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Presidential candidate Herman Cain is trying to back away from his previous statement to CNN on gun control. Specifically, “[Gun control] should be a state’s decision.” As we pointed out at the time, the remark flies in the fact of the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision, which incorporates the Second Amendment (makes it trump local and state law). Cain’s statement emboldens municipalities and states who ignore the spirit of the law by maintaining or creating “reasonable restrictions” on the right to keep and bear arms. In a frosty press conference reported by, Cain clarified his remark . . .

“I don’t believe states should restrict access to guns, but what if a state wants to pass background checks? What if a state wants to pass carry-and-conceal? That’s what I’m talking about,” he said.

What state-mandated background checks would those be, exactly? Obviously (to those who know about these things), any state background checks would be in addition to the current federal background checks. Something like . . . background checks at gun shows. You know, “closing the gun show loophole”—eliminating private, non-government monitored firearms sales.

Note to Herman: gun control is one of those areas where you have to appreciate what’s at stake and who’s trying to do what. Here’s an example [via] of local burghers trying to subvert the will of the nation’s highest court:

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) – Madison’s mayor wants to see an ordinance passed requiring written permission for a gun owner to carry a weapon on private property.

Mayor Paul Soglin says the ordinance would let property owners and renters assume that persons couldn’t bring a gun onto their property without their permission. Soglin’s idea comes in reaction to Senate Bill 90 which was passed last week.

If it is passed by the Wisconsin Assembly it would allow local governments to create their own laws on concealed carry in public buildings.

Soglin sent an e-mail to the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper saying he thought the U.S. Constitution favored the rights of property owners over those of gun owners.

Supporting efforts like “extra” background checks and the “right” of states to infringe the Second Amendment makes Cain no friend to the gun rights community, or people who favor limited government.

As for “carry-and-conceal,” has Cain never heard the expression “concealed carry”? What about the idea of constitutional carry? Come to think of it, has Cain ever shot or owned a firearm?

Bottom line: unless he gets a quick and thorough briefing on the subject on gun control, gun rights and the meaning of the Second Amendment (ping [email protected]), Cain’s in real danger of losing the pro-gun vote.

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  1. already lost my vote. id rather vote for Pawlenty or Perry who i know are knowledgeable in 2A issues

  2. All the gun grabbers should be exiled to the gun hating commie states and then we can have all the guns we want and there won’t be any of these fools left to deal with.

  3. As for “carry-and-conceal,” has Cain never heard the expression “concealed carry”?

    My guess is that he hasn’t. I am starting to believe that none of these candidates really understand the first thing about 2A rights, much less which end of the gun a bullet comes out of.

    These guys (and gals) are repeating shit that other people have told them to say and that’s why they constantly get caught up with dumb statements like the ones above.

    If there was a candidate out there that was a true believer in 2A rights, it would be glaringly obvious. There is not.

    Except for RP. But it’s great sport to bust his balls and therefore highly unlikely we would be so lucky to see him (or anyone like him) win in 2012.

  4. Robert, you are overstating things somewhat when you state that the “Supreme Court’s McDonald decision * * * incorporates the Second Amendment (makes it trump local and state law).” By using the word “trump” you are inferring that there is some sort of preemption principle at work, and that is not entirely correct. Under the 10th Amendment, the States do still have certain powers reserved for them, including the so-called “police power.” And the Second Amendment has not, despite its seemingly clear wording, been interpreted as a preemptive law that precludes the exercise of the police power on the issue of firearms.

    McDonald does say that 2nd Amendment applies to the states (as opposed to just being a limitation on the Federal Government) via the adoption of the 14th Amendment. Since municipalities and counties draw their power from the State, it is also a limitation on their powers as well.

    In this regard, Heller and McDonald were obviously “must-win” cases for us pro-gun folks. Had we lost those cases, state and local government would have been free to enact blanket prohibitions on possession of firearms, leaving our fate as gun owners to the political process. And while that is a victory of sorts, it is more in the nature of a successful goal-line defensive stand than an offensive touchdown (to make a football analogy.). The Good news is this: after Heller / McDonald, it is clear that blanket prohibitions of gun possession or ownership are not going to pass muster.

    Unfortunately, the Supreme Court left open the possibility that a wide variety of state and local gun laws would pass constitution muster. Thus, certain classes of citizens can be prohibited from owning firearms (felons, mentally ill, etc). Putting aside the issue that NFA 34 was a taxing measure, Heller and McDonald also provide the nail in the coffin for the folks who seek to repeal the NFA 34 and Title II, GCA 1968 based on Second Amendment grounds. In addition, most of the location-specific restrictions (gun-free zones for schools, public buildings etc) appear to be surviving challenges brought post-Heller /McDonald. Unfortunately, I don’t anticipate that Heller / McDonald will serve as any impediment to assault weapon bans and high-cap mag bans, either.

    Incidentally, it may be worth noting that the force of McDonald is weakened somewhat by the fact that the opinion is merely a plurality – 5 members of the court agreed with the result, but they could not agree on the exact doctrinal basis for their conclusion. Plurality decision are much more likely to be revisited by the Supreme Court at a later date.

    One area that gives me a great deal of concern is the issue of whether private property owners / businesses should have the right to deny CCP holders the right to carry on their property. As both a property rights advocate and a pro-CCP advocate, I am conflicted on this issue. Obviously, the Second Amendment does not apply in this situation, as it is not a limitation on private citizens. I am inclined to think that the issue should be resolved via legislation that creates a duty of protection on the part of landowners who seek to deny CCP holders the right to self-defense with firearms.

  5. You know, first of all, I think any Commander in Chief should have to have served in the military if physically able. How can you send troops to die if you never wore a uniform. Secondly, and I don’t mean this lightly, how can this be a free country if I can’t travel with at least the carry rights of my home state? This is why I’m short with gun restrictive liberals-if I was trusted to go into harm’s way with weapons in the Marines, the Navy, the Army and as a Deputy Corporal, don’t try and restrict me now as I have a chance to finally enjoy a civilian life.

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