Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Senator Obama on Firearms, via Robert Novak

The Prince of Darkness weighs in on the ever-evolving standards that Senator Obama seems to have when it comes to firearms:

After months of claiming he had insufficient information to express an opinion on the District of Columbia's gun law, Barack Obama noted with apparent approval Thursday that the Supreme Court ruled that the 32-year ban on handguns "went too far." But what would he have said had the high court's 5 to 4 majority gone the other way and affirmed the law? Obama's strategists can only thank swing Justice Anthony Kennedy for enabling Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion to take the Democratic presidential candidate off the hook.

Such relief is typified by a vigorous supporter of Obama who advised
Al Gore in his 2000 presidential campaign. Believing that Gore's gun control advocacy lost him West Virginia and the presidency, this prominent Democrat told me: "I don't want that to happen with Obama -- to be defeated on an issue that is not important to us and is not a political winner for us." He would not be quoted by name because he did not want abuse heaped on him by gun control activists.

This political reality explains the minuet on the D.C. gun issue that Obama has danced all year. Liberal Democrats who publicly deride the
National Rifle Association privately fear the NRA as the most potent conservative interest group. Many white men with NRA decals on their vehicles are labor union members whose votes Obama needs in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. That is why Obama did not share the outrage of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, an Obama supporter, over the Supreme Court's decision.

What may be Obama's authentic position on gun rights was revealed in early April when he said at a closed-door Silicon Valley fundraiser that "bitter" small-town residents "cling" to the Bible and the Second Amendment. That ran against his public assertion, as a former professor of constitutional law, that the Constitution guarantees rights for individual gun owners, not just collective rights for state militias. But his legal opinion forced Obama into a political corner.

Mr. Novak recalls the comments that Senator Obama used which dug him a deep hole. That was right before the Pennsylvania primaries, which he lost. Senator Obama forgets who those "bitter" people are. They are union people -- blue collar people who work for a living. They are teachers. They are firemen. They are dock workers, cab drivers, and truck drivers. They are America. And when he decided it was all right to slander them, it was heard around the nation. They did not appreciate that derision one bit.

So when it came to the gun case, DC v. Heller, he had to tap dance his way around it. His excuse of "I haven't read the briefs on it" is irrelevant. He is a Constitutional lecturer. What is your opinion on the Second Amendment, Senator? Forget the case, we would like to know where you stand on guns.

Of course, that is already on the record, now is it not? A pdf white paper attached to his website says it all:

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.

Notice that in this statement, not once are handguns mentioned. Not once does he state he believes, as a majority of the Supreme Court did, that the individual right upheld is one that revolves around us being able to defend ourselves? Not from an invading army as part of a militia, but as law-abiding citizens trying to protect ourselves, our homes, and our families. Senator Obama clearly does not agree with the court on that issue. He believes only hunters and sport shooters should be given Second Amendment rights.

Senator Obama is a lecturer on the Constitution. What is amazing is that he lacks the basic understanding of it. The Constitution sets the limits the government has to adhere to. The Bill of Rights enumerates what rights we as citizens have that the government cannot interfere with. According to Senator Obama, the government can do what it wishes when it wishes and there will be no repercussions. We, as citizens, are simply the little people who must comply.

We recall a time some 232 years ago when another man demanded we comply. The outcome, for him, was not good as his colonists embarrassed him on the world stage, and began an experiment that has lasted this long. Senator Obama would be wise to read up on his history, and understand why the people actually have firearms. It had a lot to do with throwing off the yoke of tyranny.



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