On Fox New’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” correspondent Jesse Watters often goes to college towns, microphone in hand, to document the airy ignorance of some college students. Now we know it’s not really their fault.
“I urge President Obama to ban firearm possession in America,” a college professor wrote in the Rochester (New York) Democrat & Chronicle. “He is the president of the United States. He can change the country. He can do it today. I believe in him.”
That’s Barbara LeSavoy, director of Women and Gender Studies at The College at Brockport. You’d think she would know something about the U.S. Constitution and the way the country works. But alas, she seems pretty clueless.
“Today, I write this letter with a bleeding heart,” she states. “I admire Obama. But he has let me down. I am disappointed because his presidency could have done more for our country, and sadly, the many taken lives who cannot read this essay. I still worry about urgent social tensions facing our nation, and I recognize their ongoing complexities in policy and legislative action. But gun violence can be averted.”
How? It seems pretty simple to her.
“Firearm possession should be banned in America; President Obama can orchestrate this directive,” she wrote. “His presidency can be remembered as a remarkable turn in United States history where a progressive leader forever changed the landscape under which we live and work. This is his legacy. To establish gun control laws in America that will reduce high levels of male violence and usher in a culture of peace and civility.”
No, President Obama doesn’t have that power. What’s standing in his way isn’t political meekness, as professor LeSavoy implies, but the Second Amendment.
As the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Heller decision in 2008, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
Professor LeSavoy’s letter doesn’t make it clear how she thinks the government should go about collecting all those guns she wants the president to ban. But any such effort would be disastrous.
As The Federalist’s Varad Mehta noted, “Let there be no doubt. Gun confiscation would have to be administered by force of arms. I do not expect that those who dismissed their fellow citizens for clinging bitterly to their guns are so naive that they imagine these people will suddenly cease their bitter clinging when some nice young man knocks on their door and says, ‘Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to take your guns.’”
It would be needlessly cruel to quote much more of professor LeSavoy’s letter, although this sentence pretty much sums it up: “During (Obama’s) 2008 presidential campaign, my two daughters, partner, and I ate every meal in our house on Obama placemats.”
The point here is that professor LeSavoy is a celebrated scholar and thought-leader in academia. So maybe we should give college students a break. It’s not their fault.