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Obama Dismisses 'Crackpot Conspiracy Theories' of Gun Control Opponents

Image: Obama Dismisses 'Crackpot Conspiracy Theories' of Gun Control Opponents
President Barack Obama (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 02 Oct 2015 06:43 PM

President Barack Obama Friday dismissed critics of his war against guns and accused Republicans of ratifying "crackpot conspiracy theories" behind his quest for stronger restrictions on firearms.

In response to a question about the Oregon community college shootings on Thursday, Obama slammed those opposing stricter controls as "absolutists who think that any gun safety measures are, somehow, an assault on freedom or communistic or a plot by me to take over — and stay in power forever or something."

"There are all kinds of crackpot conspiracy theories that float around out there," the president said. "Some of which, by the way, are ratified by elected officials in the other party on occasion."

The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups have long contended that any firearms restrictions violated the Second Amendment.

They say that reform efforts should concentrate on strengthening the national FBI-managed database to screen buyers more effectively and to improve efforts to detect and treat the mentally ill.

But President Obama's comments also most likely alluded to the conservative-inspired controversy surrounding the Army's Jade Helm 15 training exercises this summer across Texas and four other states.

The exercises, which lasted from July to September, led many Lone Star State conservatives to attack them as part of an Obama-inspired plot to establish martial law, spy on Americans and seize their guns.

The training, held by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, also occurred in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado

While the Army had held similar exercises in Texas before, the "size and scope" of Jade Helm 15 is what led to conspiracy theories among conservatives.

Suspicions increased when military officials released a PowerPoint presentation labeling Texas and Utah as "hostile" territories in describing the exercises.

Albert Ellison, chairman of the Bastrop County Republican Party, told The Washington Post just before the exercises began in July that concerned Texans were not "nuts and wackos."

Rather, he said, "Obama has really painted a portrait in the minds of many conservatives that he is capable of this sort of thing."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to "monitor" Jade Helm's operations, and told a local television station that his office had received "daily updates and we are in turn addressing any concerns Texans may have."

The controversy was the brunt of jokes by the liberal media and pundits, with the Post reporting that Abbott was mocked by critics who charged he was giving in to people's conspiracy theories.

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President Barack Obama Friday dismissed critics of his war against guns and accused Republicans of ratifying "crackpot conspiracy theories" behind his quest for stronger restrictions on firearms.
obama, guns, laws, oregon, shooting
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2015-43-02
Friday, 02 Oct 2015 06:43 PM
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