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Obama and Guns
ABC News ^ | Feb. 15, 2008 | by Jan Crawford Greenburg

Posted on 02/16/2008 5:27:52 PM PST by jdm

A day after the tragic shootings at NIU, Barack Obama has revealed that he thinks the 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun.

That sounds surprising—and certainly not what you’d expect from someone with the Senate’s most liberal voting record.

Here he is, weighing in on one of the biggest and most contentious cases the Supreme Court will hear this term, a case that finally will answer one of the great unresolved question constitutional questions: Does the 2nd Amendment protects a person’s right to own a gun, or does it merely protects a state’s right to assemble a militia?

By embracing the individual rights approach, Obama is bucking gun control groups and states like New York, which have taken the more orthodox position that the 2nd Amendment only protects a state’s right—and that cities like Washington, D.C. can therefore ban all guns if they choose.

But if you dig a little deeper, Obama’s position is not as surprising as it first appears—especially when you think about those big primaries looming in gun-friendly states like Wisconsin (where he made the remarks today), Texas and Ohio. That’s because, as significant as this is, his embrace of individual rights is loosened by a qualifier.

Obama is actually straddling the issue somewhat like the Bush Administration did when it filed a brief in the case last month. He does support individual rights, but says—and this is the qualifier--the government can impose reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. And he then suggests that pretty much any existing laws are reasonable.

“There's been a long standing argument among constitutional scholars about whether the 2nd Amendment referred simply to militias or whether it spoke to an individual right to possess arms,” Obama said. “I think the latter is the better argument. There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation just like most of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation.” Watch Obama's comments HERE.

He declined, just as the Bush Administration did, to take a position on whether the DC gun ban violates the 2nd Amendment. He said instead that states and cities should have broad latitude to regulate guns—even if the Constitution guarantees an individual right to own them.

“The city of Chicago has gun laws, so does Washington, DC,” Obama said. “The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn't borne out by our Constitution.”

Now that sure sounds like someone who thinks the handgun bans would be a reasonable restriction under the 2nd Amendment.

And that shows why conservatives are up in arms over the Bush Administration’s brief in the case.

Instead of embracing the categorical approach of D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman, who said a ban on handguns was a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment, the Bush Administration’s brief argued for a balancing test. It refused to take a position on the DC gun ban, and instead urged the Court to send the case back to the lower courts to apply the different, less strict standard.

Conservatives were outraged. They strongly believed the Bush Administration—even though weighing in on the side of individual rights—advanced a legal position that would make the 2nd Amendment meaningless. Even though the administration said the ban “may well be unconstitutional,” it gave enough wiggle room for a court to hold otherwise.

And if it’s constitutional to ban all guns in a city, as DC basically does, what’s the point of the 2nd Amendment? If that’s not unconstitutional, conservatives ask, what is?

Nothing, they say.

Obama’s position on the 2nd Amendment may make that point for them. As he said today: “I think there's a lot of room before you (start) bumping against a constitutional barrier for us to institute some of the common-sense gun laws that I just spoke about.”

Incidentally, Obama was not one of the 55 senators (including Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold and eight other Democrats) who signed a brief last week arguing the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right and that the DC gun ban was unconstitutional. That brief, also signed by 250 members of the House and Vice President Cheney, urges the Court to strike down the gun ban—and adopt Silberman’s test.

Obama wouldn’t go that far. Neither would the Bush Administration.

And that raises the question: If the Supreme Court won’t either, will the big gun case have any impact on existing gun laws whatsoever?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; barackhusseinobama; chebama; guns; gunvote; niu; nobama; obama
Misleading Headline of the Day

by Xrlq @ 6:19 pm

Via Drudge, who offers an equally misleading headline, the Ass. Press announces that:

Obama Supports Individual Gun Rights

RTWT, and tell me how that squares with the last two paragraphs of the article:

At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

“The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn’t born [sic] out by our Constitution,” Obama said.

O-kay.


1 posted on 02/16/2008 5:27:55 PM PST by jdm
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To: jdm; Joe Brower

He’s just having it both ways, and his friends in the MSM are helping him out with it.


2 posted on 02/16/2008 5:32:30 PM PST by OKSooner
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To: jdm

Vote for the GOP nominee.

A Supreme Court majority hangs in the balance.


3 posted on 02/16/2008 5:34:03 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: jdm
At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

He's a Democrat and a politician to boot, thus he is against the second amendment in it's true form and is being disingenuous for political favor. PERIOD!

4 posted on 02/16/2008 5:34:17 PM PST by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: jdm

Lots of blacks own guns for personal protection and want to keep that right intact. Obama knows to support the 2nd amendment and yet also throw it back onto local communities to make their own gun control laws. It is a win-win for him. He keeps the black supporters happy and throws the anti-gunners a bone.


5 posted on 02/16/2008 5:35:12 PM PST by Kirkwood
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To: Senator Goldwater

That should be on the mind of every voter. The SCOTUS is in charge for the long term.


6 posted on 02/16/2008 5:36:36 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: jdm

I don’t believe him one bit.


7 posted on 02/16/2008 5:38:01 PM PST by F15Eagle (1Tim 1:4; Gal 1:6-10; 1Cor 2:2; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-35; 2Thess 2:11; Jude 1:3)
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To: jdm

Yeah right.

More likely, he realizes that if he takes a publicly anti-gun stance during this campaign, he’d have very little chance of winning anywhere except on the coasts.

Once he’s in office, well, who cares what the voters think...


8 posted on 02/16/2008 5:40:14 PM PST by VOR78
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To: F15Eagle

While I don’t have a littany of falsehoods surrounding the man, the fact that he is a Chicago politician affronts this position. I would have to ask him about the violation of the 2nd in all anti-gun districts.


9 posted on 02/16/2008 5:41:39 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: Kirkwood

There are also a lot of fairly conservative Democrats in the south, in particular, that are strongly pro-gun. He can’t risk alienating them just yet if he wants to win in the fall.

That’s also why you see a few Democratic senators taking a more conservative line on the 2nd amendment. They know that if they want to keep their job, that’s one issue that they can’t cross the line on.


10 posted on 02/16/2008 5:43:57 PM PST by VOR78
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To: VOR78

It certainly didn’t help spotted-owl gore.


11 posted on 02/16/2008 5:45:40 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: jdm
...states like New York, which have taken the more orthodox position that the 2nd Amendment only protects a state’s right—and that cities like Washington, D.C. can therefore ban all guns if they choose.

Orthodox socialism, that is.

12 posted on 02/16/2008 5:48:44 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: jdm

He already is on record with the typical Lib sop of “I support Hunter’s right to...but...”

As soon as there is a “but” everything said beforehand is meaningless.


13 posted on 02/16/2008 5:51:48 PM PST by padre35 (Conservative in Exile/ Isaiah 3.3/Cry havoc and let slip the RINOS)
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To: jdm

It WOULD be surprising, if true. But, Barak Hussein Osama is LYING.


14 posted on 02/16/2008 6:22:23 PM PST by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: 2harddrive
Not only is Barack Obama lying. The press is helping him spread the lie.
15 posted on 02/16/2008 6:50:11 PM PST by goldfinch
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To: jdm

Did obamanation suddenly discover the joys of duck hunting?


16 posted on 02/16/2008 7:43:20 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: eyedigress


17 posted on 02/16/2008 7:48:46 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: jdm
His global poverty bill in the senate right now calls for US acceptance of UN gun and small weapons ban.

He's trying to have his cake... and a pie as well.

18 posted on 02/16/2008 7:49:27 PM PST by infidel29 (Santorum 2012..)
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To: jdm
Obama had the opportunity to sign on to a congressional amicus brief in the Heller case arguing that the 2nd is an individual right. He didn't - nuff said.

McCain signed on, Clinton didn't.
19 posted on 02/16/2008 7:58:19 PM PST by javachip
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To: Kirkwood
"Obama knows to support the 2nd amendment and yet also throw it back onto local communities to make their own gun control laws."

These is no such thing as supporting the Second Amendment and then telling the states to decide. It's already settled at the federal level and the states cannot pass any laws which are in conflict with the Constitution. The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution, in case there are some that still don't acknowledge that.

Moreso, because the Second Amendment is mentioned specifically as an amendment not to be infringed as well as a law that states that the Constitution/Bill of Rights is the supreme law in spite of any Thing that the states might try to do concerning the right to keep and bear arms. Without equivocation.

American Citizens have been long-suffering regarding these attempts to immasculate the people. We haven't done anything about it at this late date because we are really curious to see what their end game plan is. Well, maybe just a little more than just curious.

20 posted on 02/16/2008 8:31:23 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: jdm

“...the more orthodox position that the 2nd Amendment only protects a state’s right....”

This has never been the position of any administration until Clinton came along, and it has never been the majority opinion of citizens. The author of this horse crap has an unorthodox way of dealing with facts. Still, I don’t need Obama’s common sense gun control.


21 posted on 02/16/2008 8:39:14 PM PST by pallis
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To: Eastbound

Sorry, but that is what is happening and it will be accelerated once Obama or Clinton are elected. I’m glad I still live in a state where my 2A rights are upheld. Not everyone can say that in the US. Some communities ban gun ownership outright.


22 posted on 02/16/2008 8:41:35 PM PST by Kirkwood
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To: Kirkwood

Yes, I know. Doing my very best to ward off that fateful day. To paraphrase, man’s spirit will not always strive with thugs, bullies and socialists.


23 posted on 02/16/2008 9:09:21 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: jdm
For political expediency, he thinks everyone has the right to own firearms. he just doesn’t think anyone should have the right to carry or use it.
24 posted on 02/16/2008 9:18:07 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: jdm
Obama is actually straddling the issue somewhat like the Bush Administration did when it filed a brief in the case last month. He does support individual rights, but says—and this is the qualifier--the government can impose reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. And he then suggests that pretty much any existing laws are reasonable.

Reminds me of McCain, in 1999, setting that bipartisan tone:

All in preparation to give Helen Thomas goosebumps:
25 posted on 02/16/2008 9:46:27 PM PST by Gelato (... a liberal is a liberal is a liberal ...)
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To: Senator Goldwater
"Vote for the GOP nominee."

-----

Thank you, no. I'm on a RINO-free diet.

Here's the good news, though:

The Constitution Party, whose nominee I will be supporting, is very strong on the 2nd Amendment.

Constitution Party Gun Platform

"The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.

The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.

The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.

We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen's protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.

We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.

We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms."

The entire CP platform can be found here:

Constitution Party Platform

Hank

26 posted on 02/16/2008 10:12:52 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldside Church of Global Warming.)
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To: County Agent Hank Kimball

Here’s the good news, though:

The Constitution Party, whose nominee I will be supporting, is very strong on the 2nd Amendment.


Here’s the bad news, Hank. A vote for a third party ensures a Democrat will appoint the next two justices, which means the 2nd amendment will be eviscerated.

Use your head. Vote for the GOP nominee. The Supreme Court hangs in the balance.


27 posted on 02/17/2008 5:26:39 AM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: jdm

“subject to common-sense regulation”

These Comunists believe banning all but sling shots is “common-sense regulation”.


28 posted on 02/17/2008 5:41:14 AM PST by CodeToad
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To: Senator Goldwater

I’ll vote for the GOP nominee.

So long as he doesn’t believe in Global Warming fairy tales and seek to infringe on our liberty and prosperity in their name.

Does Juan McStain meet that criteria?

Hank


29 posted on 02/17/2008 12:15:22 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldwide Church of Global Warming.)
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To: County Agent Hank Kimball

I’ll vote for the GOP nominee.

So long as he doesn’t believe in Global Warming fairy tales and seek to infringe on our liberty and prosperity in their name.

Does Juan McStain meet that criteria?


His opposition doesn’t.


30 posted on 02/17/2008 1:22:03 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: padre35
As soon as there is a “but” everything said beforehand is meaningless.

"There is an individual right to bear arms, but..."
- Obama from the article.

31 posted on 02/17/2008 1:29:19 PM PST by phrogphlyer
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To: Senator Goldwater
"I’ll vote for the GOP nominee....So long as he doesn’t believe in Global Warming fairy tales and seek to infringe on our liberty and prosperity in their name.

Does Juan McStain meet that criteria?"

"His opposition doesn’t."

-----

Objection. Not responsive.

AND factually incorrect. His opposition in the Constitution Party almost certainly will. I will NOT vote for a candidate who doesn't.

Some here won't vote for a candidate who isn't pro-life. I respect that. Myself, I won't vote for a candidate who will throw our freedoms and prosperity away in the name of a collosal leftwing scam. No matter WHAT letter is next to his name on the ballot.

Hank

32 posted on 02/17/2008 5:26:00 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldwide Church of Global Warming.)
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To: Senator Goldwater
"Vote for the GOP nominee. A Supreme Court majority hangs in the balance."

-----

Do the names David Souter and John Paul Stevens mean anything to you? How happy are THEY making you?

They're the legacy of RINO Presidents past.

You'll need a better argument than that.

Hank

33 posted on 02/17/2008 5:33:07 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldwide Church of Global Warming.)
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To: County Agent Hank Kimball

Do the names David Souter and John Paul Stevens mean anything to you? How happy are THEY making you?

They’re the legacy of RINO Presidents past.

You’ll need a better argument than that.


Clarence Thomas came from the same RINO president as Souter. And Rhenquist came from the same RINO president as Blackmun.

There goes your argument.


34 posted on 02/17/2008 6:50:08 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: Senator Goldwater
So I should vote for a candidate who will sell us out international fabian socialism to get a 50/50 chance at a less-than-hideous Supreme Court nominee?

Photobucket

Hank

35 posted on 02/17/2008 7:27:21 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldwide Church of Global Warming.)
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To: County Agent Hank Kimball

So I should vote for a candidate who will sell us out international fabian socialism to get a 50/50 chance at a less-than-hideous Supreme Court nominee?


If that’s how you define the GOP candidate, then yes.


36 posted on 02/17/2008 8:20:43 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: Senator Goldwater
"So I should vote for a candidate who will sell us out international fabian socialism to get a 50/50 chance at a less-than-hideous Supreme Court nominee?"

If that’s how you define the GOP candidate, then yes. -----

Sorry, not gonna happen. I'm voting Constitution Party. I'd rather take my chances on getting a REAL conservative in 2012 than spend the next 4 years watching a vile scumbag like McStain collaborate with the Democrats. Let the Dems take full blame for the horror that will befall us.

Not in my name.

Hank

37 posted on 02/17/2008 8:40:20 PM PST by County Agent Hank Kimball (I'll vote for Juan McStain if and when he leaves the Worldwide Church of Global Warming.)
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