There are many ways a second term for President Barack Obama threatens the rights of gun owners. He wants to bring back the 1994 semi-auto ban; his administration has already imposed an illegal registration scheme on certain rifle sales; and there is no way to know how far he would go to use his executive powers to curb our rights if he didn't have to face reelection.
But without a doubt, the biggest threat would be his potential appointments to the Supreme Court, as highlighted in a new advertisement unveiled this week by the NRA Political Victory Fund.
We already know the kind of jurists Obama will appoint. Even before joining the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor proved their opposition to the most basic rights protected by the Second Amendment.
But this past week, we had the opportunity to get a peek into the legal mind of another Supreme Court justice who recently opposed our rights, and his comments tell us a great deal about what would happen if the majority of the court shared those views.
On Oct. 15, the Brady Center hosted a legal symposium, with retired justice John Paul Stevens as the featured speaker. Current justices do not often discuss issues that come before the court, but Justice Stevens is now free to speak his mind, and his opinions should be of concern to anyone who values the right to keep and bear arms.
In his remarks, Stevens bemoaned the Heller and McDonald decisions striking down city gun bans, while at the same time claiming the decisions' impact should be strictly limited to the right to have a firearm in the home--a theory the NRA is currently battling in courtrooms around the country.
He also claimed an "assault weapons" ban would be constitutional because "automatic" weapons are not commonly owned. Of course, these bans have nothing to do with "automatic" firearms, and the guns they do ban are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans, which should make them "common" by anyone's definition. Clearly, if Obama is reelected and appoints more justices who believe such misinformation, gun owners would have much to fear.