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August 4, 2016

Obama’s Latest Jailbreak

He calls for more gun laws but releases those who violate existing ones.

The Obama administration loves to let criminals off the hook — and not just Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday, Barack Obama commuted the sentences of a single-day record 214 inmates. In fact, over Obama’s two terms, he has issued 562 commutations, which is more than the last nine presidents combined. Just wait until his final days in office.

Of this latest batch, The Hill reports, “It’s part of Obama’s ramped-up effort to free prisoners slapped with lengthy sentences during the government’s war on drugs. Among those freed on Wednesday were 67 people serving life sentences, mostly for nonviolent drug crimes.” Obama has focused on prison reform in a cynically political effort to appeal to Democrat constituencies. Prison reform is desirable — especially when it comes to the constitutionally dubious federal war on drugs — and some of these prisoners probably deserved commutation. The problem is how Obama goes about accomplishing reform.

Furthermore, a note about The Hill’s “nonviolent offenders” framing. The vast majority of violent crime in America is the result of inner city gangs and drugs. And more than 50 of these criminals — a quarter of those released — were in prison for some manner of gun crime, whether carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, or possessing a stolen gun. Didn’t Obama just lament it was “easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book”? So why is he releasing criminals guilty of gun crimes just to make a political point? Conservatives say we should enforce existing gun laws and protect the Second Amendment. Obama says we should trample the Second Amendment with gun control, while he releases criminals who violate gun laws and runs guns to Mexican drug cartels.

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