Obama was asked why he favored a ban on assault weapons, which account for only a small percentage of gun deaths, as opposed to handguns, which are responsible for the majority.
“I actually don’t think we should ban handguns,” Obama said. “But keep in mind what we’re trying to do is come up with a package that protects Second Amendment rights but also contributes to reduce violence.”
The Hill evidently thinks gun owners should be reassured; it headlined, “Obama seeks to allay fears: ‘I actually don’t think we should ban handguns.’” What Obama’s comment really indicates is how little respect most Democrats have for the Second Amendment. Can you imagine Obama saying, “I actually don’t think we should ban newspapers?” Of course not–the thought is ridiculous.
But the federal government can no more ban handguns than it can ban newspapers or television stations. If the Second Amendment were not clear enough, the Supreme Court has held unequivocally that Americans have a constitutional right to own and to carry firearms, including handguns, for purposes of self-defense. Yet the Democratic Party has never really accepted the Second Amendment. Many Democrats, perhaps most, think that a complete ban on handguns is not only possible, but is a pretty good idea. Gun owners generally believe that their rights will be taken away if they are not vigilant, and they are correct.