Perhaps the President believes that by appealing to people's better natures he will move them towards showing respect for one another. Little respect was shown yesterday, not even for a man as he was telling about his son being gunned down at work. The crowd kept shouting as the slain boy's photo was shown on the screen. As another of the speakers talked about feeling compassion for the family members whose loved ones have been shot, the crowd continued to shout insults. I doubt the angry gun owners who were at yesterday's public forum will be moved by the President's speech. I doubt they will listen to it without screaming at their televisions. Actually, I doubt they bothered to listen.
It is hard to tell how small a portion of our populace seethes with the fear, anger, and hatred that we saw in the audience yesterday. They want us to think that they are the majority. I doubt it. We would have already come apart as a country if most of us were that crazed.
The influence that these people have is not to be denied. It should be denounced. The President, in talking as if they weren't among us was probably trying to deliver a speech that would be looked upon by history as noble and visionary. That's what most presidents aim for. Maybe painting a picture of America as it can be is all that they can do. I hope our president doesn't forget that the image he created is not accurate.
The NRA and its supporters do not embrace dissent. They do not tolerate divergent opinions. Their mode of discussion is imbued with the same violence that their weapons promise. Yesterday, they wouldn't even agree that babies shouldn't be slaughtered. These people, who think that their guns are more important than other people's lives, do not seek common ground or reasonable solutions. They see public discourse as something to be disrupted. After yesterday's meeting, the NRA congratulated its members for doing a good job of sabotaging the public forum.
I do not think that our President is unmindful of what is happening in the country. He had to deal with the haters and obstructionists throughout his first term. Had he been at yesterday's forum, he wouldn't have been surprised by what went on. I don't criticize him for pronouncing a vision instead of reporting on reality. I am just disappointed that he was not able to find a way to confront the destructive attitudes that are frustrating his efforts to lead us forward.
It's wonderful that our president can still look upon the world and talk about marching towards a better tomorrow. But it's about time he turned to the rabble and told them to stop throwing rocks. It's time we all did. Then we would see just how puny they are, and their influence would be diminished to be proportionate to their ranks.