Obama and his allies also think the Newtown issue is so influential, especially for the 2014 midterm election, that they discarded their prior plans to use the week to highlight the themes in Obama’s pending Jan. 20 inauguration, Franc said.
To counter Obama’s emotional pitch, Franc said GOP leaders should use female legislators to show a positive message about how children are best protected and boosted by conservatives’ practices and ideas, such as good character, strong families, self-organizing communities, gun rights and a small federal government.
In contrast, defensive denunciations by lobbyists against federal gun-curbs will have less ability to counter Obama’s emotional pitch, even if the denunciations are valid, he said. Conservatives would be wiser to arrange TV events that showcase women who used their own guns to stop murderers, he said.
After Obama’s event, the National Rifle Association replied with a moderate, non-confrontational reply that focused on the emotional issue of children’s safety. “The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children,” it said.
Except for one measure, neither Obama nor Biden supported any changes would help individuals, families, communities or states develop their own solutions to the particular type of gun violence they face.
Obama and Biden ignored conservatives’ requests for federal support of marriage and of school choice, both of which help parents raise their children. Similarly, Obama ignored calls for recognition of non-government guards, such as trained civilians who carry their own pistols.
Progressives generally reject policies that promote the roles of individuals, families, communities or states, said Franc. Instead, their instinct is to run towards programs controlled by government at the national level, he said.
Indeed, Obama’s carefully crafted speech actually tried to portray government curbs on constitutional rights as a support for constitutional rights of religion and free assembly. “That most fundamental set of rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness … were denied to college students at Virginia Tech,” he announced.
In one concession to conservatives, Obama backed federal funding for several hundred state-hired school guards. That proposal gets majority support in polls, but Obama’s support was grudging. He described the armed guards vaguely as “resource officers,” and said the support was for schools that wanted to accept the option.