5 outraged reactions to Obama's gun proposals

Most gun-rights activists met President Obama's executive actions on gun violence with a yawn. Others, not so much

"Let us return to our places of worship and pray for help," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry in response to Obama's gun control initiative.
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, President Obama unveiled his proposals to reduce gun violence in an emotional address before a group of children who'd written him letters after the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings, urging him to beef up gun-control laws. There's considerable doubt about the political viability of Obama's big measures, like a new ban on assault rifles, which require congressional action. But he also laid out 23 actions he can take without Congress. And despite heated fears that Obama might try to seize weapons from lawful gun owners, his executive memos and decrees were "so modest" they caused "little more than a fizzle among gun advocates," says Josh Gerstein at Politico. Even the NRA, which hours earlier had enraged the White House by releasing an ad using Obama's daughters to make its point, issued a relatively mild response. But not every gun-rights supporter was so blasé about Obama's words and actions. Here, five people who found the president's big unveil outrageous, or worse:

1. Gov. Rick Perry: Obama's disgusting proposals won't work; prayer will

The Texas Republican was decidedly unimpressed with Obama's executive orders, noting in a statement that "very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened" in Newtown, Conn., last month:

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror. There is evil prowling in the world — it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children. In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally.

That is some "powerful stuff, from a leader who is, apparently, fearless," says John Hinderaker at PowerLine. And "Perry has presided for some years now over America's most successful state," so when he weighs in on Obama's gun policy, "his voice should be listened to."

2. Matt Drudge: Obama = Hitler + Stalin

Drudge's influential website pointedly "noted the creepy antecedents of Obama's abuse of children to serve his political agenda with these images," says PowerLine's Hinderaker:

(via Drudge Report)

Alex Jones has more examples of "other tyrants who have used children as props" at Infowars. "Not all uses of children by politicians are contemptible," Hinderaker adds, "but this one certainly was." For anyone confused as to Drudge's disregard for Godwin's law — the first person to bring up Nazis in an argument loses — here's the reasoning behind the comparison, via RedState's Erick Erickson:

The Second Amendment, contrary to much of today's conversation, has just as much to do with the people protecting themselves from tyranny as it does burglars.... We should keep in mind that in the past 100 years Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, China, and other governments have turned on their people at various times and, in doing so, restricted freedoms starting often with gun ownership. [RedState]

3. Sen. Rand Paul: "King" Obama's orders need to be nullified

Most of Obama's critics talk tough, but the Kentucky Republican has plans to do something about Obama's executive orders. On Wednesday night, Paul outlined legislation he's preparing to introduce next week, explaining to Fox News' Sean Hannity, "We will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation," adding: "And there are several of the executive orders that appear as if he's writing new law. That cannot happen."

I'm afraid that President Obama may have this 'king complex' sort of developing, and we're going to make sure it doesn't happen... FDR had a little bit of this 'king complex' also. We had to limit FDR finally because he served so many terms that I think he would have ruled in perpetuity, and I'm very concerned about this president garnering so much power and arrogance that he thinks he can do whatever he wants.

4. Wayne LaPierre: Obama just started "the fight of the century"

Unlike the NRA's official more-in-sorrow-than-anger response to Obama's unveiling, NRA's executive vice president sent a more pugnacious letter around the floor of the nation's largest gun show, going on this week in Las Vegas. Obama's package of gun measures isn't "about protecting your children," LaPierre wrote. "It's not about stopping crime. It's about banning your guns... PERIOD!"

The NRA sat in on a White House meeting that was sold to the public as an 'open discussion' about how to improve school safety. But that was a dirty lie. They didn't listen to gun owners' concerns... they didn't consider any real solutions on how we can keep our kids safe. Instead Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms. Right now, they're steamrolling ahead with legislation that would ban your guns, register your ammunition purchases and even force you to register the firearms you already own with Obama's anti-gun bureaucrats. I warned you this day was coming and now it's here. This is the fight of the century.

5. Mark Levin: Obama's orders are "fascistic"

The conservative radio talk show host told Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Wednesday that Obama's "weird collection of proposals" won't do any good, and have plenty of downsides: "There are some things in his executive orders that are un-American. In some ways they're even fascistic." Levin especially took aim at Obama's actions to strengthen mental health reporting to the federal gun background-check database:

Doctors are private citizens. Do we really want doctors reporting to the federal government if they think somebody might have violent tendencies? Do we really want to discourage people who have mental health issues, or people bringing them in to see their doctor, because they may become part of a national law enforcement database? How is that going to stop any crime?

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.