Recently, the past year's tragedies have been shamelessly exploited for political gain. President Obama has berated those who were concerned the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill would infringe upon the Second Amendment. Democrats have accused Republicans of exploiting the Boston Marathon bombing in the immigration debate. By far the most shameless example of exploiting tragedy for political gain comes from the Democratic National Committee, which uses a letter thanking the first responders at the Boston Marathon to collect personal information which, according to the "submission terms," can be used for DNC advertising, publicity, media, and more.
Numerous tragedies in the past year have involved mentally unstable people shooting innocent people, leading some to conclude that guns need to be heavily regulated. Others argue the issue is not guns, but mental healthcare. After Democratic Senator Joe Manchin's gun control measure was defeated, he explained the next step isn't to try again on gun control, but to do something about mental health care. In many of the past year's tragedies, the mental instability of the perpetrators was known, but little was done to prevent them from hurting others.
This did not prevent President Obama from shaming those who voted against the bill. President Obama stated that the U.S. Senate decided preventing tragedy "wasn't worth it ... They blocked common-sense gun reforms, even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery." He went on to say that "nobody could honestly claim that the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment rights." In other words, the Senate voted down the bill because of legitimate concerns, but President Obama denied such concerns can even exist. Once again Mr. "Transparency" himself disingenuously demonizes his opponents.
Furthermore, few are talking about a key point — that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, "was on a federal travel watchlist, which failed to pick up that he flew to Russia last year." The FBI was tipped off by Russian intelligence, and "conducted a three-month review of Tsarnaev's activities in 2011." However, failures in the FBI are not easily used for political gain, so President Obama isn’t berating the FBI as he is the U.S. Senate.
In the immigration debate, Democratic Senators have tried to accuse Republicans of politicizing the Boston Marathon to slow the immigration bill. Republican Senators denied that was the case. Senator Rand Paul explains that the Boston Marathon bombing brings in a new component to the immigration debate which needs to be addressed.
By far the worst exploitation of the Boston Marathon bombing is at the hands of the Democratic National Committee. Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted "Disgraceful: @TheDemocrats capitalizing on terrorism and Boston's first responders to boost their fundraising lists. Very poor taste." Chairman Priebus is referring to a letter of thanks to Boston’s first responders from the Democratic National Committee which people are free to sign. Once one submits his signature, his personal information is acquired by the DNC.
According to the "submission terms," if one signs this letter from the DNC, this means he gives the DNC "a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sublicensable, royalty free license to publish, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, edit, modify, create derivative works of and otherwise use the Submissions in any manner or media and for any purpose whatsoever at the sole discretion of the DNC, including without limitation any political, advertising or commercial use of any kind."
Here is where the submission terms get scary: "I further give my permission to use my name, likeness, voice, and biographical information in connection with such Submissions and release the DNC and anyone acting under its authorization from any claims that any use of the Submissions as authorized herein violates any of my rights, including any rights of publicity or privacy." In short, by signing a letter from the DNC to thank first responders, you also grant the DNC endless rights to use you as an advertising or fundraising tool.
This is shady at best. It seems as though the DNC thinks the best way to thank Boston's first responders is to boost their own resources, fundraising, and advertising. Tragedies can play a role in debates, but there is no excuse for using tragedies for political gain.