Throughout the 2008 election cycle, Barack Obama espoused support for the Second Amendment. He said he agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case against the D.C. gun ban, professed that “there is an individual right to bear arms,” and appeared in campaign commercials shaking hands with hunters in the field down here in Texas. Yet he simultaneously espoused support for stricter gun control measures, because the truth is that he shares the Brady Center’s conviction that the Second Amendment “is not absolute.” This was evident to anyone who took the time to investigate Obama’s voting record. Even the fruit-loopers on democraticunderground.com worried that Obama’s “anti-gun stand” would undo him.
But Obama won. And now, as president, almost all the emphasis in his rhetoric seems to have shifted from professing individual rights to promoting “common sense gun laws” as the Trojan horse from which he and his minions plan to launch a crippling attack on the Second Amendment. This was evident during his inauguration, when he put the handshakes with hunters in Texas behind him and posted the following “urban policy” on his website:
Obama and Biden … favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.
Throughout the election campaign both the NRA and Gun Owners of America warned that Obama’s pro-gun talk was all a sham, but Obama laughed off their concerns. Then, the moment he was sworn into office he posted an urban policy that proved them right and proved that those of us who love liberty have a fight on our hands. Adding insult to injury, Obama followed this up by appointing Eric Holder and Rahm Emmanuel to his cabinet. Gun Owners of America strongly opposed Holder’s nomination, and Emmanuel shares Obama’s deep dislike of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
How will Obama use the “common sense gun laws” approach to undercut the Second Amendment? If the past is any indication, he will use tragedy to justify further regulation as he did in early 2008 in the wake of the deadly shootings on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Just days after those shootings, the president expressed support for California’s “common sense gun law” that requires all semi-automatic handguns to be manufactured with “micro-stamping” capability. This law, which goes into effect in California in 2010, mandates that every semi-automatic sold in the state be equipped with a special firing mechanism that makes a distinctive mark — a “fingerprint” — on every bullet casing fired.
Lest we fall prey to believing this really is “common sense,” consider the following: In order for this to work, every gun will have to be registered; otherwise, when law enforcement officials find “fingerprints” on bullet casings at a crime scene they’ll never know who owned the gun. Moreover, many gun-owning Californians have already assumed that guns made prior to the “micro-stamping” law will be outlawed in the state once the law goes into effect. This seems logical if the goal is to create a gun registry full of traceable “fingerprints” on bullet-casings.
Another way Obama can use the “common sense gun laws” approach to cripple the Second Amendment is to allow his understudies, like Holder, Emmanuel, or any other Democrat, to do his dirty work. This way, he can continue to claim support for the Constitution while simultaneously waging war against it via his surrogates. The president is actually using this approach as I type. On January 14, Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush introduced H.R. 45, known as the “Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.” Should this act pass, it “will make it illegal to possess … any firearm that takes an ammunition clip, without a [federal gun-owner’s] license.” According to WorldNetDaily.com’s Drew Zahn, H.R. 45 would also order Attorney General Holder, “to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer, and owner’s address in America.”
Have you noticed that Obama’s “common sense gun laws” all seem to end in the same way — with the registration of guns and gun owners, as well as an increased number of steps law-abiding citizens must go through to purchase a firearm? It’s just the same old gun-grabbing song and dance, which is why Zahn points out that, “H.R. 45 is a resurfacing of 2007’s H.R. 2666, which contained much of the same language and was co-sponsored by 15 other representatives and Barack Obama’s current chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel.”
As Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general in 1999, Holder described the outlawing of private gun sales as “common sense.” But we recognized the threat, cried foul, and persuaded Congress to ignore Holder’s pleas. Now that Holder, Obama, and Emmanuel are working in unison today, can we do any less?
There is nothing commonsensical about Obama’s “common sense gun laws” approach. At best, it is a smoke and mirrors ploy to make it harder to purchase firearms. At worst, it’s an outright ending of the Second Amendment agenda. We cannot afford to sit idly by to discover which is the case.