Gun Sales, Foreign and Domestic
by William Skink
I’m glad Steve Bullock vetoed two gun bills this session. I don’t always share the same gun regulation fervor that erupts after every gun-related tragedy, but I also don’t see the point of legislating guns onto college campuses and trying to insert poorly constructed wedges between local law enforcement and the Feds (a move that certainly had Infowars fired up).
Regulating gun sales domestically is a Democratic wedge issue. That said, there are good reasons to try and keep guns out of the hands of unstable individuals. A local road rage incident highlights that reality:
Brian Richard Parini, 40, posted bond Monday afternoon and was released from the Missoula County Detention Facility shortly after he appeared in Missoula County Justice Court earlier in the day.
Parini allegedly became irate when a man driving his wife and three children, including an 8-day-old infant, attempted to pass him while driving north from Lolo on U.S. Highway 93.
According to the alleged victim, Parini was driving below the posted speed limit, and when the victim tried to pass Parini prevented him from doing so by switching lanes and “brake checking” him.
“He said the driver flipped him off several times,” the affidavit stated.
The situation came to a head, when the victim and Parini were side-by-side at the intersection of Blue Mountain Road and Highway 93. Parini allegedly pulled out a black semiautomatic pistol and waved it at the family.
“Don’t (expletive) with me,” he allegedly said.
Once the victim saw the gun, he ran the red light and called 9-1-1. Missoula police officers arrested Parini in the Rosauers parking lot on South Reserve Street and found a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol and holster on the front passenger seat.
Later in the article we find out Parini just got off felony probation, should not have had a gun, and also has a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
Trying to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people is a worthy endeavor. The problem with Democrats, though, is this interest doesn’t seem to extend beyond domestic markets. And there are some very disturbing numbers about the Obama regime’s sales of weaponry to foreign nations, like the fact Obama has peddled more weapons than any other president since WWII:
With the end of the Obama presidency just around the corner, discussions of his administration’s foreign policy legacy are already well under way. But one central element of that policy has received little attention: the Obama administration’s dramatic acceleration of U.S. weapons exports.
The numbers are astonishing. In President Obama’s first five years in office, new agreements under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program—the largest channel for U.S. arms exports—totaled over $169 billion. After adjusting for inflation, the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II.
The majority of the Obama administration’s arms sales—over 60 percent–have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia topping the list at $46 billion in new agreements. This is particularly troubling given the complex array of conflicts raging throughout the region.
Those numbers are astonishing. And considering Obama still has that Nobel Peace Prize, also sickening. But where are Democrats on this issue?
Many of the regimes American weapons manufacturers export their hardware to are despicable. Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, to name a few, do terrible, terrible things with American-made weapons. Egypt only recently began receiving weapons again; Obama personally told the Egyptian dictator about the change in U.S. policy toward his repressive regime at the end of last month:
Today, the White House announced that during a telephone call with Egyptian despot Abdelfattah al-Sisi, President Obama personally lifted the freeze on transferring weapons to the regime, and also affirmed that the $1.3 billion in military aid will continue unimpeded. Announced the White House:
President Obama spoke with Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi today regarding the U.S.-Egyptian military assistance relationship and regional developments, including in Libya and Yemen. President Obama informed President al-Sisi that he will lift executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits. The President also advised President al-Sisi that he will continue to request an annual $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt.
But for those who think the U.S. should not lavish vicious tyrants with arms and money, don’t worry! During the call, “President Obama also reiterated U.S. concerns about Egypt’s continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials,” and “encouraged increased respect for freedom of speech and assembly and emphasized that these issues remain a focus for the United States.” To read that is to feel the sincerity and potency of those presidential words.
Before the next flare-up of the gun debate, Democrats might want to do some soul-searching about the legacy Obama is leaving behind regarding arming despotic nations. If it’s bad that unstable people can easily get guns here in the states (and I agree that it is) then it follows that selling guns to tyrants who repress their own people is really bad.