The NRA, being the largest “pro-second amendment” organization in America has understandably been concerned about anti-gun Obama being elected for president.
For those who don’t know, Obama’s ‘gun ban’ record is as follows:
– Obama supported local handgun bans in the Chicago area by opposing ANY allowance for self-defense. Obama opposed an Illinois bill (SB 2165, 2004) that would have created an “affirmative defense” for a person who used a prohibited firearm in self-defense in his own home. The bill contained simple language, yet Obama stillvoted against it.
(FactCheck.org misleadingly claims that “Obama is proposing no ban on use of firearms for self-defense in the home”. True, he has not ‘proposed’ that in the arena of running for president, but Obama HAS been consistent in the past in his anti-gun stance. This is a bit more solid ‘liklihood’ than the weird attempts to link McCain to Bush or other Republicans by virtue of their party, when McCain has a strong record of NOT going along with the crowd on important issues).
– Obama voted to ban nearly all hunting ammunition.
Obama voted for an amendment by longtime ammunition ban advocate Sen. Edward Kennedy (S. Amdt. 1615 to S. 397, Vote No. 217, July 29, 2005), which would have fundamentally changed the federal “armor piercing ammunition” law (18 U.S.C. ‘ 922(a)(7)), by banning any bullet that “may be used in a handgun and that the Attorney General determines… to be capable of penetrating body armor” that “meets minimum standards for the protection of law enforcement officers.”
Federal law currently bans bullets as “armor piercing” based upon the metals used in their construction, such as those made of steel and those that have heavy jackets. (18 U.S.C. ‘ 921(a)(17)). The Kennedy amendment would have fundamentally changed the law to add a ban on bullets on the basis of whether they penetrate the “minimum” level of body armor, regardless of the bullets’ construction or the purposes for which they were designed (e.g., hunting).
Many bullets designed and intended for use in rifles (including hunting rifles) have, over the years, been used in special-purpose hunting and target handguns, thus they “may be used in a handgun.”
The “minimum” level of body armor, Type I, only protects against the lowest-powered handgun cartridges. Any center-fire rifle used for hunting, target shooting, or any other purpose, and many handguns used for the same purposes, are capable of penetrating Type I armor, regardless of the design of the bullet.
Obama also said, on his 2003 questionnaire for the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, that he would “support banning the sale of ammunition for assault weapons.” (source) The rifles banned as “assault weapons” under the 1994 Clinton gun ban fire cartridges such as the .223 Remington and .308 Winchester – the same ammunition used in common hunting rifles.
It’s true that in 2005, Sen. Kennedy denied his amendment would ban hunting ammunition. But in a floor debate on an identical amendment the previous year, Kennedy specifically denounced the .30-30 Winchester rifle cartridge, used by millions of deer hunters since 1895. “It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America,” said Sen. Kennedy. (Congressional Record, 2/26/04, p. S1634.)
– Obama has repeatedly lied when he’s said “I do not support any kind of handgun ban, and never have.”
In addition to the support for banning self-defense and hunting guns, Obama has never disavowed his support for a handgun ban. On Obama’s 1996 questionnaire for the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, he clearly stated his support for “state legislation to …ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.” Although Obama first claimed he had not seen the survey, a later version appeared with his handwritten notes modifying some of the answers. But he didn’t change any of his answers on gun issues, including the handgun ban.
FactCheck itself cites Obama’s 2003 questionnaire to the same group. When asked again if he supported a handgun ban, he could simply have said, “No.” Instead, as FactCheck notes, he “avoid[ed] a yes-or-no answer” by saying a ban on handguns “is not politically practicable,” then stated his support for other restrictions.
The 1996 and 2003 positions are not at all contradictory. Many anti-gun groups, such as the Violence Policy Center and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, support total bans on handguns but also support lesser regulations that are more “politically practicable.”
– Obama supporters claim that Obama never said he would appoint judges who would agree with him.
Don’t most Americans expect that the President will appoint people who agree with him to all levels of the government? And putting all Obama’s campaign rhetoric about “empathy” aside, why would judges be any different? Isn’t it weird to think he would appoint people who *disagree* with him? While the concept is appealing, national history and Obama’s personal history don’t really leave much precedent to pave the way to that belief.
And on the larger issue of Obama’s view of the Second Amendment, FactCheck once again takes Obama’s spin at face value. While Obama now claims to embrace the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the D.C. gun ban, he refused to sign an amicus brief stating that position to the Court. And when Washington, D.C. television reporter Leon Harris said to Obama, “You support the D.C. handgun ban and you’ve said that it’s constitutional,” Obama nodded – and again didn’t disavow his support. (WJLA TV interview, 2/11/2008.)
anyway, so the NRA, which, like MoveOn, is a PAC, started playing these ads on television and radio, reminding people of Obama’s stance on gun ownership (doesn’t really support the second ammendment, has a record of trying to ban guns for self-defense AND hunting, using sneaky means like ammunition bans). Seems fair, right? i mean, after all, MoveOn has numerous ads that spin the truth in their favor, so what’s the problem with some simple little fact-based ads?
Well, several stations who were airing the NRA ads received a threatening letter recently from Obama for America’s legal counsel, Robert F. Bauer. In it, Baur/Obama threaten (or enlighten us as to why they don’t feel creepy distorting the truth in their own ads):
“Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations do not have a “right to command the use of broadcast facilities” See CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94, 113 (1973).
Because you need not air this advertisement, your station bears responsibility for its content when you do grant access. See Felix v. Westinghouse Radio Stations, 186 F.2d 1, 6 (3rd Cir.), cert denied, 314 U.S. 909 (1950)”
The letter goes on to accuse the ads of being “false, misleading, and deceptive”, and throws in a few other ‘legalese’ threats (“you have a duty to protect the public”) … basically trying to scare any timid or unlawyered broadcasters into worrying that they could get into ‘big trouble’ if these ads really are false.
What this does, aside from promoting censorship, and the right to freedom of speech, is needlessly puts the NRA ads into question (anyone who bothers to check the facts will know they’re on the ‘Up & Up’ – they’re accurate), so if the station doesn’t have time to check their facts, what choice do they have but to cease airing the ads until they ‘have time’, and by then it could be too late! This legal attack by the Obama campaign is snakey … what stations are likely to worry the most about these threats? Stations who can’t fact-check everything that comes through, or who don’t have the money to spend on lawyers, right? and who are those? SMALL TOWNS and RURAL AREAS. Where do most legal gun owners/hunters live? SMALL TOWNS and RURAL AREAS.
I’m still in awe of that law they quoted … the one that says that people campaigning for federal office are not under any obligation to use the truth, while independent political organizations *are* required to. They’re giving away their loophole!
anyway, some of the other important lines out of this threat are as follow:
LINE: “Note that the NRA is claiming that Obama, in the midst of his presidential campaign, supports such a tax”.
The NRA never specified that Obama was supporting that ‘in the midst of his presidential campaign’, they said “Obama supports”, and that has been and IS the truth!
LINE: “…Falsely claims that Obama voted to ban virtually all deer hunting ammunition.”
We know (see the above rant) that similifying Kennedy’s bill to apply only to “Deer wearing bullet-proof vests” is incredibly misleading! The bill would have banned any bullet that may also be used in a handgun (a rifle ban to ban handguns!), any bullet that can pierce *the lowest level of* bullet-proof armor (ANY ammunition can penetrate ‘bullet-proof’ armor given certain ranges and angles, and, for that matter, so can knives!), would have banned the .30-30, the .223 Remington, and the .308 Winchester – all three of the most common kinds of hunting ammunition! So yeah, banning the 3 most common types of hunting ammunition IS ‘banning virtually all”, and YES, Obama voted in favor of this bill.
I need to stop for a second here and remind you that MOST gun crimes are committed with HANDGUNS, few of those even FIRE the gun (robberies, rapes), and virtually NO intentional ‘gun violence’ is created with a rifle (“assault” or otherwise), accidental gun wounds and deaths caused by rifles are less common than lighting-related deaths, and the ONE example the media has to demonize rifles is the ‘D.C. Sniper(s)’, who used guns DURING THE CLINTON GUN BAN OF 1994-2004. I don’t know how dense a person has to be to not see it, but for those of you who are, here it is again: ONLY CRIMINALS USE GUNS TO KILL, AND CRIMINALS ARE NOT STOPPED BY GUN BANS. As i’ve shown in prior data (and feel free to do your own research!), in areas where ‘gun bans’ exist, CRIME GOES UP DRAMATICALLY. what more do you need?!
anyway, the last lie is similar to the first, only regarding an interview wth Obama in which he underscored his stance on guns.
if you want to read the document yourself, a link to the PDF is here: http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/ObamaLetterNRAAd.pdf