Monday, April 07, 2008

Obama is for Gun Control

Obama has consistently supported gun control legislation that came up while he was in the Illinois state legislature and the U.S. Senate.

- When Obama ran for the Illinois state senate the political group, Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI), asked him if he supported a “ban [on] the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns” and he responded “yes.”

- In 1998, another questionnaire administered by IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test didn’t ask about banning all handguns, but it did find that Obama wanted to “ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.”

Indeed, such a ban would outlaw virtually all handguns and the vast majority of rifles sold in the United States.

- From 1998 to 2001, Obama was on the board of directors for the Joyce Foundation, which funded such anti-gun groups as the Violence Policy Center, the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and Handgun Free America.

Both the Violence Policy Center and Handgun Free America, as its name suggests, are in favor of a complete ban on handguns. During his tenure on the board, the Joyce Foundation was probably the major funder of pro-control research in the United States.

- John Lott knew Obama during the mid-1990s, and his answers to IVI’s question on guns fit well with the Obama that John Lott knew. Indeed, the first time John introduced myself to him he said “Oh, you are the gun guy.”

John responded “Yes, I guess so.” He simply responded that “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.”

When John said it might be fun to talk about the question sometime and about his support of the city of Chicago’s lawsuit against the gun makers, he simply grimaced and turned away, ending the conversation.

- Obama also opposes the current laws in 48 states that let citizens carry concealed handguns for protection claiming, despite all the academic studies to the contrary, that "I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."

- Obama is unwilling to state that DC’s or Chicago’s ban on guns are unconstitutional.

- Obama’s website only recognizes two legitimate purposes for civilian ownership of guns: “hunting and target shooting.” The notion that people might want to protect themselves when the police are not around isn’t something that he sees as legitimate.

- With guns, it sure looks like Obama is telling voters what they want to hear, not what he plans on doing.

The Obama campaign’s strategy largely follows 2003 surveys produced by Democratic pollster Mark Penn showing that if Democrats didn't show "respect for the 2nd Amendment and support gun safety," voters would presume that they were anti-gun. "The formula for Democrats," according to Penn, "is to say that they support the 2nd Amendment, but that they want tough laws that close loopholes. This is something [Democrats] can run on and win on."

Souce: John Lott, author of "Freedomnomics" and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland

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