals from acting out their criminality, therefore support for more gun laws has waned.
For example, the push to expand background checks to cover more types of sales had a lot of momentum nearly three years ago, then Americans noticed that those behind the high profile, mass killings were passing background checks to get their guns. Since Sandy Hook alone (December 2012), attackers and alleged attackers like John Russell Houser (Lafayette), Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga), Dylann Roof (Charleston), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), and Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), acquired guns via a background check. So what benefit do Americans gain from expanding such checks?
Nevertheless, Obama is determined to keep pushing more laws. As he told BBC, “[This] is not something that I intend to stop working on in the remaining 18 months [of my administration].”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.