If Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, he is going to send ugly, burly men to your house and confiscate your guns, which will be melted down and reformed into windmills. All civilian ammunition will be transferred to Yucca Mountain, to be stored with nuclear waste.
Well, perhaps that’s a bit overstated, it being campaign season and all, but we need to get your attention. This is not overstated: If Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, he is going to be the most anti-gun President in recent memory, graded a big fat F by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
You could have knocked us over with a hummingbird feather, then, when politico.com reported that Obama is “making a play for pro-gun voters in rural Pennsylvania.” Forty percent of Pennsylvania voters own guns, and the state has the largest per capita NRA membership in the country. The Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary will be held on April 22.
Obama “is doing the gun dance,” writes columnist Robert Novak. “That is a dance of many Democrats, revealed by my private conversations with the party’s strategists. As urban liberals, they reject constitutional protection for gun owners. As campaign managers, they want to avoid re-enacting the fate of many Democratic candidates who lost elections because of gun control advocacy.”
Obama has taken a slyly different approach, at least in his campaign rhetoric. He says he supports the Second Amendment and an “individual right to bear arms,” weaving in his experience as a constitutional law professor. Fair enough, you say. But it is more likely that he just sees the Supreme Court handwriting on the wall, anticipating the court decision on the notorious District of Columbia gun ban case later this session.
Of course, Obama throws in the old “subject to reasonable and common sense regulation” caveat. In the District of Columbia, a complete ban on handguns for law-abiding citizens has been portrayed by government officials and their lawyers as “reasonable, common sense regulation.” Where does Obama stand on the DC regulation? Twice, Robert Novak tried to get an answer from the Obama campaign. Twice, the columnist got only a gobbledygook response that did not address the question.
Here’s Novak on Obama’s record: “Obama’s dance on gun rights is part of his evolution from a radical young state legislator a few years ago. He was recorded in a 1996 questionnaire as advocating a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns (a position since disavowed). He was on the board of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which takes an aggressive gun control position, and in 2000 considered becoming its full-time president. In 2006, he voted with an 84 to 16 majority…to prohibit confiscation of firearms during an emergency, but that is his only pro-gun vote in Springfield or Washington.”
There are more specifics. While in the Illinois legislature, Obama voted to require trigger locks on guns (1999) and to limit gun purchases to one a month (2003). In 2001, Obama cast a deciding “no” vote on a bill that would have allowed women who had a valid order of protection against another person to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. In 2004, he voted against allowing a court defense of self-defense against home intruders in jurisdictions where handguns are banned, which is as good a marker as any on where he really stands on the DC gun ban. He has supported banning the sale or transfer of semi-automatic weapons.
Most recently, Obama has said unequivocally that he opposes concealed carry permits, currently available, with no arbitrary denial, in 39 states.
As outlined by politico.com, Obama’s principal tactic in his effort to hoodwink the gun-owning voters of Pennsylvania (and presumably those of Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia shortly down the road) is to have surrogates, usually local and state elected officials with excellent records on guns, vouch for Obama’s professed love for the Second Amendment and the “rights of sportsmen.”
Politicians can evolve, but in our experience, not one has ever evolved from advocating a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns to honest, transparent support for the Second Amendment, without reams of deceptive qualifiers. Be assured that Barack Obama is not going to be the first.
P.S. Before thousands email us, yes, we know Hillary Clinton’s record, including her vote to confiscate guns in national emergencies, like Hurricane Katrina, when snakes are swimming through your kitchen, looters are after the flat-panel TV and the police have deserted. Is she still running for President?April 10, 2008