Politics

The NRA vs. Obama

With the 2008 presidential election upon us, the National Rifle Association is making their case against Barack Obama. They unflinchingly describe him as “the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history” and have dedicated large sums of money to exposing his anti-gun agenda.

An in-depth look at his record justifies their position. Not only is Obama the economic socialist Rush Limbaugh has said he is, he is also a gun-banning associate of 1960s radicals who cannot wait to take away one of America’s greatest freedoms – - the right to keep and bear arms.

The NRA points out the fact that Obama supports handgun bans while Obama frequently excuses himself by saying he supports the Second Amendment but believes states, cities, and municipalities should be able to regulate types of handguns and implement local restrictions. (This convolution is an example of the type of reasoning he uses to explain how he can both find handgun bans and the Heller case, which banned handgun bans, to be “reasonable.”)

But Obama has missed the NRA’s point on this one. They are not simply saying he supports the kind of bans we’ve seen in D.C. and Chicago; they are saying he supports a complete ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of a handgun. And they are right. On March 31, 2008, the Politico revealed that “Obama endorsed a complete ban on all handguns” in a general candidate questionnaire he filled out on September 9, 1995.

This is why the NRA keeps telling people that Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand, he says, “I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms,” while on the other he supports a complete ban on the arms they would bear.

In the same questionnaire he said he supported mandatory waiting periods for handgun purchases. “Waiting periods” mean that when you go to buy a gun you have to fill out paperwork, go through an FBI background check, and then after passing that, return to the store five days later to pick up your new gun. If you’re a woman being pursued by a potential rapist, you just have to hope the would-be rapist will lie low for five days while you wait to pick up your new means of self-defense.

Speaking of self-defense, Obama is completely opposed to that as well. In the decades before the Heller decision, many parts of Chicago put handgun bans in place that necessitated making the use of a handgun for self-defense illegal. (Think about it — how could you legally use an illegal tool to protect yourself?) Proving he meant it when he said states, cities, and municipalities should be able to regulate and restrict the Second Amendment, Obama supported these unconstitutional bans when a 2003 case in Wilmette, Ill. provided him the opportunity to stand up for the “individual right” he also claims to support.

What happened in Wilmette was simple: a citizen “used a handgun to defend himself from a dangerous repeat offender.” He killed the attacker, and although the killing was ruled an act of self-defense, the innocent man faced jail time for having used a handgun to defend himself. Many Illinois lawmakers realized that such a charge was illogical and moved to change the law so as to allow the use of a handgun for self-defense. And guess what? — Obama opposed the change in legislation (four times). Did you get that? — OBAMA OPPOSED LAWS THAT ALLOWED USING HANDGUNS FOR SELF-DEFENSE.

It appears Obama would have us rely upon the government, via the police force, for our protection. And this is why the pro-gun organization, “Students for Concealed Carry on Campus,” is concerned about an Obama presidency. While writing this article I talked to their president, Michael Guzman, who cited the Wilmette self-defense case and said: “Senator Obama’s time in the Illinois legislature has shown his belief in full reliance upon the government to provide for one’s protection against criminals. We hope he comes to the realization that the police cannot be everywhere at once and that the individual is his or her own first line of defense against a would-be assailant.”

But if Obama’s record is any indication of things, he’s not going to come to the realization Guzman hopes for. Just think about other aspects of his record as an Illinois senator: He supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park (which is tantamount to banning gun stores period); he supported H.B. 2579, which prohibited law-abiding individuals from purchasing more than one gun a month; he opposed laws that permitted law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for self-defense (i.e., he opposed concealed carry permits); he supported a ban on “junk guns” (cheaper guns that poor people could actually afford to buy and use for self defense); and he voted not to inform gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them (S.B. 1936).

His U.S. Senate record is just as dismal: He supports the reintroduction of the assault weapons ban; he favors a ban on high capacity magazines; he voted with Ted Kennedy on ammunition bans (that included hunting ammunition); and most troubling of all, he voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Roberts and Alito are two of the five justices who upheld the Second Amendment in the Heller case. Just think, if Obama had gotten his way, they wouldn’t have been there, and the Second Amendment wouldn’t be there either.

The NRA is right to go after this gun grabber. And while political pundits continue to highlight Obama’s dangerous associations with vile humans like Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, the NRA will be one of the few outlets reminding you that Obama has some equally dangerous anti-gun associations as well. They’ll trumpet the fact that “the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control, Incorporated), [has] endorsed Obama for president.” Which means he can now boast of being endorsed by the same gun control organization that also endorsed “Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), John Conyers (D-N.Y.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and, of course, John Kerry (D-Mass.), to name [but] a few.”

Those of us who love freedom need to vote McCain/Palin on November 4, and we need go to the NRA website and add our voices to that organization’s cause by joining today.

We have to remember that freedom is not just something others give us: it’s something that we sometimes have to defend individually.

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