The President’s Fury

While waiting for President Biden to make his suddenly scheduled address on gun violence last night, several somewhat sympathetic “talking heads” discussed what we could expect from his speech.

They concluded he’d have to be very careful, appealing to those ten elusive Republicans whose votes are essential if we are to see anything—anything at all—get through the Senate.

Some form of background checks, maybe a red flag law. In other words, the kinds of compromise that will have to include some Republican baggage that won’t do any good but will be the price to pay for their refusal to acknowledge the actual role of guns in America’s gun crisis.

It would have been reasonable to assume that of President Biden, who has tried and tried again to speak of and to his once-and-probably-not-future-friends across the aisle. He is an institutionalist who has long believed in bipartisanship.

But as I watched the President approach the podium, I sensed that he wasn’t about to be so very careful. He looked purposeful—and angry.

To me, he gave voice to our reality: we can’t expect to make serious inroads in this horrific American epidemic if we don’t address the guns.

He said so knowing that this Senate will not do what he’s asking. He devoted political capital to a concept that immediately got the naysayers claiming was “disingenuous.”

Over at the anti-American Fox “News,” Rep. Darrell Issa snarled that his speech was “an impeachable offense.”

The President did say this was not about taking away anyone’s weapons. He pointed out that in the majority opinion in Heller, the Supreme Court case that has been pointed to as reaffirming the Second Amendment, Justice Scalia wrote that the rights under this amendment are not absolute.

If the Senate couldn’t go for a ban on semiautomatic weapons and large magazines (which worked well in the past), at least, Biden pleaded, raise the legal age for purchasing such weapons from 18 to 21.

Noting that people contend if an 18-year-old can have a weapon for the battlefield, they have a right to them anywhere, he made the common-sense distinction that 18-year-olds in the armed forces are trained, supervised, and practice gun safety.

He also urged that gun manufacturers and people who don’t practice gun safety be made liable if their guns are misused by others.

And yes, he did speak of mental health, including a graphic description of the Uvalde child who played dead, and the widening toll of trauma from gun violence. He outlined a more meaningful response than the two-word reference cast about by the Republicans.

Why did the President go where others in the political sphere are too timid to do so now?

I think that after visiting the survivors in Buffalo and Uvalde, he is fighting mad. He promised them he’d do something. His demeanor reminded me of the way he looked and sounded when he spoke in Poland after meeting with Ukrainian immigrants.

This empathetic man wants to ease suffering. And he is frustrated that he hasn’t been able to do that.

He mentioned the House proposals on gun safety, which contain elements stronger than anything being discussed in the Senate.

If the Senate fails to make meaningful reform, he said, the people must do so by electing legislators who will do what the overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners, are demanding.

“My God,” he said. “The fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable.”

“We can’t fail the American people again,” he said.

How much more carnage are we willing to accept?” he asked. “Enough! Enough!”

“For the children we’ve lost…for the children we can save…for the country we love…let’s finally do something!”

He will be accused of “politicizing the issue.”

To which I say, “Hell, yeah!”

A man who deeply believes in “thoughts and prayers” is politicizing the issue to reduce the slaughter of Americans–young, old, and in between.

Thank you, Mr. President!


47 thoughts on “The President’s Fury

  1. I caught the part where he suggested reinstatement of the ban on semiautomatic weapons and large magazines. I thought that was a good move – something that was already tried and worked according to the stats.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, I haven’t reviewed the latest data, but from what I’ve read about it, nearly all the data we have in the various gun safety issues support the safety side. In my previous post, I briefly mention guns as a public health crisis.

      Good to hear from you, M Davis!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Matthew. Some veteran gun violence prevention folks, such as Nicole Hockley of Sandy Hook Promise (her son was murdered a decade ago) said she thinks things are different now. So fingers crossed for sure. But without an assault weapons/large magazine ban, I don’t know how much progress can be made. It’s like evil primordial forces have arisen and subjugated decency and common sense in so many areas of our body politic.

      I appreciate your kind words.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I really hope that analysis is correct. What a good start that would be. I’m not sure it’s a dynamic I understand properly. I remember the Dunblane Massacre in Scotland, and the almost complete lack of dissent re the laws banning handguns afterwards. Definitely a cultural factor at play I think.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. No progress will be made on gun terrorism or other issues until the Republican Party is destroyed at the polls. And that will not happen. The GOP ad the NRA will do what works Wait it out. I hope I am wrong in this but I don’t see any meaningful change happening until the GOP is gone,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Make the GOP be gone. Get every decent person in America out to vote. Who can not vote when being stared in the face with gun violence? Who can not vote when being stared in the face withthe loss of women’s rights? The issues this mid-term are the most important issues good peple have ever faced as a collective whole. Either you want true freedom, or you are willing to give up all freedoms? It is up to all Americans to decide what is important in their lives! If every good person in America voted against Republican populism, they would be decimated. For me, that has to be the major issue in the coming election. If Americans fail to destroy the Republican Patty, all over the States, then they deserve what they get. Fascism bordering on Naziism!


      1. I keep looking for people more strategically placed than I am to form a coalition of the angry Americans from overlapping constituencies: guns; abortion; structural racism; climate change; economics, court reform, etc. There are so many of us; we’re the majority!


      2. You are! That is, there are enough decent Americans who can do this together! “I think” the gun control crowd and the women’s rights crowd are the two largest, not just in America, but all over the world. But it is Americans who count right now! Play those two issues for all they are worth. Make everyone feel the pain of gun violence. Make everyone recognize the threat of what repealing Roe v Wade will be taking away. Women are people, persons worthy of respect, not cattle to be bred by the bullheaded males of the species. How else can I say it? This election is not for individual rights. This election is about humanity itself!


  3. Great speech by the President. I liked where he cited Judge Scalia saying that, “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited”. This is all too heartbreaking and infuriating. I can’t imagine anyone casting a vote for people who have the power to make important LIFE SAVING changes and do nothing. ☮️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t imagine such a vote either, Fred.
      Re: Scalia’s opinion, there are many reputable legal folks who point out that for a “textualist,” Scalia strayed far from the Constitution. Muskets, the weapon of choice at that time, would not wreak the damage we see (!). There’s more that I’ll revisit at some point. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadly, major factors here are money and winning elections. The NRA contributes big bucks to Republicans, who then spout falsehoods about Second Amendment rights (the people with semi-automatic rifles don’t comprise a well-regulated militia) so they can keep their jobs. Those who lean toward endorsing a federal assault weapons ban face extreme pushback from the Fox blockade. Representative Chris Jacobs of NY is the latest example. Infuriating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree it’s tough to stay hopeful, Gail, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward. I heard a terrific woman speak today: Amanda Litman, who cofounded an org called Run for Something after Hillary’s loss. They are encouraging young people to sign on and run in their local, county, and state elections. I’m going to write about this org because they’re all filled with hope based on their accomplishments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I see they cannot prove Churchill expressed the above sentiment but he did express the following in a letter to his American mother apparently:
    “What an extraordinary people the Americans are! Their hospitality is a revelation to me and they make you feel at home and at ease in a way that I have never before experienced.”
    That was also my experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right; the first quote can’t be traced back to Churchill, like many other famous quotes wrongly attributed to him that have been called collectively ”Churchillian drift.”

      I appreciate the sentiment. We’ve had ugly periods in our past. I’m hoping we look back on this one from a more wholesome place a few years hence.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I have never been more proud of President Biden than when he gave that speech! He spoke from the heart and with passion … anybody who could watch and listen to that speech and not be moved to want action is an unfeeling, callous piece of dirt in my book. Thanks for your wonderful assessment, Annie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re most welcome, Jill.

      I continue to believe that our President is underrated and unfairly maligned.

      You and I and so many others must strive to give him the Congress that will deliver what the vast majority of Americans want!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The media has been very unfair to President Biden and has not given him half a chance. Even such venues as the New York Times and WaPo do not report fairly on what he is trying to do.

        Yes, it is up to us, but I’m not sure how we can wake up the masses that have bought into all the Republican lies. But we won’t give up and we won’t stop trying!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Our friend Annie talks about President Biden’s speech earlier this week and I’m in complete agreement with all that she says! I, for one, am proud of the President and ever so ashamed of Congress as a whole, particularly one element of it. Thank you, Annie, for your observations!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good work, Annie. As hopeless as it seems, we cannot triumph withoput trying. If Americans have to be convinced to stand up, and be counted, then convince them. This is the most important election in American history. Make everyone understands that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” — Elbert Hubbard The world is literally on fire and yet a majority of Americans armed with a vote choose not to use it. They stood side by side on a debate stage yet only a small plurality was able to distinguish dreck from treasure. Today I was blessed, enabled to stand with a son and watch a rising sun drown out the twinkling light of tiny Mercury. The fact that a man like Joe stands in the door…. maybe hope does follow the dawn and love will overcome. One cannot arm themselves with a tool, you have to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s certainly true. I am hopeful that our Jan 6 Committee hearings will lead the great awakening we need at this critical time in our nation’s history—and that those in other countries are paying close attention. I like the exhortation that “Democracy is not a spectator sport!”


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