Fox News may have broken some kind of record tonight when, after President Obama finished his address in Newtown, Connecticut at a vigil for the school shooting victims, Fox's “fair and balanced” panel began attacking President Obama’s forthcoming policy to prevent such tragedies before anybody knew what it was. It may well have been before Obama even formulated it.
Here’s what Obama said tonight as part of a speech that even Fox’s Bret Baier acknowledged was “powerful.”
We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.
We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.
If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that’s visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.
In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.
It sounds vague to me but alarm bells went off at Fox News.
White House correspondent Ed Henry sounded the first alarm:
There wasn’t any specific policy proposal. There was never the words ‘gun control’ uttered. There was never ‘assault weapons ban’ or anything specific like that. But make no mistake. …While (the White House) telegraphed that he wasn’t going to give a policy address and there weren’t specific policy proposals, he made it quite clear that in the weeks ahead, he’s planning to take dramatic action on this issue.
Charles Krauthammer got the second alarm:
That was a highly political speech. The bookends were simplicity itself: elegant… but the middle part of that speech (where the above excerpt came from) was a determination of this president to act. He didn’t speak about specific policies but this was a declaration – and I think the fact that he wrote a lot of this on his own and it didn’t have to go through interagency consideration… it sounded like he’s gonna do something… I hope it isn’t only about gun control but I think he was announcing something serious is gonna happen and it will come from him personally.
Nina Easton took the alarm and ran with it:
I think what was disturbing to me out of this – which was otherwise a very poetic and indeed spiritual speech – was that there’s a sense that he’s going to act unilaterally. And I may be wrong, there weren’t a lot of details there but he did say that energy’s going to come from the White House. I think in order to unite this country around this, rather than divide the country, because these are all explosive issues we’re talking about, you have to take it out of the heated waters of the administration and put it into something like a commission, a bi-partisan commission.
Kirsten Powers nicely smacked it down:
The center of the speech was by any measure, ‘Can we say we’re doing enough to keep our children safe? And the answer’s no.’ And that just crystallizes the problem… I actually didn’t take away that he’s going to act unilaterally. I just took away that he has really reached his endpoint on this issue and wants to do something. And we don’t know if it’s going to just be on guns or on mental illness as well.
To his credit, Stephen Hayes called it a “very effective and powerful speech.”
Baier merely reiterated that it was powerful.
Unfortunately with so many weapons already out there, many incorrectly registered, it will take years to get a handle on them.
“There wasn’t any specific policy proposal. There was never the words ‘gun control’ uttered. There was never ‘assault weapons ban’ or anything specific like that. But make no mistake. …While (the White House) telegraphed that he wasn’t going to give a policy address and there weren’t specific policy proposals, he made it quite clear that in the weeks ahead, he’s planning to take dramatic action on this issue.”
Shouldn’t that be viewed as a positive? What’s wrong with you FoxNews?
Some of those parents, who will burying there child this week, may not be able to look at there child or have an open casket because of the horrific damage caused by that weapon, and I’m sick of hearing the pundits poo-pooing ANY reasonable look at gun control.
This is the clean version of what I was thinking of saying.
We knew this was coming,and if we have the stomach to watch Fox this evening you will hear more crap and hate then we need for the rest of our lives.
A) Adopt a multi-pronged approach designed to reduce – immediately – the potential for a deranged person to wreak havoc. Some proposals for (serious, dispassionate) discussion:
A.1) place a total ban on assault weapons, including those already in circulation;
A.2) make it less easy to buy arms (background checks covering: a) previous experience with arms, b) verification of criminal record and/or evidence of mental balance (to include presence of anyone with mental problems in the home), and c) proof of having undergone training with that particular gun);
A.3) make it easier to identify guns that have killed someone (mandatory registration/licensing, with obligation to report changes within, say, 72 hours);
A.4) require gun owners to take out third-party insurance. I’m confident the insurers will want owners to keep the arms under lock and key.
B) Proceed immediately to address the underlying causes of mental imbalance and treatment as part of the ongoing reform of the health care system. The fact that this won’t be easy should not be perceived as a reason to sweep the problem under the carpet.
PS: If you’ve not already read it, Susie Madrak on Crooks and Liars has posted the heart-breaking story of a mother with a seriously deranged son who’s arriving at a size she will no longer be able to control physically; her only recourse may be to frame him for a crime so that he can get access to treatment in a prison, because the Reagan administration did a lot of cost-cutting in the field of mental health care. People should read it before blaming Adam Lanza’s mother as a cop-out in order to avoid taking the matter of gun-related violence seriously.
There was a time, not long ago, when the Foxies didn’t mind when a president acted unilaterally . . .