Absolutism: 1) the principle or the exercise of complete and unrestricted power in government 2) any theory hold that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable. Syn: totalitarianism
After reading that definition, hopefully, one can see my confusion. The first definition more aptly applies to the President that it does to the group to which he was referring (also note synonym). The second isn’t by default a bad thing. We hold to many values and beliefs that we believe are unchangeable (the fact that murder, rape, lying, cheating, stealing, etc are all unacceptable in modern society for example).
Instead a well-reasoned American can only assume that the President means to incite conflict where none should exist. The “right to keep and bear arms” is an absolute right. This fact is not up for negotiation or debate. The 2nd Amendment was ratified as part as the Bill of Rights on December 15th, 1791. Since that time we, as Americans, have considered it our absolute right to own the firearms we choose. Of this we can be absolutely sure and of which there is no debate.
Instead the President is attempting to shift the debate away from where it should be, our mental healthcare crisis, to a place that’s absolutely nonsensical. He is attempting to get rid of a symptom rather than a cause. Instead of trying to actually find a way to solve the real problem, he is twisting the facts to suit his own agenda. Never has it been proposed that the most effective way to end drunk driving is to make it harder to buy a car or limit how much gas you can buy at one time (the price of gas not withstanding). Except the right to drive or own an automobile is not guaranteed in the constitution as is the right to bear arms. Staying on that same argument, I can buy virtually as much alcohol as I want in one trip as well; why not limit that? Remember we have tried to ban alcohol before and all that did was create a lucrative nationwide black market.
The moral of the story is that those who mean to do evil, will. Many people each day do much harm exercising their 1st Amendment rights. The government harms many more people each day by ignoring our 4th and 5th Amendment rights. In an age where everything is subject to the whims of the time, we cannot allow ourselves to ignore rights, freedoms, or duties because of fads or twisted facts. If our nation collectively decides that the 2nd Amendment no longer applies, then we need to amend the constitution to remove it. Otherwise, let us focus on things we can change like: better treatment and diagnosing of mental illness, research into the causes of mental illness, research into the drugs that we use for mental illness to determine if the side effects risks are greater than the condition that is being treated, stronger oversight, authority, and accountability of the FDA, just to name a few.
We always hear about the all-powerful gun lobby and the evil it promotes but let me put things in perspective as I close, allowing you to make your own judgement. Between 1998 and 2005 the Big Pharma lobby spent $900 million lobbying at the federal level (i.e. congress). Between 2001 and 2010 (this includes the time in which the assault weapons ban was allowed to lapse) the NRA spent $2.7 million lobbying at the federal level. Now which lobby was supposed to be untouchable and all-powerful again? Which lobby do you believe has more power over legislation? Why is it when someone dies due to drunk driving, that same reason is listed as the cause of death but when someone shoots up a school, who was also taking Xanax or Paxil, it is instead listed as a regular homicide? Now we know who is really buttering congress’ bread, don’t we?