President Obama derided the Second Amendment as obsolete in his second inaugural address, claiming that “when times change, so must we” on issues like citizen gun ownership.
We have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.
Obama added an explicit reference to the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre. “Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”
Obama's second inaugural address was otherwise designed as a largely a Rorschach test of sorts for its listeners; most will hear what they want to hear. In recent years, inaugural speeches have featured only glittering generalities, and Obama's speech was little different. Obama even threw one sop to the political Right, claiming, “Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone.”
But on both sides of Obama's perfunctory invocation that — as Bill Clinton once more succinctly stated that “the era of big government is over” — Obama advocated an ever-larger series of broad and vaguely defined government initiatives.
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