One of the most powerful leaders in the union world heaped praise Tuesday upon President Barack Obama for his unilateral action on gun-control despite the fact the policy is completely unrelated to workplace issues.
The primary purpose of labor unions is to help negotiate with employers on behalf of their workers. They have significant political influence to advocate for policies that are supposed to help American workers. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), however, is instead using its influence to back the push for more gun-control.
“Too many of us can tell the story of someone we know who has been a victim of gun violence and its aftermath,” SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement. “We are long past time to do something about it. It is particularly gratifying to see the president take action to expand background checks and close loopholes that make it easier for guns to fall into the wrong hands.”
Henry also notes union members were among those killed during mass shootings in Baltimore, Chicago and San Bernardino. A total of 14 people were killed Dec. 2 in San Bernardino by a terrorist gunman. The attack occurred during a holiday gathering at the Inland Regional Center.
“As the president has said, we cannot stop every instance of gun violence,” Henry continued. “But we must change the path we are on and do something to prevent at least some of this senseless violence. The president’s actions can help us turn a corner and change our hopelessness and despair into faith that, when our American family acts together, we can make the impossible possible.”
The executive order will put into place new methods of tracking firearm sales and will introduce background checks for gun shows. It also directs the Department of Defense to research and promote technology to reduce gun violence. The order will also implement additional funds for the treatment of mental illness. Supporters of gun control have argued the issue is too critical to wait on.
The sense of urgency, however, is likely unfounded. The Washington Post and other media outlets claimed the San Bernardino attack was the 355th mass shooting in 2015 alone. The figure has since been heavily disputed for being misleading. Despite how much gun-control supporters and the media relied on it, the figure did not come from any official law enforcement source but instead was put out by activists operating on the website Reddit. (RELATED: 355?! Why This Number Is Meaningless When It Comes To Mass Shootings)