Gun control target practice (Lambro)

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Gun control target practice (Lambro)

Postby Tom Phillips* » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:06 am

Gun control target practice
Donald Lambro
Thursday, September 18, 2008


Gun control has suddenly emerged as the toxic issue of the 2008 presidential campaign, endangering Barack Obama's appeal among Democratic blue-collar and labor union households.

The freshman Illinois senator has a long record of favoring gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C., and a raft of other gun control bills that are anathema to gun owners, hunters and sportsmen alike.

He insists now he supports Second Amendment gun rights to keep and bear arms that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld when it struck down the D.C. gun ban in June. But he refused to join 77 of his colleagues who signed a friend of the court brief to end the weapons ban and remains sympathetic to a broad range of gun ban statutes.

Yet the Obama campaign has been running ads in key states with large populations of gun owners and hunters, insisting he supports the right to own a gun. He cannot run away from his record.

The McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee and the nearly 4 million-member National Rifle Association are blanketing the country with ads, Web site videos and other broadsides detailing his record - especially in battleground states where gun controls are political poison.

NRA officials told me this week they are mounting the biggest anti-gun control offensive in their history to make sure every gun owner in the country knows that deep down Mr. Obama does not believe people should own guns.

"We are going to spend whatever our members send us," said NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox. "Obama assumes our members are either stupid or have short memories, or both. What he's going to find out is not only are they a loyal voting bloc, but a savvy voting bloc who don't become bitter by owning guns but become bitter when politicians lie to them or mock their lifestyle."

The gun rights voting bloc is a sizable force in American politics, with 90 million gun owners in the country that the NRA has become proficient in mobilizing in presidential elections. Their largest numbers are found in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and in the West in places like Montana, Nevada and Colorado - battleground red states that Obama Democrats hope to carry this time.

President Clinton believes to this day that Al Gore's pro-gun control record cost him three to six states and the 2000 election. Voter exit polls at that time found about 48 percent of voters owned guns, up from 37 percent in 1996. George Bush won 61 percent of their vote.

It became such a deadly issue during that period that Democrats largely abandoned any mention of gun control laws in their campaigns or began running as gun rights Democrats - like former Gov. Mark Warner and Sen. James Webb in Virginia and Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.

Montana illustrates the Democrats' growing gun problems. The Obama high command targeted it early this year because it has been rapidly trending Democratic in recent years. Obama has visited the state five times in this campaign and has a large, full-time ground organization working there.

But earlier this year Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer bluntly told the New York Times that Mr. Obama could not carry his state because of his gun control record. "In Montana, we like our guns. We like big guns. We like little guns. We like shotguns. We like pistols. Most of us own two or three guns. Gun control is hitting what you shoot at," the feisty rancher told the Times. When asked why he thought the Democratic nominee could not win the state, he replied, "Guns."

Polls bear him out. A recent Rasmussen survey of Montana voters now shows Mr. Obama trailing John McCain by 53 percent to 42 percent. Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg, who heads the New Democrat Network, released new polls last week finding Montana "seems to be drifting back into the GOP camp."

Gun-owner doubts about Mr. Obama is to a large extent why he is running behind or is in a dead heat in states where a Democrat should be doing well this year - like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Nevada.

In heavily Democratic Michigan, for example, the economy is by far the No. 1 issue, but pollsters say gun control fears are one of the reasons the race is in a dead heat in the strong union state.

"The state has one of the highest gun-ownership rates in the country and in a downbeat economy where Obama should be doing well, he is underperforming among union members and other folks with hunting backgrounds," said Michigan pollster Bernie Porn, president of EPIC/MRA.

Notably, Mr. Porn finds Mr. Obama "has slipped among the state's labor union members by 10 points. His support was at 61 percent in July but dropped to 51 percent in August."

Republican campaign broadsides portray Mr. Obama as "the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history" a message that now threatens to hurt him among his own party's base.

Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.
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Postby DUCKCUTR » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:03 pm


Link for sources: ... obama.html

NRA Targets Obama
September 22, 2008
It falsely claims in mailers and TV ads that Obama plans to ban handguns, hunting ammo and use of a gun for home defense.
A National Rifle Association advertising campaign distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.

The NRA is circulating printed material and running TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.

Much of what the NRA passes off as Obama's "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment" is actually contrary to what he has said throughout his campaign: that he "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms" and "will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns."

The NRA, however, simply dismisses Obama's stated position as "rhetoric" and substitutes its own interpretation of his record as a secret "plan." Said an NRA spokesman: "We believe our facts."

Perhaps so, but believing something doesn't make it so. And we find the NRA has cherry-picked, twisted and misrepresented Obama's record to come up with a bogus "plan."

The NRA announced it will spend $40 million during this year's elections, including $15 million to portray Sen. Barack Obama as a threat to gun rights. The NRA has been circulating fliers and mailers that claim to be "Barack Obama's 10-Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment." And on Sept. 22 reports surfaced that the NRA had launched TV ads in several key states, also attacking Obama. They are false portrayals.

The flier looks almost as though it comes from the Obama campaign. It uses the same color and font scheme as well as the campaign's sunrise logo. And on some points it is right; Obama has called for national legislation against carrying concealed firearms, and he would revive and make permanent the expired ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons," for example. On other points it exaggerates. Obama has spoken in favor of government registration of handguns, for example, but has not called for registration of all "firearms" including hunting rifles and shotguns. But the TV spots and fliers also make claims that are directly contrary to what Obama actually says about guns.

What Obama Says

Obama lays out his basic stance on guns in a "Sportsmen" fact sheet and also in an "Urban Policy" paper on reducing gun violence. The NRA's claims find little support here.

Regarding a Constitutional right to guns, Obama says:

Obama, "Sportsmen": Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he 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.

On the issue of urban policy, Obama says he favors "commonsense measures" to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children, and that he would bring back the expired "assault weapon" ban and make it permanent:

Obama, "Urban Policy": Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. 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, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

What the NRA Claims

Despite what Obama says, the NRA's material claims that he plans to take such extreme measures as to "ban use of firearms for home self defense" and "ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns." Where does the NRA come up with these? We contacted Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's director of public affairs. He declined to speak to us except to say that the claims are based on Obama's voting record and statements he has made in the media. "We're comfortable with what we put on there," Arulanandam said. "We believe our facts."

The NRA's lobbying arm, the NRA Institute for Legal Action, lists several such "facts" about Obama, including the 10 claims listed on the flier. The NRA-ILA brushes aside Obama's stated position. "Don't Believe Obama," it says. "Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career."

Very well. Let's do that. What we find is that the NRA is often offering its own spin as Obama's "plan."

NRA Claim: "Ban use of Firearms for Home Self-Defense"

NRA Ad: "Veteran"

Kurt Rusch: Like all the guys I fought with in Iraq, I was honored to defend our country and our freedom. But when I got back stateside, I learned that Barack Obama opposes my right to own a handgun for self -defense. It's ridiculous.

Out there in the desert, defeat was not an option. Sure, combat was hell, but on the frontline, I knew I served a real purpose. Defeating terrorism. Protecting our way of life. That's what it's all about. There's no way I'm voting for a president who will take that away.

The freedoms that I fought for and my friends died to defend. I served my country on the battlefield to protect our freedom. There's no way I'm voting for a president who will take them away.

Announcer: On November 4, defend freedom, defeat Obama. Get the facts at False: Obama is proposing no such ban.

This falsehood from the "10 point plan" flier is repeated in a TV spot in which a man identified as Kurt Rusch, an Iraq war veteran says, "Obama opposes my right to own a gun for self-defense."

The NRA bases this overheated claim on a vote Obama cast on March 24, 2004, in the Illinois state Senate. He was one of 20 who opposed SB 2165. That bill, which passed 38 - 20 and became law, did not make it a crime to use firearms for self-defense, however. Rather, it created a loophole for persons caught violating local gun registration laws.

It states that in any Illinois municipality where gun registration is required it shall be an "affirmative defense" if the person accused of violating the registration requirement can show that the weapon was used "in an act of self-defense or defense of another ... when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed place of business."

Letting the owner of an unregistered firearm escape the penalty for failing to register is one thing, but it's another thing entirely to make it a crime to use any firearm – registered or not – in self-defense.
The bill came about after Hale DeMar, of Wilmette, Ill., shot a burglar who had invaded his home. At the time, Wilmette had an ordinance that prohibited owning handguns.

NRA Claim: "Ban Rifle Ammunition Commonly Used for Hunting and Sport Shooting"

False: Obama is not proposing to ban hunting ammunition. And he did not, as claimed in an NRA TV spot featuring a Virginia hunter named Karl Rusch, vote to "ban virtually all deer hunting ammunition." What Obama voted for was a measure to ban "armor-piercing" ammunition, which the measure's sponsor has said repeatedly would not cover hunting ammunition.

This claim is based on Obama's vote on S. 397 in the U.S. Senate. Obama was one of 31 senators who voted in favor of S. Amdt. 1615 to S. 397 which sought to "expand the definition of armor piercing ammunition."

NRA Ad: "Hunter"

Karl Rusch: I gotta tell you, with the high cost of gas and just about everything else, we're all feeling pinched. And now I learn that Barack Obama supports a huge new tax on my guns and ammo. And he voted to ban virtually all deer hunting ammunition. Where is this guy from? He's probably never been hunting a day in his life.

But it's not just new taxes that Barack Obama wants. If you can believe it, he also supports a ban on the shotguns and rifles that most of us use for hunting. No politician is going to take away my guns and ammo.

You don't have to be bitter to know that Barack Obama isn't the kind of change we need.

Announcer: On November 4th, defend freedom, defeat Obama. Get the facts at
The amendment applied only to handgun ammunition "capable of penetrating body armor" and to rifle ammunition that is "designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability," however.

It's true that common high-powered rifle bullets are capable of penetrating the vests worn by police, which are a defense chiefly against lower-velocity handgun rounds. But does that mean hunting ammunition is "designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability"? That's the NRA's argument, and it was repeated on the floor of the Senate by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He said flatly that the measure "would ban nearly all hunting rifle ammunition," without any elaboration. However, the measure's sponsor, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, said his amendment was not intended to cover hunting ammunition:

Sen. Kennedy (July 29, 2005): This is not about hunting. We know duck and geese and deer do not wear armor vests; police officers do.

Kennedy's measure failed by a vote of 64 - 31.

By the way, the NRA has used this ploy before. It ran ads in 2004 claiming Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had voted "to ban deer-hunting ammunition" when he had actually voted on an earlier occasion for this same Kennedy amendment on armor-piercing rounds. Kennedy said then:

Sen. Kennedy (March 2, 2004): My amendment will not apply to ammunition that is now routinely used in hunting rifles or other centerfire rifles. To the contrary, it only covers ammunition that is designed or marketed as having armor-piercing capability.

NRA Claim: "Ban the Manufacture, Sale and Possession of Handguns"

False: Obama says he does not support any such handgun ban and never has. He supports "reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns" (not manufacture) and has said a ban is not "politically practicable."

The NRA bases its claim on a disputed 1996 questionnaire that Obama's Illinois state Senate campaign filled out for the nonprofit voting group, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization. On it, somebody filled in the word "yes" in response to the question, "Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?" But the Obama campaign said that the survey was actually filled out by his then-campaign manager who "unintentionally mischaracterized his position," adding that Obama never saw the survey.

As we wrote previously, an amended version of the questionnaire was later submitted to the group, with Obama's handwritten notes on it providing more detail on some of the answers. Obama clearly saw and handled this version personally and did not alter the question about banning the sale and manufacturing of guns. Nevertheless, his aides maintain that the gun-ban answer was a mistake and didn't reflect Obama's true position.

Whatever his position may have been in 1996, in 2003 he submitted another survey form to the same group avoiding a yes-or-no answer to the gun ban question and stating a position similar to his current stance. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama's answer read:

Obama, 2003: While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety. In the Illinois Senate last year, I supported a package of bills to limit individual Illinoisans to purchasing one handgun a month; require all promoters and sellers at firearms shows to carry a state license; allow civil liability for death or injuries caused by handguns; and require FOID applicants to apply in person. I would support similar efforts at the federal level, including retaining the Brady Law."

In February 2008, the Associated Press reported that Obama said, "[T]here are people who say, 'Well, he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment,' even though I come from a state – we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns." Even more recently, on April 16 at a Democratic debate in Philadelphia, Obama said,"I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns."

NRA Claim: "Mandate a Government-Issued License to Purchase a Firearm"

Misleading: Obama indeed has spoken in favor of licensing handguns, but so far as we can determine he hasn't called for registration of hunting weapons. And he's said a national gun registration law isn't politically possible: "I just don't think we can get that done."

Obama's Web site quotes what he said in a 2001 Chicago Defender article: "I know that the NRA believes people should be unimpeded and unregulated on gun ownership. I disagree. I do not object to the lawful use and ownership of firearms, but I do think it is entirely it appropriate for the state to monitor it. ... Too many of these guns end up in the hands of criminals even though they were originally purchased by people who did not have a felony. I'll continue to be in favor of handgun law registration requirements and licensing requirements for training."

During a Democratic debate in January, Obama said he didn't think such a national law was possible, and called instead for "common-sense enforcement" to trace guns used in crimes.

NBC's Tim Russert, Jan. 15: Senator Obama, when you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners.

Would you do that as president?

Obama: I don’t think that we can get that done. But what I do think we can do is to provide just some common-sense enforcement. One good example -- this is consistently blocked -- the efforts by law enforcement to obtain the information required to trace back guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers. That’s not something that the NRA has allowed to get through Congress. And, as president, I intend to make it happen.

But here’s the broader context that I think is important for us to remember. We essentially have two realities, when it comes to guns, in this country. You’ve got the tradition of lawful gun ownership, that all of us saw, as we travel around rural parts of the country.

And it is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot.

And then you’ve got the reality of 34 Chicago public school students who get shot down on the streets of Chicago.

We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets.
The NRA's flier isn't entirely false. It states Obama's positions on concealed weapons and on semi-automatic "assault weapons" reasonably accurately.

NRA Claim: "Pass Federal Laws Eliminating Your Right-to-Carry"

True: In 2004, while running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat he now holds, Obama indeed called for "national legislation" to prevent anyone but law enforcers from carrying concealed firearms. The Chicago Tribune, which queried the candidates on several issues, reported:

Chicago Tribune (Feb. 20 2004): Obama ... backed federal legislation that would ban citizens from carrying weapons, except for law enforcement. He cited Texas as an example of a place where a law allowing people to carry weapons has "malfunctioned" because hundreds of people granted licenses had prior convictions.

"National legislation will prevent other states' flawed concealed-weapons laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents," Obama said.

More recently, Obama was quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an article on April 2, 2008, saying "I am not in favor of concealed weapons. ... I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."

NRA Claim: "Expand the Clinton Semi-Auto Weapons Ban to Include Millions More Firearms"

Partly true: The NRA refers here to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was put in place during former President Bill Clinton's administration. Title XI of the legislation spoke directly to regulations on assault weapons. The law outlawed the semi-automatic versions of 19 kinds of military-style assault weapons, but it expired in 2004. The "assault weapon ban" was always a misnomer, however. Fully automatic assault weapons – the sort carried on battlefields – had always been illegal to own without a very hard-to-obtain federal license, under legislation going back to the days of Al Capone. They remain so today.

Nevertheless, Obama called the ban a "common sense gun law" and favors bringing it back on a permanent basis. Obama's "Urban Policy" fact sheet says he "supports making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets."

As recently as Aug. 28, when accepting his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said, "The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals."

Obama's policy statement doesn't mention any expansion of the expired ban, however. We're not sure where the NRA gets its claim that "millions" of additional weapons would be covered.

NRA Claim: "Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment"

Unsupported: The NRA's fact sheet points out that Obama has voted against the two newest members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama voted against the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005 and Justice Samuel Alito in 2006. They happen to be two of the five justices that voted in favor of the Court's decision to overturn the District of Columbia's longstanding handgun ban this year. The New York Times has reported that Obama "favored Democratic filibusters to block many Republican nominees deemed too conservative." But the NRA can point to no statement by Obama calling for a Second-Amendment test for his judicial appointees, and we could find none.

What Obama has actually said about selecting judges is that "[w]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

In any case, Obama says he believes the Second Amendment "creates an individual right" to bear arms. That's at odds with some strong gun-control advocates who had argued that the Second Amendment limited the right to bear arms to a "well-regulated militia." The Supreme Court rejected that view in its June ruling overturning the D.C. gun ban. But Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Chief Justice John Roberts joined that opinion. To the dismay of gun-control advocates, Obama did not criticize the ruling. Instead, he said it "will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

NRA Claim: "Increase Federal Taxes on Guns and Ammunition by 500 Percent"

Uncertain: This claim is based on an article that appeared in the Chicago Defender on Dec. 13, 1999, when Obama was in the Illinois state Senate. According to the Defender, at an anti-gun rally, Obama "outlined his anti-gun plan," which, among other things, sought to "increase the federal taxes by 500 percent on the sale of firearm, ammunition [sic] -- weapons he says are most commonly used in firearm deaths." As a U.S. senator, however, Obama has not pushed for any such tax on ammunition.

We asked the Obama campaign about his position on an ammunition tax but have received no response.

NRA Claim: "Close Down 90 Percent of Gun Shops in America"

Uncertain: This claim also is based on the1999 Defender article. It reported Obama was pushing "all federally licensed gun dealers sell firearms in a storefront and not from their homes while banning their business from being within five miles of a school or a park." The NRA states that the 5-mile limit would have resulted in the closing of 90 percent of gun shops in the country. But as a U.S. senator Obama hasn't pushed for a 5-mile limit and isn't proposing one as part of his presidential campaign.

We asked the Obama campaign about his current position on imposing a five-mile limit on gun shops but have received no response.

NRA Claim: "Restore Voting Rights for Five Million Criminals Including Those Who Have been Convicted of Using a Gun to Commit a Violent Crime"

Mostly true: We could find no NRA citation to back up this statement. We note, however, that Obama was a cosponsor of the Count Every Vote Act of 2007. The section of the legislation, "Sec. 701. Voting Rights of Individuals Convicted of Criminal Offenses," states that the purpose of Title VII of the legislation was "to restore fairness in the Federal election process by ensuring that ex-offenders who have fully served their sentences are not denied the right to vote." There has been no action on the bill since March 2007 when it was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

Currently, the Sentencing Project estimates that 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of state laws denying the right to people with felony convictions. It further estimates that this bars 13 percent of African-American men from voting. Most of those ex-offenders were not, however, convicted of gun violence. "There is absolutely no way of getting to that," said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project. "All we can say is that the majority of felony charges are not for violent crimes and guns."

Obama "The Most Anti-Gun President"?

In another mailer making similar claims about Obama, the NRA says, "Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history," which is a pretty tall statement. We don't know how George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson might have felt about armor-piercing ammunition or assault weapons. We can, however, quote what Obama has said about the Constitutional right to bear arms most recently, after the Supreme Court swept away the D.C. handgun ban. He issued a statement calling for striking a balance between gun rights and public safety:

Obama (June 26): I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.

As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Today’s decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

Will He or Won't He?

At a campaign stop in Duryea, Pa., in early September, Obama again attempted to reassure gun owners that he doesn't intend to take away their guns, and couldn't even if he wanted to:

Obama (Sept. 5): The bottom line is this. If you’ve got a rifle, you’ve got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away. Alright? So they can keep on talking about it but this is just not true. And by the way, here’s another thing you’ve got to understand. Even if I wanted to take it away, I couldn’t get it done. I don’t have the votes in Congress.

– by D'Angelo Gore and Brooks Jackson

Chase, John. "Keyes, Obama are far apart on guns; Views on assault weapons at odds." Chicago Tribune, 15 Sept. 2004.

Wereschagin, Mike and David M. Brown. "Candidates' gun control positions may figure in Pa. vote." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2 April 2008.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session, Vote No. 217 S. Amdt. 1615 to S. 397

Illinois 93rd General Assembly. Senate Bill No. 2165, 25 March 2004.

Tozzi, Lisa. "Candidates React to Supreme Court’s Gun Ruling." The Caucus Blog, New York Times, 26 June 2008.

Obama-Biden Campaign. Urban Policy., accessed 16 Sept. 2008.

AND TRADITIONS OF SPORTSMEN., accessed 16 Sept. 2008.

Dann, Carrie. OBAMA ON JUDGES, SUPREME COURT. MSNBC First Read, 17 July 2007.

Moore, Solomon. "Former felons can often vote, but may not be aware of it." New York Times, 14 Sept. 2008.

Mendell, David. "Democratic hopefuls vary a bit on death penalty." Chicago Tribune, 20 Feb. 2008.

S. 804: Count Every Vote Act of 2007. Introduced March 7, 2007.

Pickle, Nedra. "Obama mentions God and guns in Idaho." Associated Press, 2 Feb. 2008.

Black, Lisa and M. Daniel Gibbard. "Wilmette man shoots intruder in his home." Chicago Tribune, 31 Dec. 2003.

Copyright © 2003 - 2008, Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania's staff, not the Annenberg Center, is responsible for this material.
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Postby DUCKCUTR » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:06 pm

Fox News Critique on's article:

Link for sources:,2933,427347,00.html

Analysis: Fact-Checkers Fall Short in Criticizing NRA's Anti-Obama Ads
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

By John R. Lott, Jr.

E-Mail Print Share:

Guns have become an important issue for Barack Obama’s campaign. Starting around the Pennsylvania primary, Obama and his campaign surrogates began strenuously assuring gun owners that he supports gun ownership, and it appears to be paying off. A poll in August showed that John McCain led Obama among hunters by only 14 percentage points, just about half the 27-point lead that President Bush held over John Kerry in 2004. If McCain had a similar lead, he would be ahead in most polls, particularly in many battleground states.

This past weekend, Joe Biden, campaigning in southwest Virginia, called any notion that Obama wanted to take away people’s guns “malarkey.” Montana's Democratic governor, Brian Schweitzer, previously told reporters that Obama "Ain't ever going to take your gun away." Obama regularly makes similar statements -- at least about rifles and shotguns.

Yet, the NRA, which has given the voting records of both Obama and Biden an “F” rating, has a quite different view, and has started a $15 million ad campaign to warn people about what it regards as Obama’s and Biden’s records. One mailer from the NRA says, "Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history."

RelatedColumn Archive
Analysis: Fact-Checkers Fall Short in Criticizing NRA's Anti-Obama AdsPlausible deniability?Analysis: Reckless Mortgages Brought Financial Market to Its KneesMedia One-Sided in Covering PalinIn Defense of Price GougersFull-page John Lott Jr. Archive

Obama's Tax Proposals Make a Complex System Worse John R. Lott Jr.: D.C. Handgun Ban Giuliani Bobs and Weaves on Gun Control Record A 'Tip' for Hillary: Admit Your Mistakes Media Coverage of Mall Shooting Fails to Reveal Mall's Gun-Free-Zone Status Critical news stories have been run on the NRA’s ads in the Washington Post,, CNN, and many other places. ABC’s Jake Tapper and CBS’s Brian Montopoli posted stories that merely stated what the NRA ads said.

The Washington Post describes its own Fact Checker report as giving the NRA “spot three out of four Pinocchios for its claims that Obama would take away guns and ammunition used by hunters.”

The Dallas Morning News describes as saying that “NRA ads and mailers that say Obama wants to ban handguns, hunting ammo and use of a gun for home defense are false.”

CNN labeled the ads as “Misleading” and claimed that “While Obama has supported some measures to limit gun rights, he has backed nothing on the scale suggested in the ad.”

Brooks Jackson, who authored the piece with D'Angelo Gore, was extremely upset about the NRA ads. Jackson told FOX News: “They are lying. This is what they do. This is how they make their money. Do these people have no shame? They are just making this up. I just wish that they would tell the truth.” He said that their ads were “one of the worst examples of lying” that he had “ever seen.”

But what are the facts? Were the NRA ads this bad? How accurate are the fact checkers?, which is regularly relied on by FOX News, had the longest critical discussion of the ads. Here is a review of their most critical comments.

"Ban the Manufacture, Sale and Possession of Handguns" -- writes that this is “false,” because of a 2003 statement from Obama that “a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable.” They discount an earlier 1996 candidate survey where Obama says that he supports such a ban primarily because it was older than the 2003 statement. While they don’t mention another statement from 1998 where Obama supported a ban on the sale of all semi-automatic guns (a ban that would encompass the vast majority of guns sold in the U.S.), they presumably also discounted that for the same reason.

But Obama has come out for handgun bans as recently as this past February. ABC News’ local Washington, D.C., anchor, Leon Harris, asked Obama: "One other issue that's of great importance here in the district as well is gun control ... but you support the D.C. handgun ban." Obama's simple response: "Right." When Harris said "And you've said that it's constitutional," Obama again says "right" and is clearly seen on tape nodding his head "yes."

A statement to the Chicago Tribune by Obama’s campaign the previous November stated that, "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional." It doesn’t help that the Democratic Party National Platform this year supports the Chicago gun ban.

Obama also served on the board of the Joyce Foundation, probably the largest private funder of anti-gun and pro-ban groups and research in the country. In total, the foundation gave $18.6 million to approximately 80 anti-gun efforts while he was on the board. For example, $1.5 million went to the Violence Policy Center, which puts out such claims as “Why America Needs to Ban Handguns.” During Obama’s time with the foundation, not a single donation was made to any group that supported individuals’ rights to own guns.

But there is much more evidence that Obama supported handgun bans. As will be discussed below, there is legislation he supported in the Illinois state senate that would have banned over 90 percent of gun stores in the country and eliminated gun stores in most states.

Brooks Jackson told FOX News that “I believe that [Obama] supported striking down the D.C. gun ban. That is what he said that he believed.” In addition, he said that the ad was “clearly discussing a national ban, not local bans. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. It is just an amazing lie.”

Regarding Obama’s work with the Joyce Foundation, Jackson said, “You are an academic? You are asking about the Joyce Foundation? What does that have to do with anything? You would have failed the freshman college logic test.”

"Barack Obama opposes my right to own a handgun for self-defense" -- rewrites this slightly to read: "Ban use of Firearms for Home Self-Defense" and labels this statement as “false.” Their evaluation of this claim focuses solely on a 2004 vote Obama made in the Illinois state senate. An Associated Press article described the vote this way: "He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation." claims that the vote was merely over creating a “loophole” for letting people violate local gun ban ordinances. Yet, it is hard to look at this vote and the facts in the previous section and not see a pattern that Obama favors rules that ban handguns. He voted against any rules that would weaken the Chicago handgun ban, and if you support a handgun ban, it would seem obvious that you oppose those same people using handguns for self-defense.

"Ban Rifle Ammunition Commonly Used for Hunting and Sport Shooting" -- acknowledges that Obama voted for a bill that would “expand the definition of armor piercing ammunition,” but labels this statement as “false.” Their evidence is a statement by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Kennedy, that the bill “is not about hunting.”

But here is the problem with Kennedy’s claim. The bill banned ammunition that “may be used in a handgun” and can penetrate the “minimum,” type 1, level of body armor, which only protects against the lowest-powered handgun cartridges. Any center-fire rifle, including those used for hunting or target practice, can penetrate this “minimum” armor. There are handguns that can fire these rifle rounds, so the bill’s language of banning ammunition that “may be used in a handgun” would be met.

In addition, ignores other information. Obama said in a 2003 questionnaire that he “support[ed] banning the sale of ammunition for assault weapons.” The rifles banned under the so-called assault weapons ban used such standard ammunition as .223 and .308 caliber bullets, the same ammunition used commonly in hunting rifles.

When asked about these arguments, Jackson told FOX News, “Have you looked at the legislation? You have to look at the legislative history. This is just an amazing lie put out by them.”

"Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment" -- claims that this statement is “unsupported” because Obama hasn’t explicitly stated that he would appoint judges using such a litmus test. Indeed, I can find no record of Obama ever being asked if he would use the Second Amendment as a litmus test, but Obama has been very clear about what types of Justices he would and would not appoint to the Supreme Court.

Obama has said that he “profoundly disagree[s] with [Clarence Thomas’] interpretation of a lot of the Constitution." He has also been critical of Antonin Scalia, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Together these four justices provided four of the five votes to strike down the D.C. gun ban, with Scalia writing the majority opinion.

On the other side, Obama has pointed to Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, and Stephen Breyer as models for the type of people he would appoint to the court. Those justices provided three of the four votes that argued that there was no individual right to own a gun, and Breyer wrote one of the dissenting opinions.

When asked about whether Obama’s statements about what judges he would appoint could explain the NRA’s concerns, Jackson said that it “doesn’t inform [Jackson’s] view. . . . He hasn’t said that he would appoint people who didn’t believe in the Second Amendment.”

"Mandate a Government-Issued License to Purchase a Firearm" -- takes Obama’s statement when asked about licensing and registration of gun owners that, "I just don't think we can get that done,” as evidence that the NRA’s claim is "misleading." concedes that Obama has clearly supported licensing handguns, but argues that there is no evidence that Obama supported licensing for rifles and shotguns. Yet, it fails to mention the Illinois Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) Card that serves as a license that Illinois residents must have to buy any type of firearm.

While a state senator, Obama clearly supported the licensing system. He voted to make it illegal for anyone to possess a firearm without a FOID card even when they were in direct supervision of someone with the card, and he voted against lowering the age for people to be eligible for a FOID card from 21 to 18. To Obama, these votes clearly indicate that the FOID card was a license to use the gun just as much as one needs a driver’s license to drive on public roads.

"Increase Federal Taxes on Guns and Ammunition by 500 Percent" and "Close Down 90 Percent of Gun Shops in America" are classified as “uncertain” because even though Obama has indeed supported these policies in the past, was unable to get the Obama campaign to state what his current position was on these issues. Yet, it is hard to see how could even raise questions about the NRA ads on these points since Obama clearly held these positions in the past and has never said that he has changed his mind on them. The very fact that the Obama campaign would not issue any statement disowning these previous positions would seem to imply that Obama still supported them.

"Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history." -- ends its analysis by questioning whether this “pretty tall statement” is justified and ends with a quote that Obama says that he has “always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms.” Yet, this is the same candidate who months earlier supported a ban on guns as constitutional and who refused join the other 55 Senators who signed the friend of the court brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the D.C. gun ban. While previous candidates, such as Al Gore, have supported licensing and registration, no presidential nominee for a major party has ever supported such widespread bans on guns and ammunition.

Jackson said that “Obama agrees with the NRA on this issue (that the Second Amendment is an individual right). They should just accept it rather than lying about it.” He noted that “Obama had to accept all sorts of abuse for coming out and saying this. It was the brave thing for him to do. He had to endure all sorts of abuse – claims of going back and forth on the issue, that he was vague on the issue.”

Obama campaign representative Bill Burton told FOX News that "These ads are just complete crap." When Megyn Kelly asked "Has [Obama] ever supported a ban on handguns? . . . And he never has?" Burton said flatly "no." He added that "All the points in these ads are just flatly false."

The Washington Post analysis only discusses two issues: the Kennedy ammunition ban and the 500 percent ammunition tax. On the Kennedy bill, the Post makes the same mistake as Regarding the tax, the Post doesn’t deny that Obama held that position, but points out that the legislation Obama supported was in 1999 and that it is not clear what guns would have their ammunition taxed. CNN’s discussion appears unwilling to admit that Obama has supported large-scale bans on gun ownership.


John Lott is the author of Freedomnomics and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland.
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Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:11 pm

Of course it's contrary to what "he said in the campaign" because he is not telling his true opinion. He is not stupid enough to stick with his past positions. So I guess he has seen the light and saw the folly of his past ways :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

He will sign any gun control bill that comes across his desk. You can count on that.

He will appoint Supreme court justices that believe the 2nd Amendment is meaningless and can be stricten from the Constitution without any practical effect. You can also count on that.

Was he telling lies while he was in Illinois or now? There's only one safe conclusion.
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Postby Tom Phillips* » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:25 pm

DUCKCUTR wrote:From

"Factcheck" isn't.
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Postby Tom Phillips* » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:29 pm

Executive summary:

DUCKCUTR wrote:"Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history."
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Postby pennsyltucky » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:02 pm

here's a tip..... post a link, and summarize.... :rolleyes:
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Postby MM » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:13 pm

pennsyltucky wrote:here's a tip..... post a link, and summarize.... :rolleyes:

Thanks... That is giving he a head ache...
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Postby pennsyltucky » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:18 pm

heres a pretty reasonable retort: ... MyNDcxNDA=

you cant say all these nasty things about sarah palin on one hand, then try to take the high road about how "obama says he wont take your guns, so he surely wont" and how the terrible right is just smearing obama... :rolleyes:
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Postby DUCKCUTR » Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:49 pm

pennsyltucky wrote:here's a tip..... post a link, and summarize.... :rolleyes:

Just putting the information out there. I pasted the article in case someone's system couldn't pull up the link/ dial-up.

I posted both articles becuase you can't appreciate the FoxNews article until you have read the other piece.
Last edited by DUCKCUTR on Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby DUCKCUTR » Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:52 pm

Tom Phillips* wrote:
DUCKCUTR wrote:From

"Factcheck" isn't.

I'll have to admit you're right on this article...I was disappointed for someone who guarantees their work to be accurate and non-partisan.
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Postby Tom Phillips* » Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:17 pm

Tom Phillips* wrote:
DUCKCUTR wrote:From

"Factcheck" isn't.

I'll have to admit you're right on this article...I was disappointed for someone who guarantees their work to be accurate and non-partisan.


I am very impressed with you. Very few people would come back with an agreement on something opposed to their original point. Or to put it more simply, to stand corrected.

You are an exceptional person. :thumbsup:

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Postby DUCKCUTR » Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:34 pm

Tom Phillips* wrote:
Tom Phillips* wrote:
DUCKCUTR wrote:From

"Factcheck" isn't.

I'll have to admit you're right on this article...I was disappointed for someone who guarantees their work to be accurate and non-partisan.


I am very impressed with you. Very few people would come back with an agreement on something opposed to their original point. Or to put it more simply, to stand corrected.

You are an exceptional person. :thumbsup:

Tom Phillips*

I'm guessing that you thought I was "responding" to your original post. I was simply posing more information on the same topic rather than starting a new thread. Like I said, the factcheck piece was simply for the reader to understand the Fox article, not a disprover of the original post. Factcheck has wrote some good articles, but this was one of them.
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Postby callumcuffumkillum » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:06 pm

Obama sucks :thumbsdown:
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Postby dudejcb » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:41 pm

callumcuffumkillum wrote:Obama sucks :thumbsdown:

after reading your insightful comment I became curious and looked at your profile. No name. no profession. not much of any info. A lack of personal information, or the fear of providing any, and then considering your chosen tag-name leads one to wonder...

Are you okay? I have a friend who's friend has a friend, who can get lithium pills. interested?
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