Obama’s address gets Muslim relations right, but gun control wrong
On Sunday, President Obama made a very rare oval office address to the country about Washington’s intent to defeat ISIS and to encourage an unsure nation to avoid racial and religious stereotypes in the wake of recent mass shootings.
The speech was made at a very pinnacle moment for the U.S. Obama referred to the San Bernardino shooting as a “terrorist attack.” And, why shouldn’t it be called that?
These forms of massacres strike fear and terror into people’s minds, and it’s exactly what’s in the name of a terror attack.
More importantly, Obama denounced ISIS as an extremist group because it is not an accurate portrayal of Islam as a whole. He described the couple responsible for the San Bernardino shooting as people who embraced a “perverted” form of Islam. He said they had gone down a “dark path of radicalization.” His words were strong as he unfurled his firm intentions to the millions of viewers that night.
“This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people,” Obama said. “Here’s what I want you to know: The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us.”
He does what many conservative politicians are afraid to do. He wants the U.S. to join hands with Muslims, in a sense, against terrorism and not Islam. While business mogul and self-proven fascist Donald Trump plans to somehow ban all Muslims from coming into the country (a plan that is equal parts nonsensical and bigoted), Obama wants us to disassociate ISIS from Islam because terrorist isn’t synonymous with Muslim.
Obama has had to address the nation more times than any other president about the woes of mass shootings and his frustrations at the gun control debacle. You can see it in his eyes that he is not messing around. In his speech, Obama may have upset conservatives, as he called for tighter gun control in the country, but he argued that it was too easy for Americans to buy firearms.
“Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun,” Obama said. “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”
The U.S. is torn in two by some bipartisan tug-of-war concerning gun control and whether or not it’s the answer to these shootings. It’s important to know that prohibition has never been the answer to anything.
If guns have stricter laws around them, people will be more inclined to get guns illegally. Overall, the underlying issues in this country are the lack of care for our mentally ill and the shear number of firearms available in the U.S.
According to an article about foreign gun policies in the Washington Post, Great Britain, Argentina and Brazil all experienced a drop in gun violence after massive government buybacks of firearms. In the U.S., you can walk into a Wal-Mart super store and walk back out a gun owner.
The address was a beacon in the fog of uncertainty when it comes to relations between Muslims and us. But when it comes to gun control, the Democratic Party is misguided. We should take note from the alcohol prohibition and loosen gun control, focusing on the more underlying issues.