Obama campaign organizing against gun owners

Chris Cox Executive Director, NRA's Institute for Legislative Action
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If there is one thing America has learned over the course of Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s that where he falls short as a president, he excels as a politician. He is a master at using identity politics and class warfare to divide Americans and solidify his base of support. However, the Obama campaign’s latest attempt to spread fear and loathing among the masses falls flatter than his poll ratings.

Last week the president’s campaign launched AttackWatch.com, a website ostensibly aimed at countering anti-Obama “smears” with “facts.” In reality, the site is a thinly veiled attempt to spread misinformation and whip up anger against anyone who disagrees with Obama.

Visitors to the site are asked to submit a detailed report of any “attacks” on President Obama to his campaign. Obama supporters are also urged to give his campaign the private email addresses of anyone they know “who needs to know the facts” so the campaign can send those dissenters an email message.

This attempt by Obama to create an online enemies list must be another example of his incredible web savvy the media keeps telling us about — Obama’s 21st century rendition of President Nixon’s paranoia.

The site also includes Obama’s best effort to portray himself as a friend of gun owners, and declares at the top of its Second Amendment page, “President Obama believes in common sense gun control laws compatible with Second Amendment rights.”

As gun owners and freedom advocates know, whenever a serial anti-gunner like President Obama says he wants common sense gun control, you can be sure that gun-ban policies are around the corner. Former President Clinton used this same “common sense” rhetoric to help sell his gun ban in 1994.

Thank you for the offer, Mr. President, but the Second Amendment and our Bill of Rights already contain enough common sense and your editing isn’t needed here.

As for proof that Obama supports the Second Amendment, the site repeats his claims from the 2008 campaign, when he said: “There’s nothing I will do as president of the United States that will in any way encroach on the ability of sportsmen to continue that tradition.”

Apparently, our president still doesn’t understand that the primary function of the Second Amendment is to protect the fundamental and individual right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms in order to defend ourselves, our families, our property, our communities and our country. It is not to protect “sportsmen.”

It’s understandable that Obama would have to go back to his 2008 campaign to find anything that remotely resembles pro-gun rhetoric, because his more recent actions have put his antipathy for the Second Amendment on full display.

In addition to appointing two Supreme Court justices with clear records of contempt for our right to keep and bear arms, Obama has also stacked his administration with anti-gun zealots like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and far too many “czars” who are lifelong opponents of legal gun ownership.

You won’t find this on AttackWatch.com, but the Obama administration also launched an initiative to ban the importation of popular sporting and defense shotguns. You know … because he cares so much about sportsmen.

The site also displays a photo of former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, splashed in angry red to portray him as an enemy “attacker,” and claims he is spreading false rumors that Obama would use the coming U.N. Arms Trade Treaty to impose restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.

What Obama doesn’t tell you is that his administration changed the official U.S. position on the treaty from strong, unwavering opposition, to support for the treaty if passed by “consensus.” And in a 2010 speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, his under secretary for arms control told the audience: “We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding arms trade treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it. We have made that a fundamental policy commitment.”

NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action has been warning Americans about this U.N. gun control scheme for more than 15 years. We’ve monitored every treaty proposal to date, and there is no doubt that what is taking shape at the U.N. is an all-out attack on the constitutional freedom of American gun owners. An attack the Obama administration has made a “fundamental policy commitment.”

The reason President Obama is so anxious to create a smoke-and-mirrors pro-gun record is because he knows that gun owners are motivated voters with the power to shape an election. And in 2012, we’re going to make Obama stand on his actual record on gun rights — not let him hide behind a few sound bytes and half-truths on a web page.

If that lands us on the Obama campaign’s enemies list, then so be it. In fact, I hope they put us at the top.

Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and serves as the organization’s chief lobbyist.