Opinion Outpost Jan. 12


Gun Control

President Obama’s “New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence” sound pretty good on a superficial reading, and some may indeed be helpful.

…For example, keep guns out of the wrong hands. Well, gee whiz — who wants them in the wrong hands? Certainly not legitimate gun owners.

…What are the troublesome proposals? Well, is it really necessary to become a federally licensed gun dealer for the occasional sale of a couple of guns? I’ve sold guns to friends, my police chief and a couple of relatives during the past 10 years. Should I have to obtain a license? Where is the president’s proposal to reduce the theft of 500,000 guns a year? Maybe he forgot about the biggest source of crime guns: Criminals steal them!

—  Richard Feldman
USA Today

…As soon as the weapons extremists have said that sane action is useless in the face of so many guns, they turn around and assert that those who support universal background checks and other small steps are secretly in favor of gun confiscation. Wait a minute: In one breath, they are implying, against all their other assertions, that the problem really is too many guns; in the next, they are condemning those who propose any regulations as would-be despots who want to disarm the country – the only thing their own rhetoric suggest would make a real difference.

…That the gun lobby has managed to make this con game work so well for so long is a national scandal, and it drove the president to tears on Tuesday.

—  E.J. Dionne Jr.
The Washington Post

…Makes me wonder if President Obama has ever been to a gun show. His and other anti-gun Democrats’ fixation on gun shows over the past few years would lead you to believe this is where Chicago and Baltimore’s gang members are shopping unmolested for handguns, or where mass murderers like the San Bernardino terrorists or the deranged Newtown killer are breezing in to pick up their weapons of destruction.

…If this were the case, one would hope Obama’s executive action run-around of Congress will actually make us safer, right?

   Not even a little.

—  S.E. Cupp
New York Daily News

North Korea

There was a predictable ritual to the world’s reaction to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, its fourth. Vigorous condemnation, followed by promises never to accept the North as a nuclear weapons state, followed by chest-thumping demands for more sanctions. The problem is that while the North Korean threat is real and growing, the United States and its partners have failed miserably at finding an effective solution.

…The test appears to have involved a less-powerful atomic weapon. Regardless, it was another sign of leader Kim Jong-un’s determination to expand his impoverished country’s nuclear arsenal in violation of United Nations resolutions, seize the limelight when he feels ignored and keep Asia off balance.

…North Korea stains the record of President Obama, who took office promising to make ridding the world of nuclear weapons a priority.

— Editorial Board
The New York Times

…North Korea’s provocations have become so routine that after the international community goes through the motions, everyone eventually reverts back to the status quo. North Korea will likely avoid any tough new sanctions, as it has in the past. After a couple of months, quiet meetings may be held to re-establish back-channel discussions through experts and semi-official government representatives. This is what the U.S. did in 2013, the last time North Korea tested a nuke.

   North Korea’s leaders will continue to test their ballistic missile and nuclear technology; they have to in order to progress technologically and assert their relevance. Also, there’s not much the U.S. can or will do about it, but hope that Kim Jong Un has enough interest in self-preservation that he continues to perpetrate violence only against his own people.

— Josh Rogin
The Dallas Morning News

North Korea’s boast that it just detonated its first hydrogen bomb met instant doubts from the White House and arms experts. If they’re right, Pyongyang “only” has plain-old atomic bombs. What a . . . relief?

…Now, the Obama administration (long content to kick the North Korea can down the road) says it will never “accept” a nuclear North Korea. Funny: The president said the same thing about Iran, then cut a deal that guarantees the ayatollahs go atomic.

— Editorial Board
New York Post

The temptation in most world capitals will be to denounce North Korea’s Wednesday nuclear test but do little beyond attempting to bribe dictator Kim Jong Un with more cash in return for more disarmament promises. The more realistic view is to see this as another giant step toward a dangerous new era of nuclear proliferation that the world ignores at its peril.
ous course.

—  Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal

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