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Please Stop Pretending That Barack Obama Cares About Gun Violence

The world's #1 arms dealer says that America has a gun problem. Is this real life? 

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

We understand the futile nature of our request, but for the love of God: Please stop pretending that Barack Obama cares about gun violence.

Do people understand how silly they look when they post campy, indignant claptrap on Facebook about how brave Obama is for speaking out against gun violence? Apparently not, so now we have to write an Internet article which points out the obvious: Barack Obama loves guns and has done everything in his power to give them to as many violent monsters (and third-world children) as humanly possible. 

<figcaption>Violence and guns: Obama's peas and carrots. Or something. </figcaption>
Violence and guns: Obama's peas and carrots. Or something.

Does America need stricter gun laws? This is a separate issue which we are not particularly eager to dive into. We merely feel the need to point out that Barack Obama is responsible for gun violence all over the world and should be considered a threat to humanity. We have created a convenient "listicle" in order to support this outrageous claim: 

1. The Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II. 

While crusading for more gun control at home, Obama has actually eased rules on arms exports. But Obama has done more than just relax the rules for weapon exports: His administration actively lobbies foreign leaders to purchase warships, aircraft, and missiles produced by U.S. defense firms. The government watchdog group ProPublica describes Obama's "reforms" as “a big win” for the defense industry. 

Obama's deregulation and lobbying efforts have already produced the desired results. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: 

The United States has taken a firm lead as the major arms exporter globally, according to new data on international arms transfers...The volume of US exports of major weapons rose by 23 per cent between 2005–2009 and 2010–14. The USA’s share of the volume of international arms exports was 31 per cent in 2010–14.

Sweet, sweet weapons
Sweet, sweet weapons

This is actually a historic achievement. Obama has sold more weapons than any other president since the end of World War II

Even after adjusting for inflation, "the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II.

Impressive, but not exactly consistent with Obama's emotional pleas to keep guns off the streets. 

2. Obama wants federally-required background checks...but only if the guns aren't going to medieval dictators/"moderate" militias trying to topple regimes that Obama has beef with

In the wake of yet another tragic campus shooting, Obama has announced that he is "considering using his executive authority to create new background check requirements" for all gun purchases. But fear not, nervous gun enthusiasts, for there is a simple loophole: The background check will be waived if you plan to use your guns to commit war crimes/overthrow the leader of a sovereign nation. Case in point: 

No background checks if you're a 'moderate' militant trying to overthrow a government
No background checks if you're a 'moderate' militant trying to overthrow a government

To be fair, the Pentagon promises that it will only give weapons to "rebel groups whose leaders have passed a U.S. vetting process to ensure they are not linked to militant Islamist groups."

What the Pentagon doesn't mention is that the CIA has an identical program that trains and arms basically anyone willing to kill a Syrian soldier. As the Daily Beast reported last week: 

CIA-trained fighters were located alongside members of Jabhat al Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate and a longstanding enemy of the U.S. (Members of a veteran al Qaeda unit called the Khorasan Group were living with al Nusra fighters last year and plotting ways to sneak explosives onto airplanes, U.S. intelligence officials have said.)

Even if we take the Pentagon at its word (which is never advisable), "vetted" rebel groups have a curious habit of surrendering all of their U.S. weapons and equipment to terrorists. An academic interviewed by the Associated Press claimed that "probably 60 to 80 percent of the arms that America shoveled in [to Syria] have gone to al-Qaida and its affiliates." And that was with U.S. training. But we're sure that they'll be more careful, now that they have guns, but no training.

...And then there's the Saudis

Guns don't kill people -- Saudi Arabia does
Guns don't kill people -- Saudi Arabia does

3. Obama issued a presidential memorandum which allows the U.S. to sell weapons to armies that use child soldiers. Sure, why not? 

It's very moving to watch Obama's teary-eyed monologues about how distraught he becomes each time an American child is killed by senseless gun violence. As a father and Nobel Peace Prize winner, it's clear that Obama's heart is in the right place. That's why he issued a presidential decree which allows U.S. arms sales to countries that use child soldiers

For the third year in a row, Obama has waived almost all U.S. sanctions that would punish certain countries that use child soldiers, upsetting many in the human rights community.

Late Friday afternoon, Obama issued a presidential memorandum waiving penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 for Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen, penalties that Congress put in place to prevent U.S. arms sales to countries determined by the State Department to be the worst abusers of child soldiers in their militaries. The president also partially waived sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow some military training and arms sales to that country.

Human rights advocates saw the waivers as harmful to the goal of using U.S. influence to urge countries that receive military assistance to move away from using child soldiers and contradictory to the rhetoric Obama used in his speech.

Yeah, but if we don't sell guns to South Sudan, someone else will corner the lucrative "guns for child soldiers" market. Think of all the American jobs that would be in jeopardy!

4. Maybe killing American teens isn't such a big deal after all? 

Barack Obama can relate to America's long list of school shooters: He, too, has murdered an American teenager. But there were no fiery speeches after an Obama-approved drone strike killed a 16-year-old American citizen, whose only crime was having an "irresponsible father" (also killed by Obama). 

After the incident, Obama did not call for any "drone control" laws. Or even basic drone reform. We're still dronin' on. 

In conclusion: Please stop pretending that Obama cares about gun violence. 

Here's how Obama responded to the Umpqua Community College shooting: 

“Are there additional actions that we can take that might prevent even a handful of these tragic deaths from taking place?” the president said. “This will not change until the politics change and the behavior of elected officials changes, and so the main thing I’m going to do is I’m going to talk about this on a regular basis, and I will politicize it because our inaction is a political decision that we are making.”

Obama wants to prevent "tragic deaths"? Great. First step: Put Barack Obama in a padded room, forever. 

It's comforting to believe that there is a powerful man somewhere doing everything he can to keep you and your children safe from maniacs with guns. Maybe such a man (or woman) exists. But it's certainly not Barack Obama. 

As far as gun violence is concerned, Barack Obama is part of the problem, not the solution. Sorry, neoliberals. 

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