Friday, March 18, 2011
For the past two months, it has been expected that President Obama would speak out on gun control and the Second Amendment. Obama’s anti-gun base has been hoping that he would finally openly embrace their prohibitionist agenda. But Obama has proven over the past few years that he knows taking on America’s gun owners is a bad political move, and that means he must take a different tack — claiming at every turn that he supports the Second Amendment.
What he chose to do this week is to make a thinly veiled call for gun owners to willingly give up our rights by calling on us to seek “agreement on gun reforms.” But gun owners will not be fooled by this cynical ruse.
Obama’s position — carefully worded and published in an op-ed piece in the Arizona Star, a Tucson daily newspaper — is nothing more than political posturing and an attempt to marginalize the impact that gun owners will have on the 2012 election.
He has invited groups to meet with him at the White House to discuss how we can come to a consensus. That invitation included the NRA. But with groups like the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns at the table, there is really nothing to discuss.
As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said, “Of course NRA would refuse to sit down with a group of people who have spent their entire lives working to infringe upon Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms. These folks are on record with their desire to ban firearms, ration gun purchases for law-abiding Americans, and give the anti-gun elitists at the United Nations the authority to regulate the firearms trade and dictate U.S. gun policy.”
It is clear any “agreement on gun reforms” would come at the expense of our Second Amendment freedoms. “But I say there can be no compromise on the freedoms that generations of Americans have fought with their lives to protect,” Cox went on to promise.
Within days of the publication of the President’s op-ed, the first meeting did take place, including the leading anti-gun groups and a new entrant to the proceedings, Vice President Joe Biden’s office.
As a United States Senator, Biden was one of the leading proponents of laws that sought to all but eliminate our gun rights.
He voted for permanent waiting periods, to limit magazine capacity, to effectively eliminate gun shows and to ban most rifle ammunition. He was a leading advocate for the original semi-auto ban and for reauthorizing it a decade later. As the one-time chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden was in a key position to attack the Second Amendment, and he rarely missed the opportunity to do so.
Biden has announced that his office will assume an active role in the efforts to find “agreement on gun reforms.” His record indicates with stark clarity what that means: more gun laws and less freedom.
President Obama has made great rhetorical efforts to try to convince the American people that he is not opposed to their gun rights. But all his efforts are nothing more than hollow words if not backed up by pro-gun actions. His record before he became President was extremely hostile to the Second Amendment. His cabinet is full of anti-gun extremists such as Eric Holder, Arne Duncan and Hillary Clinton. And his nomination of Andrew Traver to head the BATFE is a clear message to gun owners that he does not respect the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
And most of all, Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court represents a threat to our freedoms that will be in place long after Obama has left office.
NRA has responded to the President’s op-ed (click here to read our response) and has declined the invitation to join in any discussions that have the obvious intent of diminishing our rights. And NRA will continue to decline any such invitations as long as President Obama’s anti-gun actions contradict his misleading campaign rhetoric.