Under the Second Amendment, Barack Obama says, "There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation, just like most of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation." The leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thus seems to be on the same wavelength as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which in a decision last March said "the protections of the Second Amendment are subject to the same sort of reasonable restrictions that have been recognized as limiting, for instance, the First Amendment."There's a surprise...a Chicago-area pol who doesn't understand the Second Amendment.
But there is a crucial difference between these superficially similar formulations: The appeals court meant what it said, and Obama doesn't. Although the Illinois senator has learned to pay lip service to the Second Amendment, the details of his past and present positions on gun control suggest he neither understands nor respects the right to keep and bear arms.
It's not surprising that Obama sees nothing unconstitutional about this situation, since he does not acknowledge that the Second Amendment has anything to do with self-defense. "As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms," his website claims. "He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting" (emphasis added).
This is the only substantive discussion of the Second Amendment on Obama's website. It's part of a document that lists "Protecting Gun Rights" as a subcategory of "Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Sportsmen," which is like listing "Protecting Freedom of Speech" as a subcategory of "Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Auctioneers."
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Notes from the Obamarama
This from REASON Online: