January 2013: After the most unremittingly negative, cynical presidential contest in American history, Barack Obama has narrowly won a second term in the White House and stands ready to take the oath of office again. Aided immeasurably by a Legacy Media that buried the Gunwalker scandal along with myriad other scandals potentially harmful to him — and relentlessly savaged his opponents — Mr. Obama just barely pulled himself across the finish line on the strength of his rhetoric.
No longer restrained by the need to maintain appearances in order to win reelection, no longer restrained by the need to appease congressional Democrats, he turns to those facets of his agenda too unpopular to openly pursue during a first term. Very near the top of his list is gun control – or, more properly, the disarming of the American people.
Flash back to June 2011, when I wrote about the dangers of changing the balance of the Supreme Court from a majority which always (or usually) decides cases based on the Constitution, precedent, and the law to a majority which prefers to bypass those things to impose, by means of judicial fiat, leftist social policies which cannot carry legislative support, even with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. When I wrote that article, I had no idea that Mr. Obama would so soon provide such tellingly direct evidence of his post-2012 intentions.
It is certainly reasonable to believe that Mr. Obama is very much against the Second Amendment right of Americans to keep and bear arms. He has, upon occasion, said that he supports the Second Amendment. But his rhetoric is always accompanied by a “but” that opens the door to “common sense” gun control measures. It is a virtual certainty that what is “common sense” to Mr. Obama and his gun control allies is anything but to most Americans.
Despite his rhetoric, Mr. Obama’s true beliefs have always hovered just below the surface of his public rhetoric. (Take, for example, his well-known disdain for those who cling to God and guns.) But before exploring Mr. Obama’s actual second term intentions for the Second Amendment, it will be instructive to review his record on the issue. This list is not in any way exhaustive:
(1) In 1996, then Illinois state Senator Obama answered a gun control questionnaire. He wrote that he supported a complete ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns and “assault weapons,” and also supported mandatory waiting periods and background checks. During the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama denied ever filling out the questionnaire, despite the fact that it was completed in his handwriting. FactCheck.org confirmed that he had, in fact, filled out the questionnaire. [source A]
(2) In 1998, Mr. Obama expressed his support for a complete ban on the sale or transfer of all semi-automatic firearms. He supported increasing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms — this in Illinois, one of the only two states that to this day bans concealed carry. [source A]
(3) The 1998 Joyce Foundation annual report revealed that Mr. Obama was a member of its board of directors. The Joyce Foundation is one of the largest sources of funding for anti-gun groups and for anti-gun “research.” [source 7]
(4) In 1999, the Chicago Defender reported that Mr. Obama wanted to ban the resale of police issued firearms, even for the purpose of buying new equipment. [source 4]
(5) In 1999, Mr. Obama endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition. This was obviously intended to increase the price of gun ownership so drastically as to make it unaffordable for most Americans. [source 4]
(6) In 1999, Mr. Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within five miles of a school or park. This was a reasonable sounding scheme that would have had the effect of banning nearly every gun store in America. [source 8]
(7) In 1999, the Chicago Defender also reported that Mr. Obama favored mandatory firearm training for all gun owners and a ban on gun ownership for everyone under 21. [source 4]
(8) In 2000, Mr. Obama cosponsored a bill that limited firearm purchases to one per month. The bill failed. He also voted against allowing citizens to violate local weapon bans where self-defense was involved. [source A]
(9) In 2004, Mr. Obama voted for an Illinois Senate bill that allowed retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons. While this might seem to be at odds with every political stance he had taken on the issue, it was later revealed that at the time he was fighting his Republican opponent for the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. His support for the bill was almost certainly cynical political pandering rather than an indication of any appreciation for police officers or for the rights of gun owners. [source A]
(10) In a 2004 Illinois Senate debate with Alan Keyes, Mr. Obama said: “I think it is a scandal that this president [Bush] did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.” [source A]