Pres. Obama’s defense of his commutation of the sentences of 56 criminals convicted of gun charges contains blatant falsehoods and exposes a shocking ignorance of the dangerous felons he chose to release back onto the streets of America.
Following up on an MRCTV report that a quarter (56 of the 214) of the criminals freed by Obama this week had been convicted of gun charges, a USA Today reporter asked the president to reconcile his commutations in light of his White House memo opposing clemency for gun-charge convicts:
USA TODAY REPORTER: “Yesterday, you commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates. It was the largest, single day grant of commutations in the history of the American presidencies. So I want to ask you a couple of questions about your clemency thought process:
“You’ve talked about this as low-level drug offenders who got mandatory sentences. About a quarter of the commutations you’ve granted also had firearms offenses. Given your overall philosophy on firearms, can you reconcile that for us? And given that previously in your presidency, you had sent a memo … against firearms clemency – why did you change your mind?”
Obama responded by concocting “hypotheticals” portraying the criminals he freed as naive “kids” who were victims of coincidence:
“On the firearms issue, what I’ve done is to try to screen out folks who seemed to have a propensity for violence.
“And so, these are just hypotheticals, but there may be a situation where a kid at 18 was a member of a gang, had a firearm, did not use it in the offense that he was charged in, there’s no evidence that he used it in any violent offense; it’s still a firearms charge in enhancement, but he didn’t use it.
“He’s now 48, 38, 20 years later, and has a unblemished prison record, has gone back to school, gotten his GED, he has gone through drug treatment, has the support of the original judge that presided, the support of the U.S. attorney that charged him, has a family that loves him.
In that situation, the fact that he had 20 years earlier an enhancement because he had a firearm is different than a situation where somebody’s engaged in armed robbery and shot somebody.”
Obama’s answer contains several falsehoods.
First, of all, these aren’t just “kids” who owned guns, but just happened to be caught with drugs – 36 of the 56 criminals convicted on gun charges that Obama pardoned were felons illegally possessing guns.
Second, these criminals didn’t leave their guns at home when they were committing or facilitating their drug crimes – 30 of the 56 were armed while trafficking drugs.
Third, four of the gun-toting convicts freed by Pres. Obama “used” their guns during their crimes.
Fourth, it’s not excusable, as Obama suggests, to rob someone at gunpoint – as long as you don’t actually shoot them.
Finally, Obama said “What I’ve done is try to screen out folks…” If that’s true, then why is he throwing out false hypotheticals when he, personally, screened these people?