Early 2008 Presidential Contenders: Pick your gun control poison

By Chad D. Baus

Traditionally, whomever is leading in polling one year ahead of the Presidential primaries becomes the eventual party nominee. If tradition holds true...there is a storm on the horizon...

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican

All gun owners should pass written test
"I do not think the government should cut off the right to bear arms. My position for many years has been that just as a motorist must have a license, a gun owner should be required to have one as well. Anyone wanting to own a gun should have to pass a written exam that shows that they know how to use a gun, that they’re intelligent enough and responsible enough to handle a gun. Should both handgun and rifle owners be licensed...we’re talking about all dangerous weapons."
Source: Boston Globe, p. A4 Mar 21, 2000

Arizona Senator John McCain, Republican

Ban cheap guns; require safety locks; supports gun show checks & "smart" gun technology
McCain favors outlawing cheaply made handguns called Saturday night specials, and favors mandating safety locks on certain guns. He said he is intrigued by new technology that electronically identifies a person handling a gun, allowing only the owner to fire it. McCain rallied Senate Republicans behind a Democratic measure requiring background checks at gun shows.
Source: Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press Aug 17, 1999

Supports ban on certain assault weapons
McCain said he was open to voting for an assault weapon ban, depending on the details.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “McCain Calls for Hearings” Aug 17, 1999

And those are just the top-polling Republicans!

New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Democrat

Keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them
"We need to stand firm on behalf of sensible gun control legislation. We have to enact laws that will keep guns out of the hand of children and criminals and mentally unbalanced persons. Congress should have acted before our children started going back to school. I realize the NRA is a formidable political group; but I believe the American people are ready to come together as a nation and do whatever it takes to keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them."
Source: www.hillary2000.org, "Gun Safety" Sep 9, 2000

License and register all handgun sales
Hillary Rodham Clinton offered her support for a legislative proposal to license hand guns. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, would require anyone who wants to purchase a gun to obtain a state-issued photo gun license. "I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun," Clinton said. "I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing."
Source: CNN.com Jun 2, 2000

Gun control protects our children
We will not make progress on a sensible gun control agenda unless the entire American public gets behind it. It is really important for each of you [kids] to make sure you stay away from guns. If you have guns in your home, tell your parents to keep them away from you and your friends and your little brothers and sisters.
Source: Forum at South Side Middle School in Nassau County Jul 15, 1999

Too many guns
We have to do everything possible to keep guns out of the hands of children, and we need to stand firm on behalf of the sensible gun control legislation that passed the Senate and then was watered down in the House. It does not make sense for us at this point in our history to turn our backs on the reality that there are too many guns and too many children have access to those guns-and we have to act to prevent that.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Lock up guns; store ammo separately
If you own a gun... make sure it's locked up and stored without the ammunition. In fact, make it stored where the ammunition is stored separately. We've made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do.
Source: ABC's "Good Morning America" Jun 4, 1999

Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Democrat

Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions
"Principles that Obama supports on gun issues:
Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms."
Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005

Hopes for gun owners obviously need to come from farther down in the polls.

Ranking at #3 on the Democrat side, and the only other Democrat candidate polling in double-digits, is none other than Albert Gore Jr. For those who have already forgotten the Clinton years, Al Gore is on record supporting a handgun licensing scheme, 3-day waiting periods, stronger assault weapons bans, banning inexpensive handguns, closing the gun show "loophole", making trigger locks mandatory, and issuing a nationwide 1-gun per month rule. At a Democrat debate in Los Angeles on Mar 1, 2000, Gore proudly said "I was a co-sponsor of the Brady Law. I cast the tie-breaking vote to close the so-called gun show loophole. The NRA has targeted me as a result. We have got to take them on strongly and pass new gun control legislation...aimed...at these handguns that are causing so much distress in our country." And at another Democrat debate in Harlem, NYC on Feb 21, 2000, Gore proudly proclaimed that "the Clinton-Gore administration has passed the toughest gun control measures in the last 30 years."

Ranking in at #3 on the GOP side, and the only other Republican candidate polling in double-digits, is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Rice is on record as saying that gun rights are as important as free speech, and that her staunch defense of gun rights comes from memories of Birmingham's racial turmoil, when her father and other neighborhood men took up arms and guarded the streets at night to keep white vigilantes at bay. Unfortunately, Rice has repeatedly said she is not interested in the top job.

Persons interested in knowing more about efforts to encourage Condoleeza Rice, the only top-polling candidate that is pro-gun, to run for President, may visit:

  • http://www.4condi.com/
  • http://www.rice2008.com/
  • http://www.condoleezzaforpresident.com/

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Northwest Ohio Chair and a Fulton County Republican Central Commiteeman.

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