http://fingolfen.blogspot.com/ Tuesday, April 1, 2008 Obama on the Second Amendment Democratic front-runner Barack Obama has not campaigned extensively on the 2nd Amendment. In fact, if you hit the Obama site, you won’t find any major area addressing the 2nd Amendment. You won’t find it under “Civil Rights” – nor will you find it under “Additional Issues”. Under “Additional Issues” you will find a section entitled “Sportsmen”, but there is nothing in the high-level summary addressing the 2nd Amendment. You have to open the PDF to find where Obama claims he stands on the 2nd Amendment. According to this PDF: “Respect the Second Amendment: Millions of hunters own and use guns each year. Millions more participate in a variety of shooting sports such as sporting clays, skeet, target and trap shooting that may not necessarily involve hunting. As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. 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. He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and commonsense regulation.” How many errors can you find in Obama’s position? First and foremost, the 2nd Amendment didn’t “create” a right – it “affirmed” it. The distinction is, as I have pointed out on this blog many times, very important. That which a government grants or created, a government can take away or destroy. The Framers believed strongly in an inalienable individual right to keep and bear arms – not purely for hunting, but for self protection and protection of the nation against tyranny. Second – the 2nd Amendment isn’t purely about hunting or “sporting” purposes. At its core it is about defense regardless of whether that defense is of the individual or the nation against tyranny or crime. Obama doesn’t seem to “get” that. He seems to support the 2nd Amendment so long as you don’t actually believe you’ll be able to protect yourself with a firearm. That is, quite frankly, a very skewed and unsupportable interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, especially from an individual claiming credentials as a professor of Constitutional law. Finally Obama supports “reasonable” and “commonsense” regulation of the 2nd Amendment. I’ve got news for the Senator – we already have that. Truly reasonable limits on fundamental rights generally must pass a simple litmus test – “do they infringe on another’s rights?” So while we have Freedom of Speech, we can’t slander another individual or yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. The same goes for the Second Amendment. We have the right to keep and bear arms, but we can’t threaten another with the weapon without cause. We are not free to murder or use the weapon in an unsafe manner. In Obama’s case, he seems to be using “reasonable” and “commonsense” in the anti-2nd Amendment camp’s usage of the terms. These terms arbitrarily ban classes of weapons, arbitrarily ban magazines over a certain capacity, and place onerous and arbitrary regulations on ammunition and firearms manufacturers. These sorts of limitations are neither “reasonable” or “commonsense”. They are, in fact, blatant attempts to systematically disarm the American public. I must therefore conclude that regardless of his credentials as a “former constitutional law professor”, Barack Obama is either ignorant of or hostile to the Second Amendment and is no true supporter of the inalienable right of Americans to keep and bear arms. Clinton indicated that the 1994 assault weapon ban was one of the key pieces of legislation that cost the Democrats Congress in the 1994 elections. Therefore given Obama’s clearly anti-2nd Amendment stance, he has wisely tried to hide it in the appendix of his campaign website. However, this author is not fooled, and if Obama is the Democratic nominee for President, hopefully the rest of America won’t be fooled either!