T Nation

Dems on Gun Control

Great article in the WSJ today by Dave Kopel, covering the Democratic presidential candidates on gun control - which tells you a lot about the position of judges whom they would appoint:

[i]The Democrats and Gun Control
By DAVID KOPEL
April 17, 2008; Page A19

Imagine an election race of Pat Robertson versus James Dobson, each of them appearing at organic grocery stores and Starbucks throughout Massachusetts, with each candidate insisting that he alone deserves the vote of gay-marriage advocates. An equally silly spectacle is taking place these days in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama compete for the pro-gun vote.

Mr. Obama supports the Second Amendment - or so his surrogates have been claiming all over Pennsylvania, the state with the highest per-capita membership in the National Rifle Association. The effort was set back last weekend with the publication of Mr. Obama’s remarks claiming that people in small towns in Pennsylvania and other Midwestern states “cling” to guns because they are “bitter” that the government has not solved their economic problems.

Mrs. Clinton shot back with an excellent speech in Valparaiso, Ind., recounting that her father had taught her how to shoot when she was a little girl. “People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are,” she said. “Not because they are bitter.”

Surely she is right. The shooting sports culture in Pennsylvania was thriving long before the domestic manufacture of steel began to decline. Indeed, that culture was thriving before steel was invented. Pennsylvania’s 1776 state constitution declared “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state . . .” A separate provision guaranteed “the liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times.”

However, having the right to arms and the liberty to hunt is worthless if you can’t buy a gun. In 1999, Mr. Obama urged enactment of a federal law prohibiting the operation of any gun store within five miles of a school or park. This would eliminate gun stores from almost the entire inhabited portion of the United States.

As a state senate candidate in 1996, Mr. Obama endorsed a complete ban on all handguns in a questionnaire. The Obama campaign has claimed he “never saw or approved the questionnaire,” and that an aide filled it out incorrectly. But a few weeks ago, Politico.com found an amended version of the questionnaire. It included material added in Mr. Obama’s handwriting.

When the U.S. Supreme Court voted last year to hear a case on the constitutionality of the Washington, D.C., handgun ban, Mr. Obama’s campaign told the Chicago Tribune: “Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional” and that “local communities” should have the ability “to enact common sense laws.” Other than Washington, D.C., the only American cities with handgun bans are Chicago and four of its suburbs. As a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against a 2004 bill (which passed overwhelmingly) to give citizens a legal defense against prosecution for violating a local handgun ban if they actually used the firearm for lawful self-defense on their own property.

Mr. Obama’s campaign Web site touts his belief in the Second Amendment rights to have guns “for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.” Conspicuously absent is the right to have firearms to defend one’s self, home and family. In 2001, as a state senator, Mr. Obama voted against allowing the beneficiaries of domestic violence protective orders to carry handguns for protection.

Yet, as Mr. Obama has mockingly pointed out, Mrs. Clinton is not exactly a modern-day Annie Oakley wiling away weekends in a duck blind. As first lady, she helped organize the Million Mom March for “sensible gun laws” in 2000. It was led by the shrill gun prohibitionist Rosie O’Donnell.

Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly voted for antigun proposals, and co-sponsored many of them. After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans and St. Tammany police confiscated guns from law-abiding citizens, violating an explicit Louisiana law. In some cases, the confiscation was carried out with the assistance of federal agents, and was perpetrated via warrantless break-ins into homes.

The next year, the U.S. Senate voted 84-16 for a homeland security appropriations rider stating: “None of the funds appropriated by this Act shall be used for the seizure of a firearm based on the existence of a declaration or state of emergency.” Mrs. Clinton was one of the 16 who voted “no.” Mr. Obama commendably voted with the majority.

Forty states currently allow most law-abiding adult citizens to carry concealed handguns for lawful protection, after a background check and (in almost all such states) a safety class. Of course those laws only apply to carrying within the relevant state. Mr. Obama told the Chicago Tribune in 2004 that he favored a national ban on concealed carry, to “prevent other states’ laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents.” Mrs. Clinton campaigned against a licensed carry referendum in Missouri.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted against legislation to stop mayors from suing gun manufacturers and gun stores because of gun crime. That legislation banned lawsuits only if businesses had complied with all laws regarding firearms manufacture and sales.

A presidential candidate could of course swear devotion to the First Amendment, while declaring that the amendment’s purpose is to protect sports reporting and book collecting. And that candidate could still support government lawsuits against publishers, local bans on newspapers, and draconian restrictions on political commentary.

Civil libertarians who supported such a candidate because of his alleged love for the First Amendment would be foolish. Civil libertarians who support Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton because of their purported fealty to the Second Amendment may be bitterly disappointed.


Mr. Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute and co-author of the law school textbook, “Gun Control and Gun Rights” (NYU Press, 2002).[/i]

I’d say we should just repeal the second amendment altogether, if only I wasn’t so bitter about the government’s refusal to step in and protect me against intrusive government.

The crazy thing about these two running around fighting about who loves guns more is that it’s not fooling anybody on either side! (Or at least I hope not…) Gun lovers know these two are looking to restrict their rights at every turn, and Brady types know they are just saying this crap because they think it will get them elected.

I hate politicians.

Bill Richardson needs to pistol whip these two – and most of the Democratic Party.

But people ARE fooled. Not exactly on the second amendment but on the BoR in general. Gun rights are civil rights. People are fooled into thinking that just because a politician is willing to restrict the second amendment, they will respect the others.

The second amendment is simply a barometer of liberty. Those willing to infringe it demonstrate no respect for the law. They will attack any right if it suits their purposes. That’s uh, why we need the second amendment.

mike

Are you sure? I don’t think guns can be used in that manner. According to Obama & Clinton, guns are only good for hunting, sport-shooting, maintaining useless old traditions, and comforting me when I feel bitter about scary immigrants taking my job.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

The point that drives me insane is gun control will not work…why? those of us who use stores/permits/licences to purchese firearms are not the ones killing, robbing,etc.
Im pretty sure those individauls are not going down to the local gun store and purchasing guns.

Good article. A bit of balance towards all the articles displaying the GOP hatred towards the first amendment.

Guns and speech or neither. Make up your fucking minds people.

You’re all idiots.

Here’s a proper explanation of the right to bear arms.

http://thatvideosite.com/video/1804

[quote]cobbsdad wrote:
The point that drives me insane is gun control will not work…why? those of us who use stores/permits/licences to purchese firearms are not the ones killing, robbing,etc.
Im pretty sure those individauls are not going down to the local gun store and purchasing guns.[/quote]

Gun store owner “how can I help you today sir”
Customer “Im looking to buy a gun”
GSO “what will you be using it for?”
C “robbing banks, and shooting pigs, oh and by pigs I mean cops”
GSO “Well, this Glock would be excellent for robbing banks, but you may want something bigger for the cops”

As soon as I’m 21 I intend to get a concealed weapons permit, assuming there are still any states where that is legal. If it isn’t, I will be one unhappy citizen.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
Well, and Chuck Norris.

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
As soon as I’m 21 I intend to get a concealed weapons permit, assuming there are still any states where that is legal. If it isn’t, I will be one unhappy citizen.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
Well, and Chuck Norris. [/quote]

Vermont doesn’t even require a permit.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Good article. A bit of balance towards all the articles displaying the GOP hatred towards the first amendment.

Guns and speech or neither. Make up your fucking minds people.[/quote]

I don’t know of any republicans that don’t care for the 1st amendment. In fact I don’t know any republicans that have a problem with any part of the constitution or the amendments (since prohibition was repealed that is).

My thinking is the 1st amendment gives you the right to say what you like and the 2nd gives me the right to shoot you for it. I kid of course. Both of these rights are paramount to civil liberties and civil discourse. We have the ability to say what we think in a public forum and the ability to protect that right from those that would threaten it.

I love the constitution!

[quote]GunnyBear wrote:

I don’t know of any republicans that don’t care for the 1st amendment.[/quote]

Except for John “McCain/Feingold” McCain… But that’ another thread…

Like the bumper sticker says: “Gun Control means using both hands”

[quote]GunnyBear wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Good article. A bit of balance towards all the articles displaying the GOP hatred towards the first amendment.

Guns and speech or neither. Make up your fucking minds people.

I don’t know of any republicans that don’t care for the 1st amendment. In fact I don’t know any republicans that have a problem with any part of the constitution or the amendments (since prohibition was repealed that is).

My thinking is the 1st amendment gives you the right to say what you like and the 2nd gives me the right to shoot you for it. I kid of course. Both of these rights are paramount to civil liberties and civil discourse. We have the ability to say what we think in a public forum and the ability to protect that right from those that would threaten it.

I love the constitution![/quote]

…Flag burning.

S’all I gotta say.

In Amsterdam drugs are legal, prostitution is legal, many things are legal that are not legal in the US…but guns are illegal and for some reason they have less people dying with guns.

[quote]Petedacook wrote:
In Amsterdam drugs are legal, prostitution is legal, many things are legal that are not legal in the US…but guns are illegal and for some reason they have less people dying with guns. [/quote]

Funny that their non-gun homicide rate is lower too. Go figure.

And the Swiss with a population of only 7 million, and hundreds of thousands of fully automatic weapons in the hands of civilians, has a lower gun-homicide rate than the US. On the otherhand, the Philipines has a non-gun homicide rate higher than the total US homicide rate. Correlate that.

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
Petedacook wrote:
In Amsterdam drugs are legal, prostitution is legal, many things are legal that are not legal in the US…but guns are illegal and for some reason they have less people dying with guns.

Funny that their non-gun homicide rate is lower too. Go figure.

And the Swiss with a population of only 7 million, and hundreds of thousands of fully automatic weapons in the hands of civilians, has a lower gun-homicide rate than the US. On the otherhand, the Philipines has a non-gun homicide rate higher than the total US homicide rate. Correlate that.

[/quote]

lol pwnd pete.

Be wary of a place where the government has all the guns and the people don’t. That means the government can make a person do what it wants. With a gun, at least you have options.

If we dont have guns, uncle sam is free to bitchslap us into submission at will. That sound fun? GB is on its way.