Rarely do I make a blog post using words written by someone else, but today I will make an exception. Some of you may remember the White House petition I started back in December of last year asking the White House to eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their families. My tongue-in-cheek suggestion gained considerable attention around the web and quickly reached the 25,000 signature (now 100,000 for some reason) threshold required to get a response from the White House, but they had been strangely silent.
Well, I have finally had a response, which you will be able to read for yourselves. This response really speaks volumes, so I will withhold my own comments for now. Please feel free to post your own comments below.
Working to Keep Everyone Safe
Thanks for your petition.
We live in a world where our elected leaders and representatives are subject to serious, persistent, and credible threats on a daily basis. Even those who are mere candidates in a national election become symbols of our country, which makes them potential targets for those seeking to do harm to the
United States and its interests. In 1901, after the third assassination of a sitting President, Congress mandated that the President receive full-time protection, and that law is still in effect today. Because of it, those who are the subject of ongoing threats must receive the necessary and appropriate protection.
At the same time, all of us deserve to live in safer communities, which is why we need to take responsible, commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, even while respecting individual freedom. And let's be clear: President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. You can see him talk about that in a previous petition response:
But the common-sense steps the President has proposed don’t infringe in any way on our Second Amendment rights. We ought to be able to keep weapons of war off the streets. We ought to close the loopholes in the background check system that make it too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns — an idea that has the support of 90 percent of people in the United States.
That's why the President and an overwhelming majority of Americans are calling on Congress to pass gun safety legislation that closes loopholes in the background check system and makes gun trafficking a federal crime.
A minority in the Senate is blocking this common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, but President Obama is already taking action to protect our kids with executive actions. He is taking the steps available to him as President to strengthen the existing background check system, give law enforcement officials more tools to prevent gun violence, end the freeze on gun violence research, make schools safer, and improve access to mental health care.
*** One final note to Bob Beckel on The Five: Bob, although I do support the NRA, I am most certainly not the NRA, nor did they have anything to do with this petion.