After the tragedy in Dallas last night that took the lives of five police officers and wounded several others, President Obama made a statement early this morning regarding the murders. As he has done so in the past, he went right to the issue of gun control.
He vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and added in a statement issued from Europe:
“We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic,” Obama said. “In the days ahead, we will have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime, today, our focus is on the victims and their families.”
“Obama’s comment on guns was more an addendum than the focus of his remarks. It also laid down a marker…And that line highlights Obama’s challenge in these situations: He clearly sees these tragedies as partially due to American gun culture and thinks the appropriate response is to do something about that. At the same time, taking a political stand just hours after Americans have been killed is the sort of action that leaves any politician exposed…“
Specifically regarding the events in Dallas, where the police killed were working at a rally against police violence after two black men were shot and killed by police in recent days in Louisiana and Minnesota, the story says: “In citing guns first, Obama risks looking more like a politician than a president — a politician cherry-picking his favorite causes.”
In this story on Politico, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) told Fox News that he would have preferred Obama react to the incident differently.
“He doesn’t need to inject the divisive arguments like gun control at a time of great grief for the nation. And he ought to do for us what Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger disaster,” Huckabee said in the story. “And that’s remind us of what we have in common, not what separates us. And that’s why I’m always so frustrated. Barack Obama has such great potential to be a leader. But on the other hand, what he ought to be doing is focusing upon those police officers and the sacrifice they made and solely on the police officers and the sacrifices of their family and leave all of the political discussions aside. There’s plenty of time for that. Today there’s one thing ought on the president’s mind.”
On the same program, Colorado Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn said the president needs “to be very careful not to get too far ahead of the facts, but you need to be careful not to drive your policy agenda. Because what you’re going to do is you’re going to exacerbate the issue by driving a wedge, especially a wedge between law enforcement and the people that they’re there to protect.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, widely seen as a leading contender to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, told “Fox & Friends” that Obama has failed to bring the country together in his nearly eight years in office.
“Gun control is the obvious,” he said. “Look, first of all, our hearts have to go out to families. The families of the police officers in Dallas. The families in Baton Rouge. The families in Minneapolis. This has been a terrible couple of days for America, and it should be a wake-up call that there’s some things that are profoundly wrong in this country right now. And they deserve an honest, open conversation or it’s just going to get worse.”