With today’s loss to Hillary Clinton in the Pennsylvania primaries, perhaps Barack Obama is seeing the bitterness he spoke of on April 6 as small town not only clung to their guns and faith, but voted against his presidency as well.
It was at a fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6 that he told us,
“…it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
He later tried to clarify his comment with,
“I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter,” adding, “Now, I didn’t say it as well as I should have. If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
Some things he seems not to regret though, has been his anti-gun stance over the years, opposing letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes and voting against making gang members eligible for the death penalty if they kill someone in gang related crimes.
The junior Senator must not realize that people of faith have always clung to their faith in times of need. It has carried many through troubled times. Americans generally hold no antipathy towards immigrants; it is Illegal Immigrants who drain our economy more than they sustain it. And, no gun owner this writer knows of “clings” to a gun.
Arthur Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School reinforces that with an article published in the April 19, 2008 Wall Street Journal, Trigger Happy.
Professor Brooks tells us that anybody who would find Obama’s portrayal of small town bitterness realistic shows just how little some know their neighbors. And “nothing reveals the truth better than the data on guns,” he says.
Drawing from the 2006 General Social Survey, he tells us that 34% of American homes have guns in them. In addition, gun owners have the same level of formal education as non-gun owners, on average and they earn 32% more per year than non-gun owners.
The bitterness is also shown to be a canard as he informs us that 36% of gun owners say they are very happy while 9% say they are not too happy, compared to only 30% of non-gun owners saying they were very happy with 16% saying they were not too happy. In all, approximately 40 million American households with guns are generally happier than those people in households that don't have guns, regardless of political affiliation.
He tells us that one plausible reason for this happiness is that gun owners feel more “self –reliant” than non-gun owners, feeling they are able to defend themselves, should the need arise and even hunt their own food, if necessary.
Not feeling dependent on others has always elevated ones feelings of self worth and independence, something Socialists wish to tether to government programs.
The General Social Survey asked about agreement with the statement, “Those in need have to take care of themselves.” Gun owners agreed 10% more than non-gun owners, 60% to 50%.
Countering any call of selfishness amongst gun-owners, the same survey also shows gun owners more likely to give money to charity (83% to 75%), more likely to give of themselves, as in donating blood and more likely to strongly agree they would "endure all things" for someone they loved (45% to 37%).
Guns have a long and respected history in America. Article 9, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 says, “That the right of citizens to bear arms, in defense of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned.”
Perhaps the “bitterness” Pennsylvania voters felt was the junior Senator’s questioning their right to bear arms.
If Barack Obama learns that Happiness is a warm gun, don’t be too surprised to see him walking a field in an oversized brand new hunting jacket or reminiscing of hunting ducks with his father as well.