Not shooting straight on gun rights
by Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman
Lebanon Daily News
Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a tight race, not to see which one earns their party’s nomination for president, but evidently to see which one is the bigger liar and how fast they can run from the tales they spin.
Nowhere is this more obvious and transparent than in the candidates’ positions on gun control and the Second Amendment. On this subject, both Obama and Clinton would do well to remember the words of that great president, Abraham Lincoln, who cautioned, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
But, of course, Lincoln was a Republican.
Clinton recently had trouble getting her story straight on a trek to Bosnia that occurred when she was first lady. She has since admitted that she “misspoke” about having to dodge sniper fire at the airfield. Obama claimed that he never saw a 1996 questionnaire revealing his extremist positions on gun control, insisting that
it was filled out by an aide, but then it was revealed that his own handwriting was on that questionnaire.
Both have contended on the campaign trail that they “support the Second Amendment” and believe it protects an individual civil right, yet both suggest that this fundamental right ought to be regulated, perhaps to death.
Clinton has voted for every gun-control measure introduced in Congress since she took office and against legislation to prevent warrantless and arbitrary gun confiscations like those following Hurricane Katrina.
Obama — according to his questionnaire — supports banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns, supports banning semiautomatic sport utility rifles and wants mandatory waiting periods, evidently forgetting what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said about “a right delayed is a right denied.”
Obama and Clinton contend that there should be “reasonable restrictions” on gun owners, without defining “reasonable.” We’ve gotten hints. Obama thinks the District of Columbia’s handgun ban — declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court and now being considered by the Supreme Court — is reasonable. Neither senator would sign a Congressional amicus brief to the high court, as did scores of their colleagues, supporting an individual-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Neither would sign a letter, as did 51 of their Senate colleagues, urging Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to change national-park regulations to allow licensed concealed carry on national park lands by legally armed private citizens concerned for their personal protection. Sen. Harry Reid blocked a Senate vote on a bill to legalize licensed concealed carry in national parks where dialing 9-1-1 doesn’t work, so both candidates could dodge voting on the issue.
So, Clinton and Obama believe in the individual citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, they just don’t want individual citizens exercising that right.
When you purchase a firearm, you first must fill out a Form 4473 and go through a background check to determine whether you can legally own that gun. To lie on that form is a felony. Claiming certain things on that form in order to legally buy a gun on behalf of someone who can’t own a gun is a “straw purchase,” and that’s also a felony. When they prosecute you, one cannot simply claim to have “misspoken” and rush off to the hairdresser or a photo-op.
Clinton and Obama are on record taking consistent stands against the very civil right they now claim to support. Not only do they flunk the “background check” on gun rights, their rhetoric doesn’t even pass the smell test.
Yet here they are, trying to “straw purchase” the votes of gun owners. If we applied the same standard of truth to Obama and Clinton that they demand for gun owners, SWAT teams from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be kicking in their doors and carting them off to jail.
Alan Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, http://www.saf.org, and Workman is senior editor of Gun Week, http://www.gunweek.com.