The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

Barack Obama

For Obama, It's Wait and See on Gun Ban Question

By Shailagh Murray
PITTSBURGH -- Sen. Barack Obama sided with Supreme Court conservatives yesterday in supporting the death penalty for child rapists.

Will he take the middle road again today when the Court rules on the D.C. gun ban?

Asked about the ban yesterday in Chicago, Obama -- who over the years has advocated some gun restrictions -- was careful to balance ownership rights with public safety.

"What I've said is that I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. But I do not think that that precludes local governments being able to provide some common sense gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of gang bangers or children, that local jurisdictions are going to have different sets of problems, and that this is a very fact intensive decision that has to be made," Obama said.

"But I do think that the Second Amendment is an individual right," he continued. "So what I'd like to do is wait and see how the Supreme Court comes down and evaluate the actual reasoning in the case, to see how broad or narrow the decision's going to be. "

Posted at 9:48 AM ET on Jun 26, 2008  | Category:  Barack Obama
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Obama Campaign Manager Argues Electability | Next: Candidates React: D.C. Gun Ban Struck Down


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Wow. This wasn't a NO or YES - this is a PRESENT. Hillary was right, when it comes to difficult decisions, the president can't take a wait-and-see approach. What an awful candidate - and we're just getting started.

Posted by: jose | June 26, 2008 1:25 PM

The ruling on the personal right to own handguns affirms the framers intent to allow a variety of remedies guaranteed by firearms ownership.

The fact is that handguns and firearms are not the problem, societal issues are. Until the "culture of violence" is changed, all the handgun bans, community marches and protests, and wishful thinking will change nothing. Murder is murder, regardless of the weapon of choice. The cold hard fact is that the only people complying with handgun bans are the victims of gun violence....the criminals are criminals because they break laws, including bans on concealed carry, background check laws, burglary, and laws like the Chicago handgun ban.

The Chicago handgun ban has been in place for many years and has had an inverse effect on gun violence in that it creates weaker victims.

The playing field for criminals will soon be leveled, and when a 70 year old woman can bring a gun to bear in her defense, perhaps the mindless and amoral criminals will think twice.

Posted by: Jeffery J. Miller | June 26, 2008 12:55 PM

"I'll wait and see.....that way, I'll know what to think and what to say."

Posted by: Alan W. | June 26, 2008 12:51 PM

John:

The question isn't over what "infringe" means, it's what the first part of the sentence means: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." Does that mean that the right to bears arms only applies in the context of militias, or is it broader than that?

That's a point over which reasonable people can disagree. I'm not saying one side is right and one is wrong, but I hate when people act like it's 100% common sense that the 2nd Amendment applies to all arms broadly. It's just not that obvious to anyone who doesn't disregard the first part of the sentence.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | June 26, 2008 12:29 PM

What Sen Obama thinks IS important to the extent that he, if elected, can appoint Judges to the US Supreme Court, an then over rule this. One must really take that into consideration when you vote. Its all a matter of what you want, a liberal court or conservative one.

Posted by: Ed | June 26, 2008 11:51 AM

Infringe
1. To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate: infringe a contract; infringe a patent.
2. Obsolete To defeat; invalidate

verb
1.to violate or break (a law or agreement)

It's pretty self explanatory. I don't know why people cannot grasp the 2nd amendment.

Especially a politician that needs see how the wind is blowing before he comments on this basic RIGHT.

Posted by: JohnW | June 26, 2008 11:40 AM

Wouldn't living in an urban crime ridden area be where you'd need a gun in the house the most?

Posted by: Stick | June 26, 2008 11:40 AM

Regardless of how anyone feels about the Second Amendment, this decision is a good one for Obama. All hell would have broken loose if the court had ruled the other way. It would have made the right to bear arms a major issue.

Obama then would have had to take a stand on the issue and it would have cost him votes either way. Now, he can just lie low or, at the worst, just say that he recognizes that the Supreme Court is the arbiter of the Constitution.

I don't know if the Obama campaign strategists plan things this way. If they do then they are brilliant because they always seem to be in a position where their candidate can never be pinned down on anything.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 26, 2008 11:37 AM

What does "shall not be infringed" mean anyway? Like only a little bit pregnant?

Posted by: A.Wurl | June 26, 2008 11:33 AM

All you crypto-fascists need not worry about Obama -- regardless what he says, he's for confiscation. All he'll need is one vote to overturn this and take everyone's weapons away.

It's the only way to implement the "change" he really wants.

Posted by: info | June 26, 2008 11:33 AM

The wait is over, see?
SI!

Posted by: Slim | June 26, 2008 11:32 AM

Obama's a constitutional scholar, and any scholar will tell you that how the ruling is worded is every bit as important as what the ruling is.

Reading the Justices' ruling is not only prudent; it's necessary to make any real comment.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | June 26, 2008 11:30 AM

Finally, a ruling of justice from the Supreme Court!

Recent events illustrate how important it is to choose the correct President.

Definitely NOT the most a liberal Senator in the Senate that makes comments to appease the majority.

Posted by: Arron | June 26, 2008 11:29 AM

What does "shall not be infringed" mean anyway? Like only a little bit pregnant?

Posted by: A.Wurl | June 26, 2008 11:25 AM

It's all about caving to the middle without looking like a flip-flopper. He can keep some of his gun control positions - moderates don't want holsters on every belt - but he must go easy on the rhetoric.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | June 26, 2008 11:23 AM

"This is not in violation of the second amendment, which I support, it is a realistic approach to law enforcement."

Just because it is reasonable, doesn't mean it's constitutional sweetheart. The Amendment says "shall not be infringed." It doesn't say "shall not be unreasonably infringed."

Posted by: Mike H. | June 26, 2008 11:20 AM

This is a good decision. I support.

Posted by: ZZim | June 26, 2008 11:17 AM

I don't think this ruling changes anything.
The Constitution says "to keep and BEAR arms shall not be infringed." To bear arms
means to carry, to pack; openly or concealed and anywhere, anytime, for any reason, in a manner according to individual discretion UNINFRINGED upon. The
dissenting opinion is perverse, because the
Constitution also states that no powers can
be assumed by the Federal Government that
are not clearly spelled out in the Constitution itself-PERIOD. Even Shrub and
his Buds want to infringe upon your rights.
The Framers must be rolling over in their
graves today at how corrupt, perverse and
craven their descendents have become here.

Posted by: Tom Colton | June 26, 2008 11:14 AM

Wait until someone else makes the decision, and releases written reports on the reasoning behind that decision, and then take a stand one way or the other based on those reasons. Or maybe not take a stand. What is it you Obamites see in this guy? Really.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | June 26, 2008 10:09 AM

I'm not an Obama supporter, but short of him being appointed to the federal bench, how will this ever be Obama's decision. Who cares what he thinks on this issue? It's not the role of the executive branch of government anyway. Time to dust off your old civics book Mr. Think, he HAD to "wait until someone else makes the decision" just like we all do because the decision is vested in the Courts ONLY.

Posted by: Mike H. | June 26, 2008 11:12 AM

I don't even know why people are asking Obama. Whether the Second Amendment provides an individual right to gun ownership (I believe it does) and the scope of that right is a question for the COURTS and not for the legislative or certainly the executive branch. It's not the president's role to decide this, so who cares what Obama's personal views are? This is basic civics!

Posted by: Mike H. | June 26, 2008 11:09 AM

I think, generally speaking, there is a huge difference between rural and urban gun issues, and I also believe that if localities find themselves in a position where they need to enact laws to control gun violence, they should be allowed to do so. This is not in violation of the second amendment, which I support, it is a realistic approach to law enforcement.

Posted by: Susan | June 26, 2008 11:07 AM

Obama has said he supports individual gun ownership - perhaps the other posters didn't bother to read the article.
I don't see anything wrong being curious to see what the Supreme Court decision will be or how it plays out. Constitutional law was Obamas specialty, it is reasonable to assume he'd be interested.

I'll take a reasonable thoughtful person as President anyday. At least he knows the difference between Suni and Shiite which is more than can be said of McCain.

Posted by: independent | June 26, 2008 11:04 AM

Obama has said he supports individual gun ownership - perhaps the other posters didn't bother to read the article.
I don't see anything wrong being curious to see what the Supreme Court decision will be or how it plays out. Constitutional law was Obamas specialty, it is reasonable to assume he'd be interested.

I'll take a reasonable thoughtful person as President anyday. At least he knows the difference between Suni and Shiite which is more than can be said of McCain.

Posted by: independent | June 26, 2008 11:03 AM

I agree with those who have written before me. Saying he will wait for the ruling before he speaks may sound prudent, but it tells me he doesn't want to say what he believes the ruling really should be..
And, I don't believe he truly is for the second amendment.....He has misled us already, so I don't think I believe much he says anymore, if I really did in the first place. But, I reserve the right to be pleasantly surprised by the guy.????
A true liberal is for taking away guns, right? Right?
I just don' trust this obama character.
Well, I trust him LESS than the other guy...
Don't think the guy is who he portrays himself to be and every once in awhile his true colors come to the forefront.
But, I am your typical white person, a female at that!

Posted by: miriam | June 26, 2008 10:57 AM

The States have their own Constitutions. They all vary to degree of restrictions on firearms and based on what I have seen, except for the direct effect on D.C., the Supreme Court decision changes nothing.

Posted by: Bill Hicks | June 26, 2008 10:57 AM

Just wanted to remind people that our constitution does not extend its privileges to foreign nationals overseas. This has already been decided against Germany in WWII when we were disarming them.

Posted by: Kevin | June 26, 2008 10:57 AM

Unfortunately the Supreme Court as it stands crosses the boundaries into legislative branch. In this case they got it right, if Obama he will extend the courts "legislative role" and we'll be headed for the politburo. Separation of powers is the foundation of our country.

Posted by: zepsth | June 26, 2008 10:56 AM

I can imagine how Iraqi Clerics like Al Sadr could use our own constitutional beliefs against us.

Can you imagine Al Sadr putting out a statement that says, if "America's own court system says you can't ban guns why is America trying to take away the guns from Iraqi citizens"?!

What would be the U.S. Government's response, 'cause you are killing Americans with these guns'? Al Sadr could simply say "Americans kill other Americans with the very same guns that they don't ban, so what's your point"?

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 26, 2008 10:49 AM

Obama is simply letting the Supreme Court do it's job with it's power. The Supreme Court has the final ruling in the land, the President can't change it, the Senate Majority leader can't change it, and the Speaker of the House can't change it.

Unfortunately, the Obama-haters like Wm Tate, Eric Dondero, and thinkwithyourbrain fail to understand a simple document called the Constitution of the United States.

Obama has taught Constitutional Law at a prestigious University, whereas many folks don't even know what the Constitution is and what is in it.

Obama supports the 2nd Amendment as do I and opposes say a federal ban on guns, but he also recognizes the power of states, specifically local governments, to put restrictions on gun ownership when it negatively impacts a community.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 26, 2008 10:40 AM

Obama reminds me of the golfer who tosses a few blades of grass into the air to see which way the wind is blowing before a big tee shot.

And this is the candidate who asks us to elect him based on his judgement in making big decisions?

Hardly the leadership the country deserves.

-Wm Tate,
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 26, 2008 10:27 AM

Well, we're just minutes away from the ruling...

For gun ownership advocates the choice is easy:

Obama - plays politics with the issue, swinging back and forth, putting his finger to the wind.

Republican John McCain and Libertarian Bob Barr both stand firmly on the side of overturning the DC ban, and for gun ownership rights across the board.

Why would any real American support a flip-flopper like Obama?

Posted by: Eric Dondero | June 26, 2008 10:22 AM

Wait until someone else makes the decision, and releases written reports on the reasoning behind that decision, and then take a stand one way or the other based on those reasons. Or maybe not take a stand. What is it you Obamites see in this guy? Really.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | June 26, 2008 10:09 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company