Saturday, April 19, 2008

Obama and Guns

If you do not agree that the Second Amendment is what makes the other amendments possible, save yourself some time and stop reading here.

A common discussion between Karl and fellow 'bitter' conservative and enthusiast, Mickail, is the liberal attack-agenda on gun ownership. Up until now, Karl has tempered Mickail's pessimism with the recent histories of Gore 2000 and Kerry 2004 where the gun issue was surrendered at the national debate out of worries it could hurt Democratic voter turnout. Karl thought he saw the same in the 2008 Democratic primaries. But, enough information has emerged to change his opinion.

We are now convinced that an Obama administration will act on gun control, despite his claims to respect "traditions". We still think taxes will co-exist with Iraq as the leading issues in the general election, but we now think the gun issue should share that priority. Here are links to, and quotes from, some recent articles:

April 3 - Michelle Malkin - "Obamessiah: Roll Back Carried Concealed Laws!". Quoting Obama:

I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” Obama said. “I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.

April 17 - David Kopel in the WSJ - "The Democrats and Gun Control".

When the U.S. Supreme Court voted last year to hear a case on the constitutionality of the Washington, D.C., handgun ban, Mr. Obama's campaign told the Chicago Tribune: "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional" and that "local communities" should have the ability "to enact common sense laws." Other than Washington, D.C., the only American cities with handgun bans are Chicago and four of its suburbs. As a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against a 2004 bill (which passed overwhelmingly) to give citizens a legal defense against prosecution for violating a local handgun ban if they actually used the firearm for lawful self-defense on their own property.

Mr. Obama's campaign Web site touts his belief in the Second Amendment rights to have guns "for the purposes of hunting and target shooting." Conspicuously absent is the right to have firearms to defend one's self, home and family. In 2001, as a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against allowing the beneficiaries of domestic violence protective orders to carry handguns for protection.
Forty states currently allow most law-abiding adult citizens to carry concealed handguns for lawful protection, after a background check and (in almost all such states) a safety class. Of course those laws only apply to carrying within the relevant state. Mr. Obama told the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that he favored a national ban on concealed carry, to "prevent other states' laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents." Mrs. Clinton campaigned against a licensed carry referendum in Missouri.
A presidential candidate could of course swear devotion to the First Amendment, while declaring that the amendment's purpose is to protect sports reporting and book collecting. And that candidate could still support government lawsuits against publishers, local bans on newspapers, and draconian restrictions on political commentary.

April 19 - Arthur C. Brooks in the WSJ - "Trigger Happy". Data that shows how out of touch Obama and his liberal supporter really are:

34% of American homes have guns,
Poor? Gun owners earn 32% more than non-gun owners,
Bitter? Gun owners: 39% 'very happy' vs. 30% for non-gun owners,
Charitable giving? 83% of gun owners vs 75% non-gun owners,

Why are gun owners so happy? One plausible reason is a sense of self-reliance, in terms of self-defense or even in terms of the ability to hunt their own dinner.
None of this is to dictate what gun policy should be in our nation and its communities, let alone whether gun owners deserve to be happier than those of us without firearms. Guns are an important area of debate about freedom and security, not to mention constitutionality. What we do know, however, is that contrary to the implication of Mr. Obama's comments, for many Americans, happiness often does indeed involve a warm gun.

We think this topic should remain at the top of the issues list for the 2008 election. Will we hear Obama commit to gun rights, for defense against criminals AND a tyrannical government, or will we continue to watch him duck and evade? Comments are on.

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