When President Barack Obama, with youngsters beaming over his shoulder, signed 23 executive orders ostensibly aimed at combating violence, a few things were obvious: Hollywood's blood and gore got a free pass and none of his orders would save a child from a school attack tomorrow.
There is nothing in the verbiage that would deter a killer. Nothing. Instead, the edicts are mostly ho-hum, feel-good tweaks covering everything from medical information "sharing," to a safe and responsible gun ownership campaign, to a review of safety standards, to background checks, to nominating a new director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Oh, and one deals with a gun-trafficking crackdown. (You have to wonder how it will affect Obama's next Fast and Furious fiasco). There was nothing about drugs, or gangs or pharmaceuticals mass killers have taken -- and darned little about mental health.
Would the orders deter a murderer who does not bother with background checks, or a safety course or, heaven forbid, even care about a new BATFE director? How would they protect kids at another Sandy Hook Elementary? They would not.
Obama did not direct his administration to ask entertainment and video game moguls whether they could -- without bruising the First Amendment -- tone down the carnage. It is estimated the average American kid, by age 18, sees 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. Think Chicago on a summer weekend.
The president asked only that Congress appropriate $10 million in taxpayer money for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate "the relationship between video games, media images and violence." A pitiful response to the frightening violence level among our young.
When I was a kid, guns were everywhere. We carried them to school to hunt before or after classes. Nobody cared. None of us ever killed anyone or, to the best of my knowledge, even considered it, but, then, we did not while away hours, days and weeks machine-gunning people on video screens and reveling in the gore as some kids do today.
Most of us smarter than a toaster believe gruesome video games and movies are key to today's violence; that pretending to kill has a desensitizing effect, eventually making human life less valuable; that watching murder and mayhem affects kids. You would think Obama would have said something, but he did not. Hollywood, after all, loves Democrats.
If anything, the edicts Obama issued could make things worse. Will people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder balk at seeing a physician because they fear their personal information will end up in some federal bureaucrat's hands, endangering their constitutional rights to own a gun? Will they seek mental health treatment for problems such as depression? Will patients be honest with their doctors when they ask about guns in the home -- or anything else?
But the real problem is Obama's troublesome legislative initiative, which amounts to a frontal assault on the Second Amendment. As his pal Rahm Emanuel once put it: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." Obama is moving fast, exploiting the dead bodies of children and teachers at Sandy Hook to advance gun control for years only dreamed of by the left.
Among other things, he wants to reinstate the asinine ban on guns that look like military rifles, restore the 10-round magazine limit and record every gun sale, which eventually will lead to partial, de facto registration.
He has the proverbial snowball's chance. Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nevada, perhaps remembering political wreckage from the Democrats' last foray into Second Amendment territory, says he will not introduce such legislation for a Senate vote if House Republicans are going to balk. All indications are they will.
Their reluctance is born in constitutional concerns -- rarely bothersome to Obama and his crowd -- and the painfully obvious: Nothing the president wants from Congress will reduce violence. Magazine size has zip to do with lethality. It is silly and uninformed to think so. Rifles that look nothing like military arms can kill with great efficiency.
Society's first task, Obama proclaims grandly, is "keeping our children safe," but instead of working to that end, he engages in cheap political grandstanding over weapons and magazines that are not the problem.
Doing little but attacking law-abiding Americans and the Second Amendment is a lousy way to protect our children -- and honor and remember the dead in Connecticut.
Paul Jenkins is editor of the AnchorageDailyPlanet.com.