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Team Obama Supports Your Right to "Selfie"-Defense?

Friday, May 16, 2014

The British author George Orwell's prescient novel "1984" has increased in popularity since the recent revelation of massive spying on Americans' private communications.  Orwell is also credited with the sentiment popularized in the quote, "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Orwell said words to that effect in 1942, back when clear-thinking people had no illusions about how to deal with enemies bent on their destruction.  Since then, things have changed, however.  Today, the Obama administration apparently would have Americans believe that we rest well at night not because of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marines, and the world's most powerful Navy and Air Force, but because Team Obama stands ready to Tweet wrongdoers into submission.

In March, as Russian troops occupied the Crimea and threatened to invade Ukraine, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki Twitter-posted a photo of herself holding a sign stating #UnitedForUkraine, @StateDeptSpox.  The New York Post headline?  "Russia sends troops, Obama sends a selfie." Ridiculed, Psaki defended her initial foolishness with even more foolishness, saying "the benefit of communicating over social media is it sends a direct message to the people that we are with them, we support their fight, their voice and their future."

Similarly, this month, in response to terrorists kidnapping 300 girls in Nigeria, First Lady Michelle Obama locked and loaded for battle with her own "selfie," with the unconditional surrender demand #BringBackOurGirls.

Ms. Psaki's and Mrs. Obama's naiveté--thinking that Vladimir Putin or Boko Haram terrorists will change their ways because of tweets--would provide ample fodder for their ridicule, were we so inclined.  But while we appreciate the value of maintaining a sense of humor in the face of things that are disagreeable, we do so only within reasonable limits.  There is nothing funny in this instance.

Tyrants and terrorists, like murderers, rapists and robbers, understand only one thing:  force.  They laugh at, and are emboldened by, weakness.  That is why it is important to preserve and promote the right to keep and bear arms.  An armed citizenry deters violence.

The Obama administration weakens America when it allows international wrongdoing to continue without serious consequence.  Similarly, for more than a year it has tried to reduce the ability of Americans to defend themselves against criminals by banning magazines designed expressly for that purpose, banning rifles best suited for defensive purposes, and supporting a background check system expansion to pave the way for gun registration.

However, those of us who understand and value the Second Amendment will not forfeit the right to keep and bear arms, and we will not stake our personal safety on "#PleaseDontHurtMe" tweets.  Instead, we will exercise our right to arms, by acquiring the best arms for defensive purposes and becoming proficient in their use.  And we will do everything possible in 2016 to help elect a president who understands the importance of maintaining strength, whether dealing with common criminals here at home, or with international criminals on the world stage.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.