Dan Gilmore / October 28, 2015

Obama’s Gun Control Doublespeak

He changes his tune when speaking to a pro-gun crowd.

In his speech before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Tuesday, Barack Obama sounded downright moderate about gun control. It was probably because he was talking to a bunch of leaders in law enforcement. After all, many law enforcement officers keep more than their standard-issue sidearm. “You know exactly why someone all too often should want to own a gun,” Obama said. The gun is a “powerful instrument. It helps you do a dangerous job.”

But then Obama tried to use the setting of the speech — Chicago — as a way to lobby for changes to the nation’s gun policies. First, he wanted to clear some things up. “Some of you watching certain television stations or listening to certain radio programs, please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everybody’s guns away,” Obama said early on in his speech. “Nobody is doing that. We’re talking about common-sense measures to make sure criminals don’t get them, to make sure background checks work, [and] to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves.”

Except this is the same Obama that pointed to the aggressive gun confiscation policies of Australia and Great Britain as models of his “common sense” ideals. As the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre said in a video this week, America’s laws already prohibit criminals from possessing firearms and the nation has a background check system that keeps guns from those who shouldn’t possess them. If Obama really wanted to reduce violent crime, he’d simply encourage enforcement of the laws already on the books.

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