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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obama's "Evolving" Position on the 2nd Amendment

Recently, there was a dust up over a 1996 survey that Barack Obama took. His answers in that survey paint the picture of a far left liberal much like his political opponents have tried to paint him. Obama insists that he didn't fill out the survey and that a staffer misrepresented his answers. On the issue of gun control, his answer was quite extreme. On the survey, Obama was in favor of a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. Obama's position has been difficult to tie down on the issue of the 2nd amendment throughout his career.

The NRA has given Obama an F on the issue of the 2nd amendment for instance. If you are looking at his voting record in the U.S. Senate, it is fairly radically anti 2nd amendment. Here is how he voted on some major 2nd amendment legislation...


SA4615 Prohibition On Confiscation Of Firearms Vote for gun owners. 2005

S.397 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act Vote against gun manufacturers twice.

SA1615 Cop Killer Bullet Ban Vote against gun owners.

SA1620 S.397 Exemption for Children Vote against gun manufacturers.

SA1623 Gross Negligence Amendment Vote against gun manufacturers.

SA1626 Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 Vote against gun owners.

SA1644Update to SA1620 Vote against gun manufacturers.

SA1645 Update to SA1615 Neutral vote.


In the Illinois Senate, he voted against the 2nd amendment more often than for, however his votes weren't unanimous...


2000: cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month Obama sought moderate gun control measures, such as a 2000 bill he cosponsored to limit handgun purchases to one per month (it did not pass). He voted against letting people violate local weapons bans in cases of self-defense, but also voted in 2004 to let retired police officers carry concealed handguns.

So, his record is pretty decidedly anti 2nd amendment. Yet, just last year Obama was quoted as saying this about the 2nd amendment...

'I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation' like background checks, he said during a news conference."

So, he agreed, then, that the 2nd amendment is an individual right however subject to the nebulous "common sense" gun regulations. Now, this statement is of course at odds with his answer to the survey in 1996.

Where it becomes even more unclear though is some of the things Obama has said just recently about the 2nd amendment. Here are some relevant parts...

I think that local jurisdictions have the capacity to institute their own gun laws . . . the City of Chicago has gun laws, as does Washington, D.C... The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun safety laws . . . isn’t borne out by our Constitution

Now, it is interesting that Obama singled out D.C. because in D.C. there is a total ban on guns. (that law is now up in front of the Supreme Court) Now, "sensible" gun control legislation is one thing but a total ban is totally different than what Obama said just over a year ago. Here is what Obama said about concealed carry permits...

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.”

In other words, Barack Obama doesn't believe that gun owners have the right to carry their weapons on them for protection. His view of an individuals right to bear arms limits to that individual's home apparently.

There are several issues of concern here. The first is an issue of honesty and candidness. Obama answered radically to a far left liberal survey in 1996. He has since given more moderate statements paying lip service to an individual's right to bear arms. Yet, his voting record is decidedly anti 2nd amendment. Furthermore, if he believes that the 2nd amendment applies to individuals, then he would logically insist that D.C.'s gun ban is unconstitutional. Yet, at the same time he claims the 2nd amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms, he also claims that a municipality can take that right away.

The second issue is one of radicalism. His position on abortion is so radical that he once voted in favor of infanticide, the practice of killing a baby where an abortion failed. I have already spoken about his radical geopolitical position. His position on the 2nd amendment appears to be radical but cloaked in moderate rhetoric. All of this radicalism leads one to wonder what sort of Supreme Court justice he would choose. No one is expecting an Alito, Thomas, or Scalia from Obama, however even Ginsberg would likely rule that infanticide is unconstitutional. While the court won't rule on the D.C. gun ban until this summer, I would bet that even Ginsberg thinks a total ban is unconstitutional. Thus, given his position on these two crucial issues, it is likely that an Obama nominee would likely wind up to the left of Ginsberg.

3 comments:

Blogonaut said...

The Politico posted a story today reporting that Barack Obama is making play for pro-gun voters in rural Pennsylvania.

Wait a minute, how can he pull that off, since he has unreservedly supported gun control legislation his entire political career? Even supporting an OUTRIGHT BAN on the manufacture, sale AND POSSESSION of all handguns! According to Politico:


“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.”


Obama had better hope that those NRA members in the Keystone State (not to mention the other registered voters) do not read Obama’s questionnaire (read responses to part 2 of the survey), on the at the request of a liberal group in Chicago 12 years ago.

If you visit the above link, and go to question 35, you will see that Obama represented that he supports legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns!

To make it even worse for the Chicago candidate for president, when the political blog The Politico first reported Obama’s 1996 responses to the survey in Politico’s December 11, 2007 article entitled Liberal views could haunt Obama, the Obama campaign claimed that the questionnaire was filled out by an over-zealous staffer, and that Obama NEVER EVEN SAW the survey, let alone filled it out.

The full truth did not emerge until The Politico obtained an amended copy of the questionnaire that bore Obama’s own handwritten changes, and then reported the Obama lie on March 31, 2008:


”Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire. They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.” But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.”


And, as the Politico article points out at page 2:


“Both versions of the 1996 questionnaires provide answers his presidential campaign disavows to questions about whether Obama supports capital punishment and state legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.””

“He responded simply “No” and “Yes,” respectively, to those questions on both questionnaires.”


BOTTOM LINE: Obama’s views on gun control are so extreme that in 1996 he twice filled out a survey when he was running for office clarifying that he supports an outright ban on the manufacture, possession and sale of handguns, no exceptions. Then in this presidential campaign he lied about it.

For the links to all the above, see
http://blogonaut-blogonaut.blogspot.com/2008/04/obama-misrepresents-gun-control-stand.html

ROACH said...

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Katrinka Yobotz said...

Video: Alan Keyes at Second Amendment rally in Harrisburg, PA
mms://media1.pahousegop.com/video/170204423.wmv