Barack Obama is not a gun grabber. He might want to be one. He might have secret plans to be one, someday. But as of this moment, there is no evidence that the 44th president of the United States of America wants to limit, abridge or remove your Second Amendment right to bear arms. As TTAG has point out previously, the United Nations Small Arms treaty–the slow-moving arms agreement that’s got pro-gun activists’ knickers in a twist—is NOT a semi-secret conspiracy to supplant federal firearm regs with an international treaty. It’s a proposal to limit military small arms. To bring the international arms market up to current U.S. standards of accountability. As we also pointed out, there is cause for concern over at the U.N. But the Obama administration has done nothing to support or encourage the more worrying international gun control protocols known as International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). All of which is a bummer for the American firearms industry and the gun rights’ groups who raise money through fear. To wit, the following press release from The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms . . .
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms claims that an 80-year-old Chicago man who defended himself and his family from a neighborhood thug this week could be criminally prosecuted, if Barack Obama had prevailed in a 2004 Illinois State Legislature vote on a measure to protect citizens who use handguns in self-defense even when their communities ban handguns.
“As an Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama voted not once, but twice in opposition to Senate Bill 2165,” recalled Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The so-called “Hale DeMar Act” — named for a Wilmette, IL resident who shot a burglar with a handgun, a violation of Wilmette’s handgun ban — was passed in March 2004 on a 38-20 vote. Obama was one of the senators voting against the measure. After disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed the bill, the Senate voted to override the veto on Nov. 9 by a vote of 40-18. Again, Obama was one of the opponents.
“That measure is now law,” Gottlieb noted, “and it should protect a courageous Chicago resident from being victimized twice, once by the man who tried to kill him and then by the Daley administration, that wants to keep him and other law-abiding citizens disarmed. If Obama had had his way in 2004, Wednesday morning’s hero would be today’s criminal.
So what we have here is the CCRKBA arguing that the President is, deep in his soul and by dint of his previous votes, a gun grabber. Which is probably if not entirely true, but almost entirely besides the point.
Actions speak louder than words: Obama signed into law bills that allowed guns on Amtrak trains and U.S. park lands. Inaction also speaks louder than words; the Prez has made no moves to counter the nation’s roll-back of gun laws. He hasn’t made even a head-feint in the direction of reinstating the Clinton-era assault weapons (a.k.a. home defense gun) ban. This from (or not from) the man who steamrollered health care reform into law despite the popular support ranged against it.
In other words, if President Obama really wanted to champion gun control, he would have.
“President Obama may claim to support the Second Amendment, but his actions tell a different tale,” Gottlieb stated. “In March 2008, he told a Pittsburgh newspaper that he opposes concealed carry. In addition to his anti-gun-rights voting record, as a state senate candidate, he supported banning handguns. These are not the actions of someone who believes in the right to keep and bear arms.
“A Chicago resident is alive today,” he concluded, “not because of Obama’s 2004 vote, but in spite of it. His story is a text book example for striking down Chicago’s ban and restoring to its residents the ability to fight back.”
It’s ridiculous to attack President Obama for something he wanted to do in the Illinois State Senate now that he’s not doing it as President. Of course, on another level, it makes perfect sense.
American gun rights organizations are struggling to find their feet in a world where they’ve won. And continue to win. Without an “us vs. them” meme to sell, they’re all at sea. Sea doesn’t sell (at the seashore). They need a bogey man. Fortunately, and unfortunately, President Barack Obama ain’t it. My advice: all politics are local. Daley’s your man.