Last night, President Obama expressed his desire to introduce another assault weapons ban (AWB) in his second term. ” . . .  what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.” the “I’m not making any promises” phrasing indicates that the President isn’t too optimistic on the AWB front. In the context of an election year and a nationally televised debate, he may have simply been playing to his Democratic base—realizing that he’d have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting such legislation through Congress. Then again, Executive Order. What do you think? Was the Prez blowing smoke or would he really go for gun control in his second term?

67 Responses to Question of the Day: Is President Obama Blowing Smoke on an AWB?

  1. or he could just acknowledge that ‘assault weapons’ are used in less than 1% of violent crime and that the the last ban had no measurable effect on the crime rate and that the violent crime rate is at it’s lowest point in 40 years, but I guess it’s just easier to pander to the whims of the logically challenged anti-rights cultists.

    To answer the question, no, he’s not blowing smoke, if given the opportunity, he’ll go for a ban.

      • I don’t think he’ll go for the AWB but instead go for a larger ban on all guns.

        Or seek a way around that imposes, but does “Ban” guns. Like the “no gun shops within 5 miles of a school or park” thing. That would pretty much eliminate all gun shops in america. And the ones that did manage to find a piece of safe ground… well, it wouldn’t surprise me if the the crappy piece of land adjacent to it was all of a sudden labeled some sort of park.

        Remember last night after the mention of the assault weapons ban he went on to say that “most of the crime that happens in his state wasn’t done with assault weapons but instead done with CHEAP HANDGUNS”

        I think that is where he’s going.

        • “I don’t think he’ll go for the AWB but instead go for a larger ban on all guns.”

          You hit the nail on the head. His comment about most gun crimes being comitted with “cheap handguns” sent me reeling into thoughts of a blanket ban on firearms.

    • He’s shown how creative he can be with the flexibility the Executive Order option has given him. We know what’s in his heart from his days as an Illinois legislator. It’s bad enough that we have the constitutionally deviant phrase “sporting purpose” as a legacy from Bush the elder, who was otherwise pro-gun. An untethered Obama truly scares me, and gun rights is just one area of concern.

  2. He obviously still thinks banning guns will do wonders for him and his base. I think banning guns only works slightly less well than banning illegal drugs, and we all know how successful the government has been in that arena.

    The Framers’ argument still stands, and the more skeptical among us will continue to wonder at the intent of those who would disarm the law abiding.

  3. He genuinely wants one and, if he could get one through Congress, he would.

    Anyone who wants to try tell me what I can and can’t own can kindly FOAD. Anyone who wants the government to imprison or kill me for owning something they don’t like can FOAD x 2.

  4. This is a guy who, when ruuning in ’08,said,”You’re no longer gonna be able to drive any size SUV you want. You can’t leave your thermostat at 72 degrees all the time. You’re not gonna be able to eat what you want,when you want.” Can any thinking person believe that once he no longer has to worry about reelection,that this Marxist/Leninist will hesitate to clamp down on the 2d amendment? He’s already appointed two SCOTUS justices who use the Constitution as birdcage liner. He’ll have the chance to appoint as many as four more. His Atty Gen obstructs justice and refuses to enforce voting laws.
    Think about this:Obama has issued over 600 executive orders in just four years! The number two issuer was “W” Bush’ with just over 60-in 8 years. DON’T sit this one out! Especially if you’re in a swing state!

  5. There is nothing this president wouldn’t try to do to curtail the rights of free men. The question is whether or not he can get away with it. As Frank said above, he’ll have fewer restrictions in his second term, and feel that he can try anything.

  6. I think it’s much more likely that he’s floating for two purposes: Get the democratic base that wants it reinstated behind him again, and add a bargaining chip to use when negotiating with republicans in congress.
    The democrats have more to gain by such a ban never passing than they do by passing it, in that as long as they’ve got it as something they can whip out to threaten to pass to either upset republicans and get concessions in dealings or get their base motivated. It’s no different from republicans and abortion; it’s an issue that you can raise to use as political capital that loses value if you ever actually “win” with it.

  7. I don’t see why we can expect the opposite. He openly supported the AWB. If he is re-elected he will have the opportunity to appoint 1 to 2 supreme court justices. This is bad. These are life appointments, much more impactful on civil liberities long term than anything the president can do imo. Most of the progress we have made in gun rights over the past few years has been due to judicial action, not legislative action. That will continue to be the only way to enact change, especially in gun right oppressive states like NY, NJ, MA, MD, IL, and CA. NY, NY, and MD each have court cases challenging the constitutionality of their requirement to provide a reasonable justification as to why you need a carry permit, which essentially results in permits for nobody. These cases are being elevated to the supreme court. All of the pro-2A outcomes in the supreme court the past few years have been decided by one vote, and one vote only. These are the cases we have celebrated as wins, but can just as easily go away.

    While it may be true that Romney may simply be pandering to gun owners, at the same time he openly opposes any new gun control laws, “Yeah, I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation on – on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal.” He and Ryan have also openly supported the national reciprocity act, which overwhelmingly passed by bipartison vote in Nov 2011. It is stalled in the senate, because it is controled by dems and they won’t bring it to vote. They stall because there is actually a good chance it would pass. While it was mostly republicans who voted for it in the house, there were still a lot of dem who supported it as well. The reciprocity act may be the best immediate solution to pushing for carry policy changes in the more gun rights oppresive states. A republican ticket is also much more likely to nominate pro-2A supreme court justices, and the next president will be nominating at least one, maybe two of them. I also don’t think Mitt was as for the MA AWB as people claim he was. I think he was simply indifferent, and the attorny general pushed it through. Now he’s pandering to voters and has flip flopped on the issue, but how bad is that really? People should be happy he changed his mind, regardless of the reason.

    Would you rather have the guy who openly opposes your gun rights, supports measures like an AWB, will nominate justices that will tip the balance in antis’ favor, and represents a party that will continue to push for gun control measures; or would you rather have the pair that is opposed to additional legislation, will likely appoint 2A justices, openly supports national reciprocity, openly supports the expansion of the use of federal land for hunting, and represents a party that will continue to support your civil rights?

    • Yes, we have to swallow the bitter pill. I only take issue with one of your points:

      “…and represents a party that will continue to support your civil rights?”

      It would be nice if one of the major parties would support ALL civil rights, without using either a myth or a feeling to deny them.

      • It’s true, both parties don’t do enough to support civil rights. If you had to pick which one stomps on them more and is more likely to continue doing so, especially the ones that this website was created for, which party do you think that is?

        • In a word, neither. Both parties stomp on my right to be left the fvck alone. The R’s only saving grace is that they somewhat support my right to own and carry the means to protect that right.

        • AWB by Romney. Patriot Act, offshore prisons where US laws don’t exist by Bush.

          Neither party is great.

      • One problem is the ability to pass laws that are unconstitutional to begin with. I don’t like that you can pretty much pass any law you want as long as you have the votes. Then after the fact we are free to challenge the law in court. Laws should be required to have a more stringent constitutional review before they are passed to at all.

    • It might be a close election. In the unlikely event that Romney wins, it might be because the NRA and other gun groups provided the slim margins of victory in the swing states. He’d be politically suicidal to afterwards stab his supporters in the back.

    • And if he had a sympathetic congress and passed an AWB, what kind of bullshit excuses would you make up for him then?

      • But he doesn’t and won’t. Even among Democrats the representatives who’d not lose their seat if they supported it are a small minority. I’m confident that even if against all odds whoever is president during the next 4 years will push for more regulation it’ll not survive the political process.

        • Losing their seats is not what the anti 2nd A crowed worries about, when you boil it all down, deep down they know what the 2nd is all about.

        • I see Curzen has left his DNC approved talking points home. I agree with him. There weill be no AWB because regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election the Republicans will control both house of Congress next year. Even Mr. Akin looks like a winner now.

          The way things look if Obama gets relected it will be with a minority of the popular vote. I can see the popular vote split like 2004 but I think Obama will take Ohio and win the Presidency with 49% of the vote.

          As a consolation prize all the Democrats will shut up about the popular vote and the compact around the Constitution will disappear from view.

  8. once again, i think that he is clearly over promising again (what got him in trouble in 08). This would have snowball’s chance of getting through congress right now. I really question alienating voters right before the election.

      • nobody knows anything for sure about the outcome of the elections. What i do know is that the last one (1994) was done though an act of congress, not an executive order. Either way the balance in the house especially, is not going to change that drastically, and our lobby (NRA 2AF, etc) are incredibly powerful. Combine this with jobs, and manufacturing (which 2a products are directly linked with), i think can establish a pretty good beachhead starting with those if this AWB idiocy is actually proposed. I also know that the economy, immigration need to be addressed, and i think any major burning of political capital would be spent on those issues. The middle east will continue to implode, too so lets not forget about that either. Obama my be a lot of things, but he is not stupid, and his handlers are some of the most shrewd folks in the business, I (hopefully) think that this was lip service to the dem base.

        But outside of that, i think we should all get in those purchases while we can.

  9. While Presidents have gotten away with some pretty egregious stuff, I’m struggling to think of a way this could be done by executive order, and failing.

    It’s not rule making within the bounds of existing law. In fact, that this needed an act of Congress before would suggest pretty strongly that it’s not within the President’s power, and I suspect Congress would see it as stepping on their toes and the courts agreeing.

    I have little doubt Obama would sign “gun control” bills if Congress passed them, but I don’t see any Congress doing so. It’s exceedingly rare for a Congress to be elected mid-term that’s more favorable to a President than the previous.

    I do expect the ATF to pull more bullshit in Obama’s second term, though, in their normal, incompetent way.

  10. He’s blowing smoke on the AWB — remember, he could have tried to push one through the most favorable Congress he’ll ever have and didn’t even try.

    The Supreme Court is where the action is.

    BTW, congrats to Hollywood for convincing everyone that the AK-47 is the most powerful weapon ever created… Hell, before I became a prosecutor, even I believed the hype (still want one though…).

    • He didn’t try to pass a lot of things in his first 2 years he should have when he had the majority. He knew that a lot of the things he wanted to do were simply unpopular, and rolled the dice on not bringing them up and not negatively effecting mid term elections. Well, joke was on him, they lost the house then. That was the dumbest thing he did during his presidency is not try to pass more things while he had the ability to.

    • Problem – he had elections to worry about then. Anyone who saw 1994 and Clinton knows that gun control is bad for getting reelected. He couldn’t pull it off then unless he sacrificed his health care.

      He chose which was more important to him. Now he has it, and it’s mostly intact too.

      Also, he won’t need to be re-elected since he can’t be. He can do what he wants, and he’ll exec order it if he has to.

      He also gets to add more justices to SCOTUS, and you can bet his minions will back everything he does.

      • I agree. That is a glaring red flag to me. If you have things you want to pass that you know are unpopular, then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to pass them at all. The government is meant to serve the people. It is not meant to tell people how to live their lives. The purpose of the constitution is to control the government.

        • The government is there to protect me from foreign entities and regulate interstate trade. This bloated federal government we have makes me sick. When did the whole notion of the government being responsible for “giving” people things become the status quo?

          Its beginning to look a lot like the time for the States to stand up and say they want their rights back.

        • The government is there to protect me from foreign entities and regulate interstate trade

          @JoshinGA, I completely agree. The problem is that everything is interstate commerce and has been since Wickard v. Filburn.

          Since Wickard, the only federal law that’s been reversed by SCOTUS was the initial gun free school zones act challenged in U.S. v. Lopez. Congress then immediately made a bullsh!t change to the law and reinstituted it.

          The bottom line of this Con Law mumbo-jumbo is that if the Commerce Clause was brought under control, our 2A rights would be safe from federal depredation.

  11. A lot of people are defending Obama in saying that well even though he supports an AWB it won’t pass through congress. First, how do you know that? If you’re basing it on the current state of congress, how do you know what it will look like in 2 years at mid-term elections, or even in 3 weeks?

    Regardless of the state of congress there is still one candidate who openly supports gun control measures, and one who openly opposes creating any new gun laws. Romney may not be super gung ho on guns, but he’s not against them like Obams and almost his entire party is. If the question is which one is better for gun rights, I don’t really understand why this requires so much discussion.

    Also, what about the multiple supreme court justices expected to be appointed during the next term, and the fact that all of our gun rights court case wins have been by 1 vote?

  12. I see a lot of prophets and prognosticators who say with full confidence that things will always remain the same and that Congress will never, ever pass another AWB.

    Cut the shit. You don’t know that.

  13. Assuming he gets a second chance, I could see it go either way: he could abandon the promise as futile, or he could push ahead on what is probably a doomed attempt solely as a gesture to gun grabbers.

    An executive order is potentially feasible, since the President could simply instruct the ATF to deny Form 4 applications. I don’t see anything in Part 479 that implies the Director must grant an application,unlike an FFL application which must be granted, provided the requirements are met.

  14. Given his personal history, I’d say yes.

    This is a man who has very skillfully made himself look like a moderate when, upon scrutiny and investigation that the press would not do, one can find very radical connections and associations going back to the late 80’s.

    One of these associations is the Joyce Foundation. The Joyce Foundation has funded legal “scholarship” to support the idea that the Second Amendment does not recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms as well as other political and policy attacks on RKBA. Who is the Joyce Foundation? Well, here’s some info:

    http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20110122/ISSUE01/301229980/the-joyce-foundation-the-anti-nra

    Obama was on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation for eight years, a paid position. All you people saying that Obama won’t make a gun grab… go ahead, keep walking around with the blinders on.

  15. He may have screwed himself in Pennsylvania,Virginia,and southern Ohio.I hope so.He blurted this “AWB” stuff out and then seemed to realize it and went to “cheap handguns”.Either way he revealed what he has been all along-a gun grabber.

  16. The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster.

  17. Yes he’s blowing smoke. You know all that stuff about dog whistles recently? Well this is that for the extreme left.

    I’m still voting for him, even though I’m a gun enthusiast.

    If it weren’t for all the racism, sexism and homophobia written in to the Republican platform and the fact that trickle-down economic policies have been an unquestionable disaster for the country, I could almost think about not voting for Obama. I’d rather see us all have to stock up on mags than vote for all that.

    You guys get rid of all that other stuff and you got yourself a single-issue voter right here.

    • I agree. Let Obama have his moment to pander to the more liberal among us. There are simply more pressing issues to be dealt with: the economy, the middle east, implementation of the healthcare initiative, etc. Presidents only have so much political capital and an AWB would be costly to him and his political allies.

  18. Obama wants a new assault-weapons ban, but he has little chance of passing that as long as Congress continues as it is. The main concern is the Supreme Court. The next president will nominate probably two new justices.

  19. He doesn’t need to pass a full ban through both chambers of Congress anymore, or get the Supreme Court to approve it. The mechanism is already in place to use a more incremental approach.

    Taxes and health care. By using shoddy statistics, they can show that it causes an increased burden on the health care system for people to own guns- how many times more likely are you to be killed by a weapon in your own home was it? Gradually increasing taxes on firearm purchase, in the beginning based on crime rates per type of weapon. Increasing requirements for security in the home- don’t have a safe? There won’t be a registry at first, but if you’re found after an incident to not have one, there could be a big penalty.

    Want hollowpoint bullets? Those are designed to do more damage, and will also place an increased burden on the healthcare system, we’ll have to ramp the taxes up on those. And then on regular ammo, after the HP tax does nothing. They already tax the life out of cigarettes.

    They could potentially ask you during doctor visits if you have guns in the home or not, some doctors already do. What’s to stop them from declaring that an increased risk factor and ramping up your insurance rates?

    The justification could sound something like “we’re not trying to take peoples’ rights, we’re just asking that they pay their fair share of the burden created by their own choices, rather than shift it onto the backs of innocents.”

    • Good points. Could he get a ban through congress? Unlikely, but he just said he would if possible.

      Besides taxes and health care, Obama could use the EPA against shooting ranges and gun manufacturers. I imagine this is already occuring to an extent. What about EPA vs. lead hunting rounds, not just for waterfowl?

      Justice and ATF can be used against manufacturers and sellers. An example is the enhanced long gun reporting required by the ATF for border states. Because Fast and Furious.

      Banks were encouraged by Justice (Reno) to lend to minorities regardless of ability to pay. Could banks be encouraged not to loan to the firearms industry?

      Department of Interior can be used to restrict shooting on public land under a variety of pretexts — noise, lead, litter, public safety…

      The possibilities are endless.

      • @Hassrubal & MikeI,

        Both are very good points. Obama has multiple avenues to attack 2A rights, as do his anti gun supporters. What I find disappointing is that more people can’t see that.

  20. He’s not blowing smoke. He is going after guns. Not just the so-called “assault weapons” either. Did everyone catch his comment about “cheap handguns”? Does anyone think he won’t start to bring back the “Saturday Night Special” arguements of years past. What next? Classifying scoped hunting rifles as “sniper weapons”?

  21. Bottom line is this: if you vote for Obama next month, you are an enemy of the Second Amendment. Period, End of story. He has already added two votes to SCOTUS to limit or overrule Heller, and you can expect one or two more in the next term.

  22. You folks need to stop giving this administration the benefit of the doubt. There isn’t a gun rights advocate worth their salt, alive today, who would advocate for an AWB.

  23. An Executive Order is possible though I think unlikely. Pro-gun supportive members of Congress could retaliate with making him a lame duck president more than this term provided the Congress does not move Left in elections. Obama has already lost much support, trust, and respect among the American people. An AWB forced would move even more people to oppose Obama and his overall efforts to re-make America.

  24. Like gold over the past ten+ years, buying pallets of ammo might be a good fun investment provided you have enough room to store it. Like gold, I don’t see the price dropping beyond the occasional correction. Invest in inflation since prices will increase for commodity items that will be in demand and considered essentials.

  25. If he’s re-elected, I expect Obama to do everything he can to f^ck with 2A. But nobody can tell us exactly what he will do because we don’t know what his options will be. We don’t know the structure of the Congress after this election or the next. We do not know the makeup of the Supreme Court next year or the year thereafter. There are a lot of variables.

    What we do know is that there’s an AWB that’s been introduced by Diane Feinstein and that passage of an AWB is not only a feature of Democratic party orthodoxy but also a plank in the party platform. If Obama has the means to ban so-called assault weapons, or any other weapons, or lead ammo, or anything else we need, he’ll do it, or one of his agencies will.

  26. “What do you think? Was the Prez blowing smoke or would he really go for gun control in his second term?”

    I don’t give a flying you-know-what about whether he will or will not, try & succeed or fail to get more gun control. I know that if he can do it and the cost to him and his “ashamed marxist party” is acceptable, then he will. That to me is an unacceptable possibility and we need to not let him have a chance to do it. Vote early, etc, etc,….

  27. Maybe Obama should take a trip to the U.K and talk to the family of that female police officer that was shot and killed a few months back. Ask them how effective gun control is in preventing violent crimes.

    I am still on the fence as to his intentions. He certainley would have more important issues to address but this is a man whos first order of business as president was buying his daughters a dog. I do not believe he will do anything about gun control immediatley but if he gets back in, we will probably see an imediate increase in prices on thoes deadly black guns and black gun accessories. Glad I have my AR on layaway already.

  28. I find it interesting that many people are not paying attention to the “big picture” with respect to gun rights…that is, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice (SCOTUS) appointments that may happen in the next four years after this November’s election.

    As many of us know, the Second Amendment is always subject to SCOTUS court interpretation, and these court decisions have a cascade effect on the rest of the country.

    The possibility of new SCOTUS appointments in the next four years, I think would have a heavier weight on voters than President Candidate Romney’s previous actions as the Governor of Massachusetts. I am not discounting concerns about bringing back the AWB or any other form of gun controls, I am saying that we, gun voters, need to pay attention to the big picture and avoid engaging a narrow view of focus on gun topics, especially in a short-term perspective.

    The U.S. Senate is just as important as the POTUS and SCOTUS. The question I ask myself is which Presidential candidate is likely to nominate a Supreme Court judge that has common sense and has favorable views on the Second Amendment? The U.S. Senate has to approve the President’s nominee, so I also ask myself which Senate candidate for my State is likely to have the Aye vote?

    While I am concern about the possibility of bringing back the AWB and other gun controls that restrict my rights, the long-term ramification of the SCOTUS decisions in the next four years carriers a heavier weight for me should too many of the next appointment Judges be anti-Second Amendment.

    • Trust me, I have concern over Obama having a shot at two spots in the SCOTUS. We are already stuck with Sotomayer who has no reservations in biasedness in her decisions. Do some research on The New Haven 20.

      20 of my brother firefighters in Connecticut were turned down for promotions that they (by city law) had earned. The city turned them down and apointed minorities who did not even score near the top on their promotion exams. The citys laws state that the top scoring percentile are to promoted. Even when it was clear that the city broke its own laws in a case of reverse discrimination, Sotomayer ruled against the 20 and dismissed the case. Eventualy my brothers did win.

      Sotomayer has NO reservations in being biased as a judge and it scares me that Obama could now have 3 cronies in SCOTUS if he is reelected.

  29. Executive order and un treaty for blue hat support. Yes here. He will seize guns and dare us to object naming us nuts.

    No prayer and no guns = no america. Vote not revolt. Hitler Stalin Iddi Amin obama. Quite a crowd. History will judge us. Until hevtakes our bibles and books.

  30. Executive order and un treaty for blue hat support. Yes here. He will seize guns and dare us to object naming us nuts.

    No prayer and no guns no america. Vote not revolt. Hitler Stalin Iddi Amin obama. Quite a crowd. History will judge us. Until hevtakes our bibles and books.

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