Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obama makes a play for pro-gun voters

Good luck with that. He is against concealed-carry and in a survey discovered by Politico he is against the manufacture, sale, and ownership of handguns. Here is a handy guide on where he stands on the issue of gun rights and he has stated, on the record, that he believes the Second Amendment applies only to hunters and sport shooters.

Today The Politico brings us a story that he's trying to polish up his tarnished image to lure unsuspecting pro-gun voters to his camp:

Barack Obama did not hunt or fish as a child. He lives in a big city. And as an Illinois state legislator and a U.S. senator, he consistently backed gun control legislation.

But he is nevertheless making a play for pro-gun voters in rural Pennsylvania.

By highlighting his background in constitutional law and downplaying his voting record, Obama is engaging in a quiet but targeted drive to win over an important constituency that on the surface might seem hostile to his views.

The need to craft a strategy aimed at pro-gun voters underscores the potency of the issue in Pennsylvania, which claims one of the nation’s highest per capita membership rates in the National Rifle Association.

It also could provide clues as to whether Obama, as one of the Senate’s more liberal members, can position himself as an acceptable choice to a conservative-minded demographic in later primary contests and in the general election.

“Guns are a cultural lens through which they view candidates,” said Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a progressive think tank. “If you are seen as way off on that issue, then you seem way off on everything. If you are seen as OK, if the lens is clearer, then they continue to look at you and size you up on other things.”

“For Obama, who is less known and is from Chicago, a city guy and an African American, the feeling is that he is anti-gun,” Kessler continued. “By handling the Second Amendment correctly, he starts to get a hearing among these folks.”

Obama aides would not discuss the campaign’s strategy. While the effort so far in Pennsylvania appears modest, it is noteworthy for a race that has largely avoided such direct engagement with gun owners.

The campaign has asked gun rights advocates like state Rep. Dan Surra, a Democrat from rural Elk County with an “A+” rating from the NRA, to form a coalition of supporters who can vouch for Obama.

“It is clear out there that I am for Obama, and they have reached out to me as a sportsman and a gun owner,” Surra said Thursday. “There has been an outreach to pro-gun legislators, pro-gun people who are sympathetic to Obama’s message.”

The campaign sent an e-mail this week to the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, saying it would “appreciate all sportsmen taking time to learn the facts: Our candidate strongly supports the right and traditions of sportsmen throughout Pennsylvania and the United States of America.”

Notice that he doesn't address firearms owners, in general, and focuses solely on the sportsmen? His views on firearms is radically different than the gun owners. He favors a 1 gun per month limit on firearms purchases, he believes in registering gun owners, and he stands for bans on certain types of firearms. What he calls a "common sense" approach is nothing more than a veiled attempt to seize firearms in the long run.

And this play in Pennsylvania can only be attributed to the recent poll numbers showing he trails Hillary by five points. In presidential primaries, five points is a chasm, and when you're trying to bury your opponent, you need every possible constituency you can muster.

But we don't think this will play well for him. By bringing this topic up, he's opened himself up to scrutiny he can ill afford. His record on firearms isn't great. It's terrible. He's received an "F" from the NRA according to ProjectVoteSmart, and while the Gun Owners of America gave him a 100 in 2006, they have this up on their site where it clearly shows he is no friend of gun owners.

If the voters actually research him rather than listening to the rhetoric of his campaign and his surrogates, they'll find a different story than the one being pimped right now. It's one in which they do not see a friend before them, but rather an opponent who wants to do away with the most important right anyone in America has.

Publius II


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