Obama's gun control deception
By Josh Painter Posted in 2008 — Comments (23) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Casual visitors to Barack Obama's website might be misled about the position on gun control held by the U.S. Senate's most liberal member - that is, if they can even find it. One has to first click on "Issues" - then on "Additional Issues" - and then on "Sportsmen" to locate it. Even then, one gets this rather nebulous paragraph:
Barack Obama did not grow up hunting and fishing, but he recognizes the great conservation legacy of America’s hunters and anglers and has great respect for the passion that hunters and anglers have for their sport. Were it not for America’s hunters and anglers, including the great icons like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, our nation would not have the tradition of sound game management, a system of ethical, science-based game laws and an extensive public lands estate on which to pursue the sport. Obama recognizes that we must forge a broad coalition if we are to address the great conservation challenges we face. America’s hunters and anglers are a key constituency that must take an active role and have a powerful voice in this coalition.
Below this section of political doublespeak is yet another hyperlink one must click on to "Read the full plan" - in which we finally see yet another paragraph falsely labelled "PROTECTING GUN RIGHTS":
Respect the Second Amendment: Millions of hunters own and use guns each year. Millions more participate in a variety of shooting sports such as sporting clays, skeet, target and trap shooting that may not necessarily involve hunting. As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting. He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and commonsense regulation.
That last sentence is the kicker. Just what constitutes "reasonable and just commonsense regulation" is, of course, different things to different people. For the liberal, it usually means extremely intrusive government control of the citizens' firearms. More on this in a moment, but first consider that Obama and his team have pushed gun control to the bottom of their site's "Issues" menu, and grouped it under the topic of "Additional Issues" along with such other items as "Arts" and "Transportation" - hardly a place of promenence for a right that the founders felt deserved its own constitutional amendment. This perceived unimportance of firarms-related issues is a big clue about how the Obama campaign views the right to keep and bear arms, and it is but one source of the inexperienced junior Senator's problem with America's millions of gun owners - or, rather, their problem with him.
That Obama, "a former constitutional law professor" - brags his website, sees gun rights as a hunting and shooting sports issue reveals a lack of understanding of the fundamental reason the founders sought to guarantee these rights in the first place. As the NRA's John Sigler points out, "The Second Amendment ain't about duck hunting." But most firearms owners already knew that. Alan Keyes explains:
The Founders added the 2nd Amendment so that when, after a long train of abuses, a government evinces a methodical design upon our natural rights, we will have the means to protect and recover our rights. That is why the right to keep and bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights.
When we dig into Barack Obama's record of votes, other actions and public statements on gun control, we learn that he isn't so much about "protecting gun rights" as he is about trying to constrain those same rights.
According to a Kenneth Vogel article on Politico:
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has worked to assure uneasy gun owners that he believes the Constitution protects their rights and that he doesn’t want to take away their guns.
But before he became a national political figure, he sat on the board of a Chicago-based foundation that doled out at least nine grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to groups that advocated the opposite positions.
The foundation funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners’ rights, as well as two groups that advocated handgun bans. And it paid to support a book called “Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.”
For gun owners and RKBA advocates, this isn't exactly a good start for Obama. It gets worse.
The Associated Press, in a story about how Obama's far-left voting record is a gold mine for his critics, reported that:
Obama regularly supported gun-control measures, including a ban on semiautomatic "assault weapons" and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month.
He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.
Supporters framed the issue as a fundamental question of whether homeowners have the right to protect themselves.
Obama joined several Chicago Democrats who argued the measure could open loopholes letting gun owners use their weapons on the street. They said local governments should have the final say, but the self-defense exception passed 41-16 and ultimately became state law.
Now I know that I'm a second amendment absolutist, and that liberals who don't get the reason the founders put that amendment in the Bill of Rights will view me as a right-wing gun nut. But does anyone else see the act of voting to prevent a homeowner from proteting his or her family and property while in his or her own home is more than just a little extereme?
Next we have Obama's remark to a gathering of wealthy San Francisco liberal elites, spoken without the knowledge that it was actually being recorded:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."
"And 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."
Obama and his campaign have desperately tried to spin their way out of that one, but as Bill Clinton, himself a master of spin, was fond of saying, "That dog don't hunt."
Like he does on so many other issues, Obama attempts to hide his liberal gun control beliefs behind phony, moderate-sounding rhetoric that is intended to pull the wool over the eyes of a largely unsuspecting electorate. Fortunately, those who see gun ownership as a bulwark against some possible future tyranny from our own federal government aren't falling for the deception.
John Lott, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, relates this chilling encounter in an opinion piece dealing with a questionnaire Obama and/or his staff answered for the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI):
In fact, I knew Obama during the mid-1990s, and his answers to IVI’s question on guns fit well with the Obama that I knew. Indeed, the first time I introduced myself to him he said “Oh, you are the gun guy.”
I responded “Yes, I guess so.” He simply responded that “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.”
When I said it might be fun to talk about the question sometime and about his support of the city of Chicago’s lawsuit against the gun makers, he simply grimaced and turned away, ending the conversation.
If taken literally, Obama’s statement to me was closer to what the IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test found, indicating that Obama's bans would extend well beyond handguns.
Obama also opposes the current laws in 48 states that let citizens carry concealed handguns for protection claiming, despite all the academic studies to the contrary, that "I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."
“I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns,” bottom-lines Barack Obama's true feelings about gun control. I'm not the only one who finds this Obama guy extremist-scary.
National Rifle Association president John Sigler, in a scathing column in the NRA's Official Journal, sees Obama as a genuine and serious threat to freedom:
Barack Obama’s position is even more anti-gun than the District of Columbia’s! Obama’s record is clear—his concept of “hope and change” will surely result in anti-gun/anti-freedom changes bringing more hopelessness for the most helpless in our society.
Now is the time to act! Every gun owner in America must be alerted to Obama’s record. Please, tear out this page, copy it and distribute it to fellow gun owners, hunters, shooters, family and friends. Spread the word and get ready for the most important election battle of our lifetime.
Amen, Mr. Sigler. Amen.