During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, President Barack Obama told the American public that he has always been, and will continue to be, a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, but one major player isn’t biting: The National Rifle Association,
“This election has increased the relevance of Second Amendment rights,” Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, told The Daily Caller. “These rights are not just a tradition — they are part of the foundation of a free society.”
The NRA, which endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney last week, is adamant that Romney is the better advocate for Second Amendment rights. As a case in point, during the Tuesday debate, the Republican said that he is not in favor of new laws or regulations banning guns, while Obama came out in favor of new semi-automatic and handgun bans.
Cox and others at the NRA believe that the problem with gun bans is that they take guns out of law-abiding citizens who seek protection against criminal.
The organization released an ad on Tuesday called “Defeat Obama and Defend Freedom,” which asserts that Obama does not support gun owners or their rights, and points out that he’s nominated two Supreme Court justices who have spent decades voting against gun rights and self-defense rights.
Obama has an history of supporting gun control. In 2009, he called for the Senate to ratify the CIFTA treaty, which, if passed, would have allowed other countries to track U.S. firearms. After meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, he also pushed pushed to reinstate the U.S. ban on assault rifles.
In a 2008 primary interview, Obama was asked, “You said recently, ‘I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns.’ But you support the D.C. handgun ban, and you’ve said that it’s constitutional. How do you reconcile those two positions?”
“Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country,” Obama replied. “I think it’s important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of law-abiding citizens use it for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measure that I think respect the Second Amendment and people’s traditions.”
And in 1996, Obama filled out an Independent Voters of Illinois questionnaire he has recently distanced himself from, checking that he favors a ban on “the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns” and “assault weapons,” as well as “mandatory waiting periods and background checks.”
And it may impact the election: Obama, Cox told TheDC, won’t make it to a second term without the support of states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Wisconsin — all states where legal gun owners have voice.