If you’re wondering to what depths modern liberalism has fallen, look no further than the fact that the headline of this story is necessary. To understand how we got to this point, we first need to briefly review the ongoing Secret Service scandal.
First, we had the reports that Secret Service agents were getting busy with Colombian hookers. Then we learned that the Secret Service had no clue somebody shot repeatedly at the White House, and that the Secret Service didn’t come to know this fact until several days later. The president and his wife did not learn about the shooting from the Secret Service, though. Michelle Obama found out about from a White House usher. Then we learned that the Secret Service had allowed a convicted felon with a weapon to ride on an elevator with the president. That’s right: a convicted felon was armed and in a very confined space with the president, and the Secret Service didn’t know about. Oh, and when the agency tasked with protecting the president found out about that, they didn’t tell Obama. He found out about it, as he apparently finds out about most things, from the news media.
Julia Pierson resigned her position as head of the Secret Service yesterday as a result of the repeated SNAFUs and cover-ups.
Here’s how the Washington Post summarized the incident of the armed convict who ended up in an elevator with Obama:
A security contractor with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.
As you can imagine, a ton of people are pretty angry about the current state of the Secret Service. Some of these people are even Republicans.
“But how is that possible?” a dumb liberal with a crippling case of projection might ask. “I figured all Republicans wanted people they don’t like to drop dead.” For example (NSFW language warning):
I'm sorry, if you say someone hates and is destroying America and you want to keep them safe, one of those two statements is a fucking lie.
joeypiazza (@joeypiazza) October 1, 2014
Smart take, bro.
Then we have TNR’s Brian Beutler, who has decided that you are a dumb hypocrite if you simultaneously want to 1) protect the president from being attacked by crazed loons with guns, and 2) protect your family from being attacked by crazed loons with guns.
For those keeping score at home, conservatives who express concern about the physical security of the leader of the free world are apparently either liars or hypocrites. There’s no other option. Given the vitriol that was spewed at George W. Bush during his presidency — including, mind you, a film that included a fictionalized assassination of George W. Bush — I guess it makes sense that the gap between “I don’t like that guy” and “I wish that guy were dead” isn’t all that big in the minds of nutcake progressives.
Beutler’s piece mocked Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a gun owner himself, for having the audacity to criticize an agency that allowed an armed convict to get in a confined space with the president. Here’s the headline of the piece:
Here’s what Beutler wrote about the incident:
The armed felon in the elevator represents a different level of failure. There appears to be widespread recognition of this fact in both the media and in Congress. That’s good, and important, but it’d be nicer still if elected gun enthusiasts thought through the logical implications of their completely warranted outrage.
Chaffetz is appalled that USSS allowed a person to carry a concealed handgun around the president without conducting a background check, but supports legislation to make it significantly easier for people—many of whom come into lawful possession of firearms without undergoing background checks—to carry concealed weapons around you and me.
So much dumb to unpack.
For starters, the only guns I want around the president of the United States are those handled by people who are employed to protect him. And I say that as Second Amendment enthusiast who really, really, really likes guns. A lot. How on earth did the Secret Service fail to identify a freaking gunman next to the president?
Second, as much as Beutler desperately wants to make this whole affair about background checks rather than, oh, I don’t know, the seemingly constitutional inability of the current Secret Service to properly protect the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, it has nothing at all to do with background checks.
I’m not all that upset that a crook ended up standing next to Obama. I’m upset that a convict with a gun was standing next to the president. I can’t get through an airport with a tube of toothpaste, but this guy can get a gun next to the president, and Beutler’s main concern is about background checks? Really?
“But wait a minute,” you might say. “I thought convicted felons were prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms?” You would be correct. They are. It’s almost like felons don’t care at all about obeying laws.
For some reason, though, people who aren’t allowed to have guns keep ending up with guns. Even in places that do their best to ban guns. Places like Chicago, for example, where 269 people have been killed with guns so far in 2014. Chicago’s got a lot of problems, but lax gun laws aren’t one. Or places like Washington, D.C., which also does everything in its power to ban handguns. According to the National Institutes of Health, gun violence in D.C. is really bad:
When it comes to firearm deaths, Hawaii has the fewest gun deaths in the United States, while the District of Columbia has the highest, according to new research.
Over the past decade, deaths from gun-related violence — including murders, suicides and unintentional shootings — varied widely across the United States, the study revealed. Hawaii’s rate was roughly three per 100,000 citizens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia had the highest rate of gun deaths, with about 22 per 100,000 citizens.
Third, contrary to Beutler’s assertion that this whole episode was due to “lax carry laws,” the state of Georgia, where the incident occurred, doesn’t just allow anybody with a pulse to carry a concealed weapon. As we’ve already noted, the elevator gunman was already banned by federal law from possessing a firearm thanks to three felony convictions. Georgia only allows licensed residents to carry concealed weapons. And guess what you have to go through in Georgia in order to get a concealed carry license? You guessed it: a background check, complete with fingerprints. What does this mean? It means that in addition to breaking federal law by possessing a firearm, the gunman was violating state law by concealing it on his person.
But wait, there’s more! You know what else is prohibited by federal law? Bringing a firearm into a federal building.
In short, despite clear prohibitions against this individual possessing a firearm, concealing a firearm, and bringing a firearm into a federal building, this individual managed to possess a firearm, conceal a firearm, and bring a firearm into a federal building. If you look at all those facts and decide that they call for yet another gun law, you’re either a propagandist or a painfully naive dupe. In Beutler’s case, maybe both.
If anything, this whole situation highlights exactly why law-abiding citizens must have the right to carry a concealed weapon in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. Heck, after reading about the story, it makes me wish Obama regularly carried a concealed weapon so he can protect himself in the event the Secret Service fails to do its job.
There’s an old mantra that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. If an armed madman decides he wants to kill you or your family, do you want your life to be in the hands of his good graces, or would you rather have the right to not be a victim? I’m going to go with the latter option there. One of the main reasons concealed carry advocates are so adamant about their rights is that it’s impossible for police to be everywhere at all times. Most people don’t have the luxury of an armed security force that literally follows them everywhere in order to protect them. But you know what? The president does. And even his protectorate, believed to be one of the most qualified in the world, couldn’t prevent him from ending up in the same elevator as an armed felon.
Concealed carry advocates aren’t hypocrites for being horrified by repeated and preventable security lapses that have imperiled the president’s safety. Believing in the right of self-defense against a violent, armed felon with no regard for the law isn’t hypocritical, it’s perfectly logical and wonderfully American.