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Obama Selects Janet Reno's Anti-Gun Point Man As Next Attorney General

Friday, November 21, 2008

So much for "I support the Second Amendment," and so much for the notion of "change." 

Media reports say President-elect Barack Obama has selected Eric Holder as his Attorney General, and that Holder may already have accepted the offer.  Holder, as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno during the Clinton Administration, said that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right, but instead protects the right to have a firearm when serving with a militia. After leaving office, Holder stuck to that assertion when he signed Janet Reno's brief to the Supreme Court in the Heller case, which stated, "The Second Amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia." 

At the Justice Department, Holder advocated a waiting period, limiting gun purchases to one per month, and so-called "gun show loophole" legislation--the fine print of which would have driven gun shows out of business. Holder made it clear that he, Clinton, and Reno were more interested in stopping gun sales than in regulating them.  When ABC's George Will asked him about guns being used for self-defense more often than to commit crime, and Right-to-Carry states having lower crime rates than other states, Holder dismissed the facts that Mr. Will raised, with the flippant statement, "I'm not sure that we need more than the 200 million or so guns that we have on the streets."  

In the same interview, Holder claimed that gun control was responsible for crime declining in the 1990s, when criminologists, law enforcement professionals, and sociologists attributed the trend to other factors entirely. We wonder what Holder would say today, since the federal ban on "assault weapons" and standard-equipment magazines holding more than 10 rounds has expired, the number of privately owned guns has risen by 35-40 million, and yet, murder and total violent crime have declined even more than before. 

After leaving the Justice Department, Holder kept his anti-gun bona fides up-to-date by writing a column in the Washington Post advocating a law that would ban any gun sale without a background check--even between family members and close friends--and also "give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale."  Holder claimed--since his column appeared just a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks--that his national gun registration scheme would help protect us from terrorists, when, in reality, this was just political opportunism at its worst. 

Obama's selection of a Clinton Administration veteran with an anti-gun record as long as his own, signals that the new president is just as committed to his promise of respecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, as he is to his promise of change:  "Yes We Can" get elected by lying to the American people.

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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.