Saturday, April 05, 2008

Obama: Gun Rights For Hunters But That's About It.

The Politico has a story about Obama's effort in Pennsylvania to reach out to gun owners. Obama's strategy involves reaching out to a strongly pro-gun politician in Pennsylvania, Rep. Dan Surra, to make his case. (Here.)

Obama himself claims to believe that the Second Amendment confers an individual right, although it doesn't appear to be much of a right. Here's what his website says about the issue:
PROTECTING GUN RIGHTS
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 believes the Second Amendment
creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights 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. He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and
commonsense regulation. (PDF here.)
Obama better hope that the pro-gun Pennsylvania politician he's enlisted to his cause is a persuasive guy because Obama's position will not go over well with most gun owners I know.

Obama's position on the Second Amendment is found on his website under the broad category of sportsmen. This makes sense because Obama's view of the Second Amendment seems to be that it only protects an individual's right to use guns for hunting and target shooting. In fact, the only promise he makes to America's gun owners is that he will protect their right "to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purpose of hunting and target shooting." Hunting and target shooting. That's it.

When you couple Obama's extreme limitation of the right to keep and bear arms to hunting and target shooting with his position that gun rights are subject to "reasonable and commonsense regulation," whatever that is, gun owners are left with a pretty hollow right.

Obama's gun-owner outreach strategy appears similar to his pro-life outreach strategy. Obama is about as pro-choice a candidate as there is. Yet he recently received the endorsement of Robert Casey, Jr., a respected pro-life politician. The endorsement gives Obama credibility with pro-life voters and provides cover for his pro-choice positions. Likewise, Obama's position is weak on gun rights but receiving the endorsement of a respected pro-gun politician gives him cover.

The guy's crafty, you gotta give him that.

-tdr

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