President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address is being undercut by a challenge from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) to fill the now-infamous “empty chair” in the gallery guest box with someone who has used a firearm to stop crime and save lives.
The president reportedly was to use the SOTU speech, the last in his presidency, to mark some of his administration’s accomplishments. Critics were suggesting that the biggest accomplishment was managing to keep his job in 2012, but it has taken seven years for the polish to wear thin, and hours before his speech, the Seattle Times was reporting that “seven in 10 Americans said they see the U.S. heading in the wrong direction, according to an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll last month.”
Likewise, a new Rasmussen Report Tuesday morning suggests that most voters, including many Democrats, “admit that presidents don’t accomplish most of what they promise in the annual speeches.”
But there was something more. There has been much made of an empty seat in the gallery guest box that will signify the absence of people who were killed with firearms.
“The use of an empty chair is an empty gesture by a president many people consider an ‘empty suit’,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a news release. He called it an attempt to stir up anti-gun emotions among his far-left voting base.
Instead, Gottlieb suggested, that seat should be filled by someone, a police officer or armed private citizen, who has used a gun in self-defense or in defense of others.
“It would send a message from the administration that we don’t think people should be victimized,” Gottlieb suggested. But the president isn’t interested in recognizing the deeds of good guys with guns. He’d like everyone to believe they are safer without the protection of a firearm, or someone carrying a gun.”
He said maybe the president should have his own security detail walking around with empty holsters.
Another option would be to dedicate the empty chair to the memory of a New Jersey woman who was murdered last year by an ex-boyfriend. At the time, Carol Bowne was waiting for approval of her permit to buy a gun under New Jersey law, and that application was apparently being delayed by the local police department. The story became a flashpoint issue over strict gun control laws.
Obama was not expected to focus on his administration’s numerous failures or controversies, including Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Obamacare, or his failed foreign policy and the terrorist attacks including San Bernardino.
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