Unethical Quote Of The Week: President Obama

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“Today, I want to update you on some important progress we’ve made to protect our communities from gun violence. As I said in January, these commonsense steps are not going to prevent every tragedy, but what if they prevented even one? We should be doing everything we can to save lives and spare families the pain and unimaginable loss too many Americans have endured.”

—- President Barack Obama, announcing new measures that his administration will pursue to help curb gun violence.

This is at least the second time, related to gun deaths, that President Obama has invoked the logically, practically, philosophically and ethically absurd “if only one life is saved” argument. President Obama isn’t as smart as his blindly loyal supporters think he is, and definitely not as smart as he thinks he is, but he must be smarter than that.

Yet he uses this ridiculous logic anyway. In Obama’s defense, his entire, nauseatingly inept administration has been rationalized on this basis, so it is a mindset that may be set in cement. Obamacare has allowed some Americans to get insurance that they desperately needed, so, the flawed logic goes, the fact that the legislation has also divided the country, caused millions to lose health care plans that they were satisfied with in favor of new plans they can’t afford, caused rates to skyrocket, suppressed hiring and done nothing to lower health care costs doesn’t alter the official conclusion that the policy is a success.

It isn’t just that the ends justify the means; the theory is that a single designated positive result justifies not only the means but other negative results too. True, prematurely withdrawing from Iraq caused the country to collapse and Isis to run amuck, but the United States withdrew, and that’s enough. Yes, the Education Department’s “Dear Colleague Letter” has caused male students to be unjustly tarred with unproved rape accusations, been the target of false charges and have had their educations disrupted without sufficient evidence or due process, but as long as some female sexual assault victims receive fair attention to their complaints that would not have occurred before, this gender-based persecution is acceptable collateral damage. Sure, Obama’s refusal to acknowledge that radical Islam is a terrorist threat have allowed irresponsible immigration and migrant policies to continue despite their existential risks, but what matters is that some, many–just one!—peaceful, law-abiding Muslims not be the victims of bigotry, fear and hate.

Obama’s latest “just one is enough” assertion is a direct call to the most naive, least aware and most cognitively impaired among us. If saving just one life were enough, then automobiles should be made of soft plastic and travel no more than a few miles an hour. Requiring airlines to use only airplanes that don’t fly, like the one pictured above, would surely save at least one life. Ships and boats never launched on water are very safe.

If just one life were enough, then alcohol and cigarettes should be banned. So should knives, baseball bats, hammers, nail-guns, ladders, swimming pools, magnets, high-chairs, bicycles, electric outlets, stoves, all appliances, bathtubs, kitchens, bathrooms, pillows, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, ropes, scarves, pogo sticks…the list may have an end, but there isn’t time to find out.

The statement is not only dishonest, manipulative and knowingly false, it is also reveals an attitude that every American should find deeply troubling. Obama would probably not say that saving one life is enough if he saw any value or legitimacy in privately owned guns—that is to say, if he had any respect for the Second Amendment—which is to say, if he had any regard for individual rights.

The statement is cynical, dishonest, manipulative, an irresponsible abuse of the President’s credibility and position, and it is also a warning.

24 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: President Obama

  1. But, will any of the new measures work? I think cameras on all guns might work. Along with a little embedded black box image recorder for each clip of ammo expended, that the owner must turn in with the expended clip and have imagery reviewed before being allowed to purchase another clip. That feature alone would do wonders to boost the Photoshopping industry.

  2. I am wondering… who would object if the police “stop and frisk” policy could maybe save even one life?

  3. I say in reply, just one Obama is enough! Thank God he will be gone next year. Hopefully there will be someone that is marginally more ethical to follow him but at this point it doesn’t look good.

  4. A man of his education knows better. He’s rationalized using deceitful language to push several points, and it’s disappointing.

    If He has legitimate arguments for gun control then just tell us, don’t coat it in bullshit please.

    I voted for him in ’12, the first election i was old enough to vote. I’m disappointed.

    On a side note: I wouldn’t be involved in this year’s election at all if I hadn’t stumbled upon your blog Jack. You made me care about politics again after getting burned and writing it off after my first vote. Thank you.

    Then again I’m not voting for a candidate you like (Feel the Bern!) But still, better to be involved than not, right?

    • Please check out conditions in Venezuela before you do that. This is the normal end point of socialism. Learn to live without toilet paper as that is usually the first consumer good that gets hammered by shortages.

  5. Jack what is that in the picture? Where can I get one? Will it take me into space to go on *pew pew* adventures? Could it outrun the space cops?

  6. Here is a quote on this subject matter from nineteen years ago.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/talk.politics.guns/OUov3JGZfNE/Kx5kQ4tIrCgJ

    If people want to commit suicide, it’s ok with me.

    As for the rest, what OTHER civil rights are you willing to give up
    for the ILLUSION of security.

    If somebody could show that confining all young Black men to barbed
    wire enclosed hostels would eliminate your 40,000 a year figure, would
    you do it?

    How about if we repealed the 5th and 6th Amendments?

    How about if we just required internal passports?

    It seems that all of your “solutions” seem to involve elimination of
    fundamental freedoms. I don’t want my fundamental freedoms
    eliminated. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to see that they
    aren’t too.

    Amazing that this whole concept of “if it saves one life” was refuted almost twenty years ago.

  7. OK OK OK!!!!!!!!!!! The President is perhaps pandering to followers and others who agree. But he is also speaking to the victims. Somewhere in all of this, we’ve lost our compassion for the victims.

    FINE. DON’T ban guns. But fix the damn problem, then. I haven’t heard (maybe I’m missing something) ANYTHING from pro-gun/pro-2nd-amendment people that will fix the problem. We aren’t even supposed to recommend limitations or qualifications or screening. Or fixing loopholes.

    Can we admit that there’s a problem, at least? FIX IT. FIX IT. FIX IT. Otherwise, I have no empathy for those who must have their guns.

    • on this topic-

      A well defined problem is half solved.

      Could you please define the problem?

      As I see it calling it “gun violence” is obfuscation.

      Is “violence” the problem? Or just a specific type of violence? Are we trying to mitigate causes or just effects? Reducing violence itself may be useful, but how? What human characterics are at play that can lead to violence? Do some of those characteristics have a positive role in other aspects of the human character? If so, should we reduce those inculcation of those aspects to reduce violence at the possible cost of positive characterisitcs? Or should be reduce it only to the negative aspects and combat those?

      • There is a way to deal with the problem.

        https://ethicsalarms.com/2015/10/02/regarding-gun-violence-cnns-alisyn-camerota-cant-handle-the-truth-and-shes-not-the-only-one/comment-page-1/#comment-357261

        Back during the Los Angeles riots, after rioters started shooting firefighters, the U.S. could have sent some bombers from Edwards Air Force Base and bomb the shit out of the rioters. this would have been followed up by the Army seizing control of Los Angeles. For “[y]ou don’t fight a junkyard dog with ASPCA rules. What you do is you take the leash off your bigger, meaner dog”. And this would be a permanent state of affairs. Civil administration in Los Angeles would be abolished. Soldiers would patrol every street, occupy every point. And there would be zero tolerance for the slightest of disorderly conduct. Any disorderly conduct will be met with lethal force. There will also be arbitrary arrests and searches, and even the slightest resistance would be met with lethal force.

        This would cause the people to fear the U.S. military, And this fear would keep them in line. Thus, Los Angeles would have become the safest city on Earth. The model of governance- ruling by the fear of force- would no doubt have been followed by other cities. There would be no more mass shootings, because fear would keep the population in line.

        What would have been the downside of “tak[ing] the leash off [our] bigger, meaner dog”?

        • What would have been the downside of “tak[ing] the leash off [our] bigger, meaner dog”?

          Oh, I know I know!

        • Seriously? I ask for a serious resolution, and you come back with this?

          The Problem — Gun Violence. Yes. Because guns are readily available and, unlike many other weapons, can kill without the intimacy of even targeting a victim. Yes, there are plenty of ways to kill or harm another human being. But as I said.

          Breaking down the problem:
          1) Guns in the hands of people with bad intentions who intend to use them for nefarious purposes.
          2) Guns in the hands of people who are mentally ill or at least mentally/emotionally unstable.
          3) Guns in the hands of the untrained or incompetent.
          4) Inconsistent or nonexistent gun purchaser screening.
          5) Guns purchased by adequately screened individuals who were acting on behalf of someone who would not have passed a screening because of something in their background.
          6) Interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

          Truly, there are many things that other people can use that are dangerous to human life. Some we can and do regulate, like automobiles. Others can’t be regulated, because they are ordinary parts of human life, like hammers, baseball bats, rat poison, kitchen knives, rope, lead pipes, wrenches, and candlesticks. People are indeed killed or harmed by all of these items. I don’t know the statistics. If someone is going to kill someone else, they’ll find something. The difference between guns and most of these items is that most of these items are not capable of killing many in short order (poison is the one that can). Granted, there are entire families who have been bludgeoned to death while they slept, but you do know what I mean here.

          There. I’ve outlined the problem, as I can see it with inadequate sleep. I’m sure that I’ve left some things out, but the above is enough.

          • It is a solution to the problem.

            The core of the problem is that there are savage populations living among us, and these savages must be subjugated. And the only way to subjugate them is through the fear of force. They have no regard for law or life; fear is our only option.

            The murder if Stephanie Kuhen hspoened three years after tge riots, proving yet again how ineffective civilian bureaucracy in Los Angeles is. Would that have happened hsd Los Angeles been subjugated by a harsh, brutal military occupation? How many livrs could havr bern sved by the U.S. military going in
            and putting down those savages like junkyard dogs?

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