Why Leadership From President Obama Matters (On Gun Control)

I am most proud of President Obama.  For a whole host of reasons I find him best suited to sit in the Oval Office.

I admire his intellect, his sense of timing, his unflappable nature, his understanding that change is an arc in history.  I love to hear him speak as there is gravitas to his words, and meaning in the content of his message.  All that can not be said about every person who is elected to lead the nation for two terms.

I have had differing ideas on how certain policies should be formulated.  As an example, I wanted less tax cuts to be placed in the stimulus bill, and school-house construction added.   While I defended at first the slow pace as to why Obama could not start to undo ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ given the other battles that needed to be fought, I also started to opine on the need for action as the first term rolled along.  But there was a timetable at work within the White House on this matter.  With the removal of the bigoted military plan now accomplished we can say with confidence that Obama knew what he was doing.

It would be inaccurate to say the many voices around the nation urging action had no impact, as I am sure it did.  But at the heart of the matter President Obama wanted to act to make the change, and wanted the nation’s support to ease the change into effect.

The same is true for gay marriage.  People asked me how I could be so sure that Obama would come to make a statement in favor of this civil right, and then urge for it to be allowed.  My response was his background in constitutional law, and his world view coupled with the fact he came from the generation that is ready for this social change to take place made him the president to see this happen.  I think he knows the weight of history awaits movement on gay marriage.

Now any president can sit in the Oval Office, and watch society change or events develop, and take no stand whatsoever.    President Reagan knew there was a national health emergency underway with AIDS, and yet never was able to even utter the word in public, or make the levers of government work to meet the crisis.

There has to be more than just a public cry for action, the nation also needs a president who is prepared to lead.

This weekend The New York Times Magazine will have an article allowing the inside White House team to give voice to up and downs of the first term.  There are many great snippets, but it was this one from Medody Barnes that fits so nice into this post about Obama’s leadership.

Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council : When the votes were over, we were gathering in the Roosevelt Room. I remember Phil Schiliro and Nancy-Ann DeParle [the health care adviser] coming in, and people cheering and clapping for them, two amazing people. And then we later went to the residence to celebrate, and it was a beautiful night, unusually warm for March. We were out on the Truman Balcony, and there’s the monument, and the president’s sense that this is better than Election Day because this is why we’re here — we came here to do something important.

There comes a time when each president meets his moment with history, and the health care law was the first such intersection for this White House.  But it will not be the last.

The issue of gun control is another that needs the support of the American public, and the spine of a president.

Today President Obama is proving what spine looks like in politics, and what political muscle means, and how stored political capital is meant to be used.

President Barack Obama correctly announced what he called “common sense measures” to reduce gun violence, including legislation for a universal background check, and new bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The president also signed 23 executive actions covering changes to education, and mental health as it relates to gun control.

The message he gave the nation was pointed.  He made it perfectly clear as to how his administration would act for the people he was elected to lead.

“I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” Obama said. “If there’s even one thing that we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try. And I’m going to do my part.”

“We have to examine ourselves and our hearts and ask ourselves what is important,” Obama said. “This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”

That last part is certainly correct, but as history shows there first needs to be a leader sitting in the White House who will act.

President Obama has met the test of history before, and America can be sure that he is prepared to do so again, and lead during the second term.  I will end this post as I started it.

I am most proud of President Obama.  For a whole host of reasons I find him best suited to sit in the Oval Office.

4 thoughts on “Why Leadership From President Obama Matters (On Gun Control)

  1. 506 murders in Chicago last year and the President chooses to control gun purchases in Wisconsin and other states. When will we address violence instead of guns?

  2. The facts are in the data to be found in the Chicago gun shootings. Much of the gun problem comes from Indiana where less regulated gun sales allow for weapons to be brought into Chicago. Gun violence and gun control is a federal matter and requires a national response.

  3. Spencer Patton

    its funny that you would have an article on your site that praises Obama for anything he has done all he can to destroy the People who care about our Nation, both economically, Spiritually. He now is trying to take away the only freedom that will stop the Government from become tyrannical and you can bet your last dollor that is his goal. All the laws that have been passed have not and cannot keep evil people from doing evil things, but what is worse is having a government that is Evil. Yes we have people who do evil things but more People have been killed by Evil Governments than any other group or People. Oh and if you dont know it, the first thing that was done was taking away the Peoples ability of Self Protection. Just look up the facts Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba. The Government has already proven it dosnt care about the People and the value of life. They passed Obama Care when the majority of People didnt want it. Abortion= taking the life of the Helpless. So when you have Criminals or the Government showing up at your door and you have no way of Protecting yourself because you want the Government to have all the Control you had better pray that their is someone who still is armed and cares enough about you to think that your life is worth saving to come to your assistance. If that dosnt happen then you better hope that you have your Relationship with God straightened out, because its not going to be long before you see him face to face.

  4. The more the wing nuts talk, the more the women in the suburbs and the middle of the country move in the direction of gun control. While Spencer is looking out for his black helicopter the rest of us will be looking out for the kids in his neighborhood.

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