Barack Obama now poses as a moderate on the 2nd Amendment, in the news today because of the Heller decision which Paul notes below. In fact, however, Obama has a long history as an enthusiastic supporter of gun control and a virulent opponent of handgun ownership.
The RNC has collected a wealth of information on Obama’s positions and statements on the right to bear arms here. Obama supported the D.C. handgun ban that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in Heller. John Lott says that Obama once told him, “I don’t believe that people should be able to own guns.” In 1996, when he was running for the Illinois State Senate, Obama submitted a questionnaire in which he answered questions about gun control. Obama said that he favored a ban on handguns; click to enlarge:
Jim Geraghty has more, including the fact that Obama served as director of a foundation that, among other anti-gun activities, funded a book called Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.
In a separate post, Geraghty also makes a point that I should have made last night in conjunction with the Kennedy child-rape decision. Obama has said that he regards Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter as model Supreme Court justices. He also has publicly disagreed with the Kennedy decision, which held that child rape, no matter how brutal or violent, cannot constitutionally be the basis for capital punishment. But what justices contributed to the Kennedy majority? Of course: Ginsburg, Breyer and Souter. Likewise, Obama is now contradicting his life-long stands by taking a moderate position on guns. But what justices dissented from the majority view in Heller? Ginsburg, Breyer and Souter. So pay no attention to what Obama says during campaign season about issues that come before the Court. Pay attention, instead, to how his “model” justices vote.
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