I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. We were founded upon a belief in human dignity — that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law. –President Barack Obama (12/06/15)
President Barack Obama addressed the nation last night to talk about terrorism. I suggest before you allow the right and left wing publications/politicians to define what was said in the speech, that you take a few minutes to read it yourself HERE.
This was far from Obama’s best speech. He attempted, as the Associated Press reported in their analysis of his speech, to tell us that it was going to be OK.
He laid out four ideas that he called the strategy to destroy ISIL – ideas that we have heard before.
He also talked about what we can do here at home to address the challenge.
The first idea should be a no-brainer:
Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.
Some folks say there are too many “false positives” on the no-fly list. To that I say, “So what?” Many of us who served or are serving in the military know all too well that freedom is not free.
The President also talked about assault weapons. He said that we need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino. He said that what we can do — and must do — is make it harder for the terrorists to kill.
It would have probably been a better speech if Obama would have strayed away from assault weapons. I can see the Facebook and Twitter posts now warning us that Obama is coming to take our guns. This has been going on for about seven years and my guns are still safe and secure…
The fact is that it is probably too late to close the “barn door” on assault weapons. They are in our society and we just need to make sure the people who buy all guns are cleared to buy them.
I carried an M-16 rifle (which is somewhat like the AR-15 rifle used in the San Bernardino shooting) for years in the military. I was an expert marksman with the M-16. I currently own several guns (rifle, handgun, shotgun), but I have never felt so inadequate that I needed to own an AR-15.
Of course, the Republican Presidential candidates did not like the President’s speech. There’s so much hatred and anger in this country from the right, that agreeing with the President on anything is political suicide.
Here in Big Sky Country, our two U.S. Senators had different takes on the President’s speech. First, Steve Daines said:
Cindy and I are deeply saddened by the acts of terrorism that took place in San Bernardino this past week. It is abundantly clear that we need a strong and aggressive strategy to extinguish the growing threat of Islamic extremism both here at home and overseas. I am disappointed that once again, President Obama is choosing to lead from behind. Rather than establishing a clear strategy to defeat ISIS, the President is using this tragedy to pursue misguided firearm restrictions that would undermine our Second Amendment protections while doing nothing to address the most significant factors behind terrorism. I remain committed to protecting Montanans’ Second Amendment rights and will stand strong against efforts to dismantle those freedoms.
Jon Tester had this to say:
Keeping Americans safe and protecting the homeland are never-ending tasks and my highest priorities as Montana’s senator. As we face real threats abroad and here at home, Congress must do more to ensure our national security. In the days ahead, I’ll look for partners to pass legislation updating the visa waiver program, preventing suspected terrorists from buying guns, and strengthening our northern and southern borders to prevent folks who would do us harm from entering this country.
For those folks from outside Montana, take a guess which Senator is the Republican and which Senator is the Democrat.
The President also talked about Muslim Americans:
Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes — and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that.
That means we’ll be hearing more of “Obama was born in Kenya and he is a Muslim” on Facebook and Twitter from the wackos on the extreme right.
Obama closed his speech with this:
Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear; that we have always met challenges — whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks — by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people.
The “coming together around our common ideals” seems to be harder and harder for us these days…