President Obama’s Gun Control Tears Are The Blackest Thing That Ever Happened This Week » VSB

blackest thing, Featured, Race & Politics

President Obama’s Gun Control Tears Are The Blackest Thing That Ever Happened This Week

It’s been well-documented here that President Obama is firmly and fully ensconced in the fuck devoid span of his presidency. He has nestled in his full-length no fucks futon; his bare feet stretched on his no fucks ottoman, reading perhaps How to Give No Fucks and Influence People or Chicken Soup for the Fuck-less Soul.

This is the president we anticipated when all that hoping and changing was happening in 2007 and 2008. But, for very practical reasons — namely, the country wasn’t quite ready for a Black president, much less a fuck deficient Black president — we didn’t start to really see him until he was reelected. Which, again, makes perfect sense. You just don’t go all DeMarcus Cousins at your new job before your first performance review. But he’s here now, and it is glorious.

And, to clarify, “giving no fucks” does not mean that President Obama — or anyone else who gives no fucks — is without a care or concern. It just means that you no longer care about and you’re no longer concerned with meeting the unreachable expectations of people who don’t actually want you to reach them. In Obama’s case, these people are usually called “conservatives.” For laymen such as you and I, these people are usually called “haters.” President Obama does, in fact, seem to care about many things. ISIS. The economy. The Wire. Sasha’s sartorial choices. Selfies with Michelle.

And while tears aren’t always a reliable measure of ones actual feelings about a subject, I have no doubt that the ones he shed at today’s press conference, where he introduced new gun control measures, were real. Violence is not a uniquely American problem. For a developed country, however, gun violence is uniquely American, and its something we all have at least a tangential connection to. If you happen to be a Black American, this tangential connection becomes sturdier. I have been personally affected by gun violence. I’ve had friends killed, cousins incarcerated, and a home shot into. And I imagine most reading this can say similar things. No one — not even a millionaire family with two Ivy League-grad parents and two private school-attending teenage daughters — is immune, and I’m certain our president is aware of this. And I’m also certain he’s aware, as many of us are, that the primary factor morphing perfunctory human agitation and conflict to the type of murder and mayhem we see today is the availability of guns.

If these measures — which, like all other gun control measures he’s proposed, are so remarkably mundane and common-sensible that the pushback bleeds into absurdity — work, perhaps Congress will be shamed into following suit. I doubt that’ll happen, though. Because while America having a fuck depleted Black president is one thing, America actually listening to him — even if he’s telling a truth we know is true — is another.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    . “You just don’t go all DeMarcus Cousins at your new job before your first performance review.”

    This right here……

  • Vanity in Peril

    The blackest thing ever would be to assert his executive rights on gin violence and police brutality and cry JUST for US. But that’s not gonna happen cause white americans are en masse brainwashed.

    • miss t-lee

      Did you see what Ted Cruz put out right after the speech?

      • Question

        I’m afraid.

      • Oh dear…

      • I’m starting to have a Pavlovian response to even seeing that man’s name in print. As soon as I read it, I think, “I wonder of someone tried to punch him in the face today?”

        His face is so effing punchable.

        • Question

          Punchable! Yesss! That’s it!

        • miss t-lee

          So. Very. Punchable.

          • Like Dabo Swinney but sans all redeeming qualities

            • miss t-lee


        • Cleojonz

          His face is SO effin punchable. I always say this. If I could get the chance to do it without repercussions I’d kick him square in the jaw.

      • Vanity in Peril

        Yep. And I was like, “Sure, Jan”

        • Sherlock!!! Man I wanted to see this in the theater today.

    • SimplePseudonym

      Amen. This comment is exactly why I was not here for the tears when they happened and I’m not here for them today. The distance he keeps away from the issue of police brutality basically cancels out all of the blackest things he could do.

  • Lisa L. Bell

    But does this solve the problem? It seems to me that the people with legitimate and legal access aren’t the issue. I believe the old adage rings true on this one, “where there’s a will…there is most certainly a way.” People intent on doing bodily harm will do just that. I feel for him and his tears, and the tears that we all have undoubtedly shed, but until the actual attitude towards life (who can take it, when, where and why) changes, no law new or abridged will change that.

    • Dcetstyle

      Probably not, but it is an effort and someone has to make an effort. And if that person is President of the United States, I am ok with that.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        It would be nice to get to a point where every gun has a registered owner. If ish goes down, we know that Timmy owned gat 8675309. Timmy would need to report if his gat was stolen and as a private owner, there would be a record of the transaction if he sold it.

        • I would like to see gun insurance also.

          • Epsilonicus

            And a license renewal process. Something like cars

          • Insurance against what though?

            • I think someone should be licensed and insured the same way someone should be with a vehicle. With that would come renewal.

              • My point is that if people are paying for insurance to own guns, what are they being insured against? In a car, you’re getting insured against accidents.

                • Accidents with guns happen to owners and others where people don’t necessarily die. Whether it’s an accidental discharge or wrongful death I think it should be included. Like car insurance the cost of the premium should be in sync with the type of gun and that person decides to purchase as well as other factors. Using the auto insurance analogy it doesn’t make everyone responsible but it a way to increase it.

        • Reemo

          So they can first round up all the non-clear people that own guns? Cause you know somebody (the police most likely) is going to abuse that information.

        • Never ever going to happen. There are something like 300 million guns in private hands. It’s far too late to bar the door.

    • Damon Young

      “But does this solve the problem? It seems to me that the people with legitimate and legal access aren’t the issue. I believe the old adage rings true on this one, “where there’s a will…there is most certainly a way.”

      maybe not. but there are violent, angry, and sociopathic people in developed/first-world countries everywhere. america, however, is the only one with such an easy access to guns. and we’re the only one dealing with these types of murders.

      • Question

        …and we’re the only one where half the constituents are vehemently defending why 13,000+ a year isn’t a problem.

      • Lisa L. Bell

        True indeed. While I don’t argue the point that this is a step in the right direction, I’m curious to see what these additional steps will do to hinder these “violent, angry, and sociopathic” individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I want this to work. More than anything I do, and then I’d like him to tackle gun violence against African Americans by those who use their weapons as a means to “protect and serve” as his last act of Zero F*ctivity. But I guess one issue at a time…

        • fxd8424

          “More than anything I do, and then I’d like him to tackle gun violence against African Americans by those who use their weapons as a means to “protect and serve”
          Call me a pessimist, but that may well be a lost cause. Not because it’s not worth tackling. Those who use their guns against us were never meant to “protect and serve” us. They are doing exactly what they were designed to do.

    • LongtimeLurker

      It solves a part of the problem, which is progress. The laws made during the Civil Rights Movement didn’t change certain peoples’ hearts, but an effort for change had to be made, and it led to the progress (no matter how slight it seems at times) we all see today.

    • Question

      You can’t executive action or legislate a change in attitude toward life. And in the meantime, I’d prefer we make it a wee-bit harder for those in the throws.

      • Lisa L. Bell

        Totally understand making it harder for those “in the throws” but my concern is for those outside of it. The ones who purchase them out of the trunks of cars around the corner from schools (as seen in real life). I appreciate what is trying to be done, I’m curious to see the results. Time will certainly tell on this one.

        • Question

          I would also argue that those who purchase them out of trunks of cars are more likely to be influenced by state and municipal actions, not federal actions. So while President Obama taking a step is good and in the right direction a) it will likely be undone by the next President and b) won’t trickle down to similar state and police force actions.

    • I’m pro gun but in favor of heavy restrictions but I think this or something akin to it would be a step in the right direction for a cultrural shift, which is what is needed when it comes to how Americans view and feel about guns. Honestly, we fetishize them on levels that are much higher than that of our western peers and it dangerous. They are tool but many of us don’t view them that way. They are apart of our national lore which is fine unless we don’t absorb the effect of that on our present and future in the proper way. Hopefully we’ll get steps in the right direction on how we all view them.

      • I think you get that it’s a low key culture war. Keeping it real, I’m not sure a Democratic president could ever impose a hardcore gun control regime. Fairly or not, the Democratic party is too tied to the coastal elite to make the change happen. This is definitely a Nixon Going to China situation.

        • It’s not a low key culture war at all. Gun rights are in grained in over 239 plus years of our history. It’s a cultural status quo that is being manifested in the worst way possible. A Republican president couldn’t so the same either because we’re at a point that we’re dealing with ideologues and extremist who are slightly afraid that if they have to register their Barrett sniper rifle the Negro in Washington can decide to come move their cheese.

    • -h.h.h.-

      humans will be violent towards each other…that was the case between Cain and Abel, and that was the case with the Mexican folks who killed the mayor that had just got into office just one day prior. and other countries have higher firearm-related death rates than the US ( ). but if we can find ways to bring down occaisions where someone can pull off a mass shooting (more checks on the gun sale process, more checks on who can buy firearms) then maybe we can bring the rate down.

      • Eric Billings

        right. and violence runs hot and cold — so much murder is hot-blooded and if you can’t quite lay your hands on a gun at that time, it should help

  • Courtney Wheeler

    I hate guns…always have..always will. Never saw the need for anyone to have them besides actors who’ll need them for Western movies(fake guns of course) my opinion is biased. I know this. That’s why I refuse to debate on this topic. If you love guns so much then go off in the woods and marry it…I’ve actually said that.
    Hopefully a step in the right direction was taken today by a man who sheds a tear for victims of gun related tragedies…the same man who cries when Aretha Franklin sings “Natural Woman.”

  • miss t-lee

    How to Give No F*cks and Influence People or Chicken Soup for the F*ck-less Soul.

    I would totally read these titles. Somebody make it happen!
    On a more serious note, his speech was really touching.

    • Question

      On the not-serious-note, can we please talk about how we can accelerate to the no-flucks part of life. I’m 90% of the way there, but I feel like I would be unstoppable with that last 10%.

      • Ashia Sims

        When you have those true moments where no f * cks are given, you have to relish them. Savor those moments like a tasty soup that you don’t want to eat too fast even though it’s delicious and the memory will stick with you. That will take you the last 10%.

      • miss t-lee

        Wouldn’t it be so lovely?

  • Evil Genius

    Numbers dont lie

    • Gbadebo

      ….and if our government (aka Congress) wasn’t practically owned by the NRA, we could have an extensive amount of data from federally funded research to determine what measures could be taken to effectively implement gun control.
      Everything in this executive measure is common sense. Actual research could help us find even more solutions.
      ….but in the imagined words of the NRA “f*ck y’all lives…I’m out here making money”

      • I’m not sure it’s the NRA dolo for solo. Someone is buying all those guns being sold. You can judge their motives, but you can’t judge the money coming out. While the hood isn’t legally buying guns, plenty of people are. More importantly, they’ll vote their guns over any other issue.

        • Guns all start out legal. The fact that they so easily make it in to the hood should at least suggest stronger control measures.

          • Switch “hood” with the “suburbs” and you’ll answer your question.

        • Gbadebo

          When it comes to Congress and pressure to refuse ANY legislation that the NRA deems as a hindrance to their profit….it’s the NRA more so then the community of gun owners.

          If we’re going simply on poll data, the majority of gun owners support the recently suggested forms of gun regulation. And when it comes to collecting data on gun use, we are literally simply talking about federally funded research so that we actually know WTH we’re talking and arguing about instead of errybody making points that have absolutely no backing in science and are purely rooted in misplace emotion and “I-know-better”.
          The NRA is fighting against something as simple as collecting data. It’s insane that this is how our government can be bought and paid for….and yes, to your point, a large group of people don’t even give a flying fck.

        • Gbadebo

          “More importantly, they’ll vote their guns over any other issue.”

          Only indisputable data, that Congress won’t fund (because NRA and other idiocy) can combat that type of blind ideology.
          Ha, and I’m all for safe gun ownership. The community of denial just kills me though.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      That’s cause them other countries ain’t playing. We got folks committing heinous crimes and yet they have access to lawyers and what not. Oh and if they can’t afford one, then one is appointed cause “rights.” They’re daggone faces on cameras and what not, yet we gotta spend a grip taking them through the judicial systems just to say you’re gonna get it. That’s IF they’re convicted. Oh, and don’t mess nothing up, they’re walking. So, folks know they can act like animals, slice folks up, shoot folks by the numbers, commit crimes against helpless kids, squatter in other folks’ homes and properties KNOWING they ain’t paid a dime, and lean on so called laws as workarounds.

      Them other countries ain’t hearing it. Commit the crime, you’re doing the time, getting a hand cut off or something. Ain’t no civil rights when you step outside the law and violate. Maybe if we resorted to not letting folks off the hook so easily, maybe that would strike a bit of fear to folks and stop folks from violating on rampages. Folks think they’re smart, they don’t wanna face the crime, so now they take their own lives. Shoot, you can’t even openly carry a big box in your home, not to mention shipping merchandise. Now you gotta take stuff in through the garage or have shipped to your job. Folks see you taking anything in your home, they’re coming in behind you….usually just a matter of days.

      So yeah, too bad we don’t operate (to some degree) like those other countries, maybe folks wouldn’t be so quick to go on rampages and stuff. They need to get on and get somewhere and take a seat.

      Yikes, I was on the soapbox there, huh?

      • Gbadebo

        The problem with “not letting folks off the hook so easily” is that change in policy would be exponentially exercised on those US citizens with darker skin tones, over those with lighter skin tones, as hundreds of years of evidence proves.

        Just look at all of the recent stories of people sentenced to decades in prison, who have been released after DECADES of their life taken away….because someone recently discovered errors in the case/evidence process/corruption.
        And that tricky little thing of “innocent until proven guilty”. The justice system may not work well for those who look like me, but $hit would be a lot worse if “innocent until proven guilty” were not something we at least tried to pretend was a reality.
        I get what you’re saying….but lord help us if the US had the same criminal prosecution policies as some middle eastern countries. It would be like 1800s vigilante justice and Jim Crow shaken, not stirred.

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          Take what I posted with a grain of salt. Maybe I should have put a disclaimer on it. LOL

        • Eric Billings

          you right fam. if we had take off a limb policies, negroes would be outchea hopping on one leg and getting denied handicap spaces

  • NomadaNare

    Hes not a perfect president but this is one of the many times Ive been very proud of him

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    The only reason there are gun control laws in this country is because of the Black Panthers.

    Nowadays black folks of all stripes are falling all over themselves to disarm their own communities because it “hurts” the other side.

    Support for this issue shouldn’t be so blind

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “The only reason there are gun control laws in this country is because of the Black Panthers.”

      I’d tweak this to say the only reason gun control laws in this country were revised is because of the Black Panthers.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Malcolm X addressed the issue of “rifles and shotguns”, a controversy that had dogged him since his March 8 announcement that he had left the Nation of Islam.[17] He reiterated his position that if the government is “unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes”, African Americans should defend themselves.[18] He advised his listeners to be mindful of the law — “This doesn’t mean you’re going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks … that would be illegal and we don’t do anything illegal” — but he said that if white people didn’t want African Americans to arm themselves, the government should do its job.

  • “Selfies with Michelle” The President does have the best thirst traps.

  • In all of the mass shootings mentioned, background checks were performed. And there is no way of purchasing a gun online legally without it first being sent to a dealer for a background check. Most of what the President proposed is irrelevant to the problems he wants to address. This is more about cultural warfare and signalling than real policy changes. But it will fire up people who take gun rights seriously. Expect to see more guns sold in the next few months.

    • -h.h.h.-

      In all of the mass shootings mentioned, background checks were performed.

      the kid who shot up the Charleston Church actually would’ve failed his check, but the FBI admitted it didn’t have enough time to review. one of the executive orders is supposed to close this loophole.

      i think the main point is that guns will never be eradicated from america, nor will mass shootings drop to 0 after these executive orders. however we should try to minimize random melee gun violence.

      • You beat me to it, re: how Dylann Roof was able to get the gun he used to massacre the nine in Emanuel AME.

        • If I recall correctly someone at the Sheriff’s department screwed up his background check too.

          • It was a whole host of effery that happened and allowed him to get his hands on a gun.

        • I read that his father gave him the gun as a gift. Apparently Roof had been recently arrested for felony drug possession but was awaiting trial. They say (and would have to prove) his pops didn’t know about the drug charge, in order for the dad not to be convicted of a felony as well. Simply put, the system needs to be drastically updated.

          • I remember reading that, too, in the early days after the massacre. But yesterday I was looking at the Washington Post piece on it from about a month after, and it was talking about how he went to purchase the gun himself.

      • Gun violence has gone down even as the number of guns has grown and restrictive laws have fallen by the wayside , at least in large portions of the non-coastal areas of the US. I think the issue is more nuanced. The FBI messed up Roof’s background check:

        Comey disclosed the error to reporters on Friday at FBI headquarters. “Comey indicated that the data was not properly entered in federal criminal justice computer systems, or had been mishandled by an analyst with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” The Washington Post reported. He said, “this rips all of our hearts out” and “we are all sick this happened,”according to CNN.

        • This is an identity issue…if you can get that, the issue of the debate will make a lot more sense.

      • The problem with this, is I’ve yet to mean anyone who actually knows what laws, currently do exist when it comes to gun regulation…the motivation isn’t to evaluate what works or what doesn’t work, but the desire to “appear as though something is being done”…regardless of the process and practicality (I won’t even talk about labor and costs) of putting such regulations into practice.

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