September 06, 2008

Obama Slips, Admits He'd Favor A Gun Ban

In Pennsylvania for a campaign event before a hand-picked crowd, Barack Obama stumbled badly when thrown by a skeptical supporter with a question about his noted anti-gun stance:

A woman in the crowd told Obama she had "heard a rumor" that he might be planning some sort of gun ban upon being elected president. Obama trotted out his standard policy stance, that he had a deep respect for the "traditions of gun ownership" but favored measures in big cities to keep guns out of the hands of "gang bangers and drug dealers" in big cities "who already have them and are shooting people."

"If you've got a gun in your house, I'm not taking it," Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. "Even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress," he said. "This can't be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I'm not going to take away your guns."

So Obama concedes that he wants to "take them away," but then he claims that he doesn't have the votes to push through a gun ban. Far left liberal Democrats control both houses of the most unpopular Congress in recorded history. Do they have anything to lose by trying to push another gun ban, and does anyone want to take the risk, knowing Obama would sign any gun control bill that crosses the President's desk?

Update: Several folks I respect are disputing my contention that Obama's comments amount to an admission of favoring a gun ban, and think I'm distorting what he said.

What do you think?

In my experience as a reader and author, the construct "Even if I wanted to do 'x'..." is an admission that the actor desires 'x' but merely lacks the means to obtain it.

Further breaking down Obama's statements, he says, "Even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress. This can't be the reason not to vote for me." I read this as an admission that he desires a ban, but that he lacks the means so you should not hold his views against him.

Taken in the context of a politician that refuses to recognize the right of gun ownership for anything beyond hunting and target shooting on his own campaign web site, who has a documented record of working to fund anti-gun groups as a Woods Fund board member, who had called for the banning of all semi-automatic firearms and handguns, and who has attempted to zone gun stores out of business, is my interpretation illogical?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 6, 2008 10:19 AM

I disagree.

""Even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress,""

This is clearly a hypothetical, that even if he did favor such a policy it would be impossible to implement it.

Posted by: Dawnfire82 at September 6, 2008 10:31 AM

I have no doubt Obama would ban and confiscate all guns if he could (see links below), but I don't see this exchange as proof. It's a law professor's answer (or in his case, a senior lecturer's answer). He's conceding the premise in incremental steps and making the argument that "it's still no reason not to vote for me." Now it is a stupid approach and no doubt you could make the argument that he adopted the premise too easily thereby showing his true colors.

OTH, John Lott recently recounted his personal conversation with Obama when they were University of Chicago Law faculty colleagues, where Obama told Lott: "I don't think people should be able to own guns." Taken together with his earlier statements about gun bans, I think your conclusion is correct.

Mark Levin Link -- http://johnrlott.tripod(dot)com/

Steve Malzburg Link -- http://johnrlott.tripod(dot)com/

Sorry for no direct links, your site wouldn't allow link to tripod(dot)com [remove and replace dot with .]

Posted by: capitano at September 6, 2008 10:52 AM

The appropriate response, which you'll never hear Obama come close to uttering: "The Second Amendment explicitly secures (ed. note: not 'establishes') the right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court has affirmed that right. As president, I will take an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' Next question."

Posted by: Diffus at September 6, 2008 11:17 AM

Of course he would take the guns away otherwise why even bring it up? He has to know by bringing it up it's going to hurt so why not just admit it in a "hypothetical" and say that what he wants can't get passed anyway?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at September 6, 2008 11:18 AM
So he tried again. "Even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress," he said. "This can't be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I'm not going to take away your guns."

Uh, oh! The Obabamessiah looses his composure, things are not looking good for him or the Dems.

Posted by: formertucsonan at September 6, 2008 11:27 AM

"is my interpretation illogical?"

No, I don't think it's illogical. I think it's reading too much into that particular comment. I've no doubt that Obama is personally pro-gun control. But I think that viewing this particular instance as an admission of favoring an outright ban (which was apparently the topic introduced by the questioner) is incorrect.

Posted by: Dawnfire82 at September 6, 2008 11:30 AM

Oh, thank you so much, Mr. Obama, for agreeing not to take our guns.

Give me a break. Of course he wants a gun ban. He'd confiscate every gun tomorrow if he had the power. His entire campaign has descended into dissimulation, i.e., pretending he doesn't believe what he really does and to the degree he does (and has previously declared and demonstrated he believes) because otherwise he wouldn't be elected dog catcher. Isn't it interesting that Repubicans can shout their policies and principles from the rooftop, but democrats must conceal how they really feel to get elected.

Posted by: rrpjr at September 6, 2008 12:15 PM

Molon labe.

Posted by: baslimthecripple at September 6, 2008 12:59 PM

If he was sincere and firm in his resolve to respect our gun rights, why would he even bring this up (don't have the votes)?

Because - it is a Freudian slip!

Posted by: Lily at September 6, 2008 01:02 PM

I agree with your take on it. "Even if I wanted to..." is not the language of one who would never contemplate it. I've never heard a defender of the Second Amendment resort to that kind of language or turn of phrase.

Posted by: Proof at September 6, 2008 01:27 PM

Regardless, reducing privately owned guns, particularly handguns, is something Barry has wanted for a long time. 2nd Amendment? What 2nd Amendment?

Posted by: William Teach at September 6, 2008 03:09 PM

Even though he doesn't have the votes now, who knows what votes might be present in Congress after November 4, 2008. Don't trust him if you're a gun toter, bitter Bible thumper.
It's also funny that he brings up gang violence, but when he was an Ill. State Senator, and they brought out a death penalty bill to target gang bangers, then all of a sudden it was a racist bill because gang bangers were minority group members and to give them the death penalty would be akin to racist lynchings because minorities would suffer 'disproportionately' from enforcement of the statute.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at September 6, 2008 03:25 PM

BO does not outright state that he would or wants to ban guns. He does imply it.

On the other shoe, Obama diplays his utter ignorance of the Constitution. The Second Amendment, protects a right assumed be God-give. Congress has no power to restrict rights.

I don't know what BO taught. It sure as the heck wasn't constitutional law.

Posted by: DavidL at September 6, 2008 04:34 PM
"I donít have the votes in Congress"

Oh, so youíve thought about it.

Many Pennsylvanians do "cling to their guns" the same way the the NOW/NARAL crew cling to their "abortion rights."

The argument that Obama gave could equally be used for the abortion issue by any pro-life candidate, so why the hell is Obama running "abortion rights" commercials ?

Itís because he knows itís lame argument .. things can change.
Youíd think the manchild of "Hope and Change" would know that.
The voters here in Pennsylvania do.

Posted by: Neo at September 6, 2008 04:45 PM

By his standards, then, since Mr McCain and Mrs Palin personally oppose abortion, but the Congress would never permit an outright legislative ban, pro-choice voters cannot oppose a McCain presidency on those grounds?

Never mind that Mr Obama probably could be counted on to appoint judges of a statist, control-minded bent? Never mind that we can be damned certain he will appoint a raft of bureaucrats of similarly authoritarian views?

Okay, I'm not voting for McCain because Obama is anti-gun. I'm voting for McCain because Obama obviously put away the pakalolo and paid attention the year Harvard Law taught Upper Division Dissemblage.

Posted by: mrkwong at September 6, 2008 05:21 PM

B. Hussein Obama, Jr. is a Socialist thug who wants to abolish our 2nd Amendment rights...he is a danger to the Republic.

It's his diabolical plan to surrender our nation to Islamo Fascism (which he could even enunciate during his "interview" with O'Reilly), so they can attempt to build their world wide Caliphate...

Don't tread on me Barry; a despicable scumbag.

Posted by: Carlos Echevarria at September 6, 2008 05:42 PM

"even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress"
Just another reason not to vote a lawyer into public office.

Posted by: veblenschild at September 6, 2008 06:36 PM

Since Obama did not simply state that it is a right to bear arms - then obviously he is in favor of more gun control since he adds the whole "not having enough votes". With that logic then the pro abortion people should not be upset since Gov Palin can say the same thing - that she can't overturn Roe vs Wade as it stands.
Obama and his ilk just dont get it that law abiding citizens have the right to bear arms for the protection of their home/family, for hunting etc. It is the thugs, such as in his own city of Chicago, who are using arms to murder their own kind. And he is worried about the war in Iraq being a mistake - he should look at his own city's lack of control and government.

Posted by: Krystal at September 6, 2008 07:29 PM

OMG! Obama IS Kerry. He has no idea why someone wouldn't vote for him over a silly thing like the second amendment.

Posted by: joh at September 6, 2008 09:44 PM

And if he needed a vote in Congress, that would actually mean something.

Instead, on Jan 21, Sarah Brady is named head of the BATFE. All of a sudden, the Federal permits that EVERY commercial gun and ammunition seller must have to do business start getting denied. "Oh, I'm sorry, Form Sucks2BU isn't filled out correctly; there's an i not dotted on page 1234." "Darn, we lost the paperwork; resubmit, please." "Oh, include these 5 new forms."

"NO, you can't sell anything until your paperwork is right."

Think I'm kidding? Right now, TODAY, if your form for the instant background check uses the standard 2 letter Post Office abbreviation for the states (e.g. TX), instead of spelling out the name of the state, that's an instant rejection. Fill it all out again and re-submit. And no, you can't buy the gun until that form goes thru, you bitter clingy gun-nut, you.

Posted by: SDN at September 7, 2008 07:22 AM

Obama is a clone of Chicago's virulent anti-gun mayor, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Any Chicago political figure with ties to the city is going to be anti-gun, no matter what they say. I lived in Chicago for over a good half of my 48 years on earth, 3+ of them working for the city and know how the politics work. Obama's position is no different than that of Mayors Bloomberg of New York, Newsom of San Francisco, Villaraigosa of L.A. or the now imprisoned Mayor Kilpatrick of Detroit.

As they do every year, the idiot Mayor Daley and his police dept. recently had their annual "turn in your guns" day (no questions asked, of course) and in exchange they give $100 gift cards to the few gang bangers and other thugs who value getting Michael Jordan sneakers over their guns. But these same vermin will eventually find other ways to obtain another gun. They know the system. And of course, it's a huge joke.

So if you elect a black community activist such as obama to be America's CEO, this is what you will get if he has his way in Washington.

Remember, obama used to be a constitutional law professor in Chicago but professed earlier this year to have been in 57 states. Perhaps we can presume that if asked how many amendments to the Constitution are in the Bill of Rights, he might say 20 and that the right to keep and bear arms is in the 32nd Amendment (which to anyone who has read the Constition knows it doesn't exist).

This is your brain. This is your brain fried with obama nonsense.

Posted by: Nedd at September 7, 2008 11:57 AM

Well said, Nedd! I just don't understand how so many otherwise intelligent people are being taken in by this impostor! CHANGE? Do you honestly believe that he is a "different" kind of politician? He spent about 130 days in the U.S. Senate before he started running for president! His 20 years of mentorship under J. Wright - and items in his own book, Dreams of my Father, show that he is a black separatist....his campaign "promises" are overtly Socialist...he has (when he thinks we won't hear about it!) made fun of we, "little people" who ARE believers in God....saying in front of his SF audience that we "cling to our ....religion" out of bitterness! Is that really who you want in the White House - directing this nation's policy. I wish I could find the video of his statement on what he's going to do to our National Defense....END anti-missile programs, get rid of all of our nuclear weapons...we will be so weak, we'll be like sitting ducks!
PLEASE AMERICANS! WAKE UP! You may not like McCain....but I honestly believe he'll listen to Palin on many issues...and he won't destroy this nation!
IF YOU WANT TO GIVE UP HALF OF EVERYTHING YOU HAVE - to give to thsoe who are too lazy to work....then go ahead and vote for Obama....but don't you DARE complain when he takes away your guns, your money, and half of your savings (which means YOUR retirement!)

Posted by: Litl Bits at September 7, 2008 01:23 PM

A more telling slip is that he said "I don't have the votes" rather than "I wouldn't have the votes". To me, that phrase is the one that takes it from the hypothetical to the dream denied. So the question has to be, if he were to find the votes, "WWOD"?

Posted by: MikeM at September 7, 2008 03:30 PM

To repair the damage, the Dems need to get Barry decked out in cammies and stick him in a duck blind with a shotgun. That tactic worked marvelously for Kerry.

Of course, they'd have to make sure the shotgun was unloaded, since Obambi has a habit of shooting himself in the foot.

Posted by: Donna at September 7, 2008 06:57 PM

The word "sportsmen" concerns me. Is Obama talking about hunters? If so what about people who own hand guns for target shooting and protection? What about people who have a permit to carry a concelled weapon? These questions need to be answered.

Posted by: Frank at September 7, 2008 08:22 PM

It's the difference between knowing what someone CLEARLY meant using your own, God-given, common sense, and making excuses for yet another unintentional peek into the REAL Obama because you're an Obamapologist.

Note that few are denying Obama's piss-poor record on the Second Amendment: They're attacking YOU. YOU'RE the problem, not his record, not his intentions, not his poor choice of words -- if that's what they want to call it -- (and WHY are we promoting someone who cannot choose his words wisely?): It's you, and I, and the rest of the unwashed masses that's to blame.

He slips up and it's OUR fault for saying, "Hey, wait a minute!"

Classic technique.

Posted by: DoorHold at September 7, 2008 08:32 PM

Taken in concert with all that is known about Obama's views on guns, including his own recent comments on Heller, it would certainly be reasonable to characterize this as a Freudian slip. It surely comports with everything else he has ever said and everything political stance he has taken (when not voting "present") on the topic.

Posted by: Mike at September 7, 2008 10:13 PM

He slipped here. Had he said "wanted," it would make more sense.

He slipped when he spoke of Clarence Thomas' "exp..." (cut off "experience"). And I believe he slipped in that "my Muslim faith" statement in the ABC interview.

Posted by: Lee at September 9, 2008 03:19 AM

At best it's highly ambiguous, at worst he is in fact allowing what he "wants" to do, even though he doesn't (currently) have the votes.

"Want" vs. "wanted" lends greater, not less, ambiguity.

It's the type of noncommital circumlocution and ambiguity used by politicians such that, after the fact, they can retrospectively take either side of an issue, "re-interpreting" a past statement, putting a new gloss on it, etc.

Posted by: Michael B at September 9, 2008 05:34 PM