Patterico's Pontifications


Obama on the Second Amendment

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Law — Patterico @ 1:15 pm

Jan Crawford Greenburg says Obama supports an individual right to bear arms.

Sort of.

Read the link to find out why I say that.

UPDATE: Xrlq says “sort of” really means “not.”

27 Responses to “Obama on the Second Amendment”

  1. Well, yes, kind of…

    X took it a LITTLE out of context, in that Obama said (apparently, I wasn’t there), that while there is a right to own a gun, the Government has the right to make laws that impose “reasonable restrictions”, and I can’t fault that, really.

    Felons can’t own a gun, nor can people with a history of mental problems (though THAT law seems to not be working as intended).

    While he thinks all exististing federal laws are reasonable (I’m not sure I agree) he does seem to at least pay lip-service to gun-owners…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  2. I didn’t take anything out of context. The same Ass. Press article that quote Obama as supposedly endorsing the individual right to bear arms, also has him endorsing DC’s ban on handguns (and, presumably, its ban on operable long guns). This is in line with his record as a State Senator, in which he opposed the self-defense exception to local gun bans in his state.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  3. Liberals interpet the consitution to suit themelves

    krazy kagu (79fc72)

  4. Barack:

    Hey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas Democrat gun owners! Look over here!

    You were probably going to vote for me anyway, but in case there was any doubt, this ought to give you enough cover/encouragement to tip the scales away from the gun-grabbing Clintons.

    We’ll work out those pesky details later.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  5. I don’t think he exactly SUPPORTS the DC law. It depends on what HE calls “reasonable”, and I doubt it includes “none, at all, ever”.

    I just guessing.

    I support reasonable restrictions too, and I think all SANE 2nd amendment supporters do too…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. Just guessing? I’m also guessing that your idea of SANE 2nd amdt supporters include Sarah Brady and her ilk.

    tmac (f985e6)

  7. I support reasonable restrictions too, and I think all SANE 2nd amendment supporters do too…

    I guess with that qualification, you’re talking about the Fudds — ’cause “sane” people know those black rifles are teh scary.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  8. I think Scott made it clear in the first comment what kind of restrictions he accepts:

    “Felons can’t own a gun, nor can people with a history of mental problems …”

    Those are limited restrictions and not the more expansive restrictions supported by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  9. *shrugs*

    I guess I’m odd in thinking the waiting period isn’t a bad thing…

    I mean, some of the guns that are banned make no sense, and the way they GET to those criteria are silly to say the least…

    But these days it’s all or nothing. I would rather settle for the federal laws now in effect than a total ban, and I would never support zero restrictions.

    And I’m as fervent a gun-nut as anyone. I own several (well, three – all used to be grandpa’s), and I’m looking to buy another (i like SIGs too much for it to be copletely healthy).

    I also think that Illinois asks for trouble with it’s lack of Conceal-Carry, and that schools invite trouble with their Gun Free Zone BS…

    But that said, I don’t think Obama is NOT supporting the 2nd amendment, and he wasn’t suggesting new gun laws, so in the grand scheme of things, I’m gonna chalk it up to a win: Dem not calling for more gun laws.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  10. Scott, read the link in my comment above.

    Obama wants to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban.

    See-Dubya (23e871)

  11. From Obama’s Website:

    Respect the Second Amendment: Millions of hunters own and use guns each year. Millions more participate
    in a variety of shooting sports such as sporting clays, skeet, target and trap shooting that may not necessarily involve hunting. As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.

    I wasn’t able to find the section where Obama supports the 2nd Amendment RKBA for self-defense — he’s probably still working on that plank in his platform — unless of course that’s one of his reasonable restrictions.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  12. This week, radio talk show host and conservative blogger, Hugh Hewitt has been playing excerpts of Michelle Obama’s speech at UCLA on February 3. It is not the first time I have heard or seen her speak on TV or radio. Hewitt’s reaction is that the tone of Mrs Obama’s speech is quite negative as to the country and our people. I have to agree here. I have drawn the same conclusion from previous speeches Mrs Obama has made. If her husband is viewed as being hopeful and optimistic, his wife’s words come across (at least to me) as negative and angry.

    Make no mistake about it. Michelle Obama is an impressive figure. She is obviously bright, attractive, and has an effective speaking presentation. Yet, like her husband, I wonder if her listeners are really stopping to analyze her message. To me, Mrs Obama is an angry woman who has some pretty negative opinions about her country and our people.

    In the UCLA appearnce at Pauley Pavilian, Mrs Obama went through a litany of all the things that are wrong with America. Much like John Edwards, she complains about the inability of everyday people to obtain health care, insurance, and this and that, as if we were living in Bangladesh. I have heard her make these complaints before. At UCLA, she also complained that Americans are walling ourselves off from each other (I am paraphrasing). According to her, we fear and distrust each other. I found myself wishing that she would have gone deeper into this theme. Who specifically was she referring to? Was she really saying that white people fear and distrust black people-or vis-versa? If that is what she means, then it might be worthwhile to spell it out and let’s have a discussion or debate on that topic. But, alas, she let it hang. After all, she was getting so many cheers from the young audience, that she didn’t need to take it any farther than that.

    Then, of course, Mrs Obama told her audience that the only person who could turn things around in this country was her husband, Barack Obama-then led the crowd into the old demogogic chant of “Yes, we can, Yes, we can, yes, we can!”

    I should concede here that many listeners on the left have commented very approvingly of her speech, but those on the left generally do enjoy hearing the negative points of America, so that is hardly surprising.

    If we need to dig deeper into Barack Obama’s words and look beyond the soaring oratory (which we should), I think we need to do the same with the prospective First Lady. Her message seems to be very much like that of John Edwards; the negative thesis, the negative tone, what’s wrong with our country, class envy, and so on. Michelle Obama may come across as inspiring to many, but to me, she seems angry, with a rather negative outlook on our country. It reinforces my concern that there is a hidden agenda behind the Obamas’ vision for America.

    gary fouse

    fouse, gary c (1b9cc5)

  13. I don’t think he exactly SUPPORTS the DC law.

    Then you need to re-read the article in question, which makes clear that he does. As do prior speeches on the subject, not to mention his voting record. Obama was one of a handful of IL State Senators who voted against the self-defense exception to local gun bans such as those in his home town, Chicago.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  14. Liberals only interpate the constitution to suit themselves they think the 2nd amendment only means a malitia rather then the citizens

    krazy kagu (fbcc60)

  15. I don’t think he exactly SUPPORTS the DC law.

    Read this:

    Obama said he believes in the Second Amendment, but that there is plenty of room for added gun regulations. “There is an individual right to bear arms, but it’s subject to commonsense regulation,” he said.

    Mentioning his home city, Obama said local entities should also have the ability to have their own more strict regulations.

    “I think that local jurisdictions have the capacity to institute their own gun laws…The City of Chicago has gun laws, as does Washington, D.C.,” he said. “I think 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 out by our Constitution.”

    capitano (03e5ec)

  16. Behind the weasel word smoke screen, Obama does not support Second Amendment rights.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. From the Illinois Constitution:

    Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

    However, the Illinois Supreme Court has interpreted “police power” as “the greatest good for the greatest number” which in practice does not differ from the federal rational basis test. So I imagine that that’s Obama’s position too.

    nk (6ef207)

  18. IOW, “subject only to the police power” is just a cute way of saying “unless they want to.” The Obama view to a tee.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  19. CNN’s summary of the positions by candidates states that Obama wants to preempt local concealed carry laws with a national ban on concealed carry.

    That’s pretty clearly anti-Second Amendment and anti-Federalism all at once.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  20. “subject only to the police power”
    Isn’t this the basis for the argument between the NRA, and the City of New Orleans? And, thankfully, so far the Fed Courts have not been supportive of the City.

    Just where does Obama stand on the 2nd Amendment?

    Since the good Senator is, and always has been in his political life, a paid cog in the Daley Machine, all we have to do is understand the Daley position on Gun Rights to see where the Senator stands. I think I can say without fear of contradiction, that Mayor Daley believes that civilians should not be allowed to have firearms, and has worked tirelessly to make that viewpoint predominant in IL law.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  21. Obama was one of the 12 board members of the Joyce Foundation from 1998-2001.

    Some description of the “grassroots” Joyce “support”.

    I don’t know how anybody can seriously, with a straight face, say that Obama supports in any way shape or form individual gun ownership.

    (Without his explaining his change from the time he was on the Joyce Board, at least.)

    Funny that Greenberg (as does very few in the press) didn’t think that was worthy of mention.

    Unix-Jedi (75e970)

  22. Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy has quotations from 1999 of Obama’s proposals for more gun control measures and ridiculous punitive measures on gun owners.

    Any attempt by Obama to portray himself as supportive of Second Amendment rights in view of these past positions will be rightly ridiculed.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. Thank for all of your input.

    After carefully reading it, I am convinced that Obama does not support the constitution.

    …the trouble is niether does McCain …

    How about a discussion the the lesser of two evils?

    S.D.J (069cf7)

  24. SDJ: that can be a very short discussion. On the First Amendment, both candidates have a record that leaves something to be desired. On the Second, Obama sucks and McCain rocks. Advantage: McCain.

    Xrlq (b71926)


    tommy price (c77f42)

  26. the second amendment give us the ability to defend our homes, business and other property from those who do not worry about what the law does and doesn’t say. if you are going to wait for the cops to get to your home invasion then you very well may be dead. that may be a choice for the liberals in this country but that is not why I went and fought for this country. As long as there is a second amendment then there will be guns in my house.

    msvet (2c3b05)

  27. The Second amendment not only gives citizens the right to protect themselves and their homes with arms, but it is the last refuge of the citizen(s) against tyrannical government, be it federal, state, OR more local……..You have to remember that police/sheriff/law enforcement agencies have NO constitutional duty to protect ANYONE……. (which i agree with by the way)

    Craig (fd0cc6)

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