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.