When he ran in 2008, Barack Obama sang from the National Rifle Association hymnal: “I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”
It’s not surprising to see an interest group oppose a politician who breaks a promise. But the NRA is punishing one who kept his. This week, the group endorsed Mitt Romney.
So Obama never threatened to re-impose the ban on semi-automatic rifles disingenuously known as the “assault weapons ban?” He didn’t jeopardize the most important project we face right now, to define the scope of the Second Amendment in the courts, by appointing one justice who already voted to redact the Second Amendment from the Constitution, and another who likely will follow along as well? And the Obama Administration has certainly not worked with the UN to lay the groundwork for UN control over international trade in small arms? The Tribune acts like we’re insane to think anything other than confiscation matters.
OK, so Obama promised not to start a bloody civil war over by promising not to unlawfully confiscate private arms. That was never even on the table as a possibility, and it’s not a promise that was remotely hard for the President to keep. This is a straw man. It’s not the issue. The issue is that, objectively, Obama has put the Second Amendment in grave jeopardy though his court appointments, and is still on record as supporting banning the sale of a broad category of popular and common firearms. The case could be made that perhaps Romney didn’t deserve an endorsement either (given the Court risks, it’s not one I’d make this election cycle, but the case can be made), but that’s not what the Tribune has argued here. Sometimes I wonder if the media are just so many fools, or whether they think we’re fools.