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Obama Tries To Move Forward By Backpedaling

Friday, June 27, 2008

By now we all know where presidential nominee Barack Obama stands on the Second Amendment.  During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  But don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric!  His real record, based on votes taken, political associations, long-standing positions, and his own words, shows that Barack Obama is a very serious threat to our Second Amendment liberties.   

A June 26 National Review Online story describes Barack Obama’s latest attempt to deceive the American people on his position on firearms rights. As the Supreme Court was releasing its decision in the Heller case, Obama was disavowing an earlier statement he’d made in support of the gun ban. 

In a November 20, 2007 Chicago Tribune story entitled, “Court to Hear Gun Case,” the Tribune’s James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins wrote “. . . the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ‘...believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.’”

Then, in a February 12, 2008 interview with ABC’s Leon Harris, Obama acknowledged his support for the D.C. gun ban.

Questioner Leon Harris: “One other issue that's of great importance here in the district as well is gun control. You said in Idaho recently – I’m quoting here - 'I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns,’ but you support the D.C. handgun ban." Obama: "Right." (Leon Harris and Sen. Barack Obama, Forum Sponsored By ABC And Politico.Com, Washington, DC, 2/12/08)

In the same interview, Obama indicated he feels the D.C. gun ban is constitutional.

Harris: “And you've said that it’s constitutional. How can you reconcile those two different positions?” Obama: “Oh, because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country.  I think it is important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally.  And a lot of people, law-abiding citizens, use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have violence on the streets that is a result of illegal handgun use. And so, there is nothing wrong, I think, with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets...”

And earlier this year, Obama refused to sign a congressional amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case, while 55 of his Senate colleagues—including republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.)—lined up to do so, signaling not only their belief in the Second Amendment but also their view that the D.C. gun ban is incompatible with it.  In fact, the largest number of co-signers of any congressional amicus brief in American history joined the brief in support of the individual rights view, including 250 members of the House, and the Vice President of the United States.  But Barack Obama refused to co-sign. 

Does that sound like support to you?  Of course not.  And now the Obama campaign is whistling a different tune as they backpedal from his documented support of the gun ban. Incredulously, the statement that the D.C. ban was constitutional has now been characterized as an “obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator’s consistent position,” whatever that means.  

What is clear and irrefutable is that Obama wants to play on both sides of the Second Amendment fence, and we’re not about to let him do that.

For more information on the real Obama record, please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.