Obama's Latest on Gun Control
As I've written before, Barack Obama tends to be all over the place on gun rights.
Here's what he had to say: [More...]
On more cops:
I've already said as president I want to restore [federal] COPS funding, which will put police on the streets. Additional police improves public safety. New York has seen a huge drop in crime over the last decade, more than even other cities, and part of it is they've got more cops than anybody else per capita. We've got to help local communities put more police on the streets. We want to make sure we provide state and local government with the targeting information they need, the technology they need to make sure police are going to the places most at risk for gun violence.
On gun control laws:
We've got to tighten up our gun laws. I've said before we should have a much tougher background check system, one that's much more effective and make sure there aren't loopholes out there like the gun show loophole. [Or] The Tiahart Amendment [requiring destruction of gun-purchase records.] Here's an example of something common-sense: The ATF [federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] should be able to share info with local communities about where guns are coming from, tracing guns that are used in criminal activity. It's been blocked consistently in Congress. As president, I'm gong to make sure we know if guns are being sold by unscrupulous gun dealers not abiding by existing laws. We should know about that.
Obama also advocates for better parenting as a means of reducing gun violence.
When asked to reconcile his view that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to bear arms with his votes as an Illinois Senator, he said:
S-T: As a state legislator, you voted against a bill which would let people with orders of protection [against others] carry guns and another that would have barred municipalities from punishing people who kept guns in their homes. Why?
B.O.: I felt that [the first one] was a precedent for conceal-and-carry laws. There has not been any evidence that allowing people to carry a concealed weapon is going to make anybody safer. [The second one] is relevant to the D.C. handgun issue. I wanted to preserve the right of local communities to enforce local ordinances and this would have overturned municipalities being able to enforce their own ordinances. We can argue about whether the ordinances work or not. But I wanted to make sure that local communities were recognized as having a right to regulate firearms.
So where does he stand on the D.C. handgun ban? He's still not saying.
S-T: But you don't want to take a stand on the D.C. gun-ban law?
B.O.: I don't like taking a stand on pending cases.
While Obama insists he has never supported a blanket ban on handguns, his campaign officials have said that Obama would probably find the ban constitutional. (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 20, 2007):
But the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he "...believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional."
And his surrogate Gov. Bob Casey said the same thing.
Bob Casey: He would probably be a supporter, as he has been in the U.S. Senate and the Illinois legislature, for various restrictions on gun ownership. I happen to disagree with him on that, we have our disagreements.
More from the Wall St. Journal:
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.
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