Dave Kopel's Presidential candidates on the Second Amendment

By Chad D. Baus

On January 15, I examined the early 2008 Presidential contenders and their collective (weak) stance on gun rights.

Pro-gun author/ blogger Dave Kopel recently published his own preliminary assessment of some of the people who have been listed as likely or definite candidates, which was published recently at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Following is Kopel's preliminary look at some of the people who have been listed as likely or definite candidates:

    Top tier. Nearly perfect pro-Second Amendment records: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-Vir.). Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.).

    Very good. Not a perfect record, but still a very positive one overall. Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.). Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-Wisc.). Former Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

    Mixed: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)(mostly positive record, except for lead sponsorship of two terrible bills: McCain-Lieberman, a terribly-written bill which would have given the BATFE the authority to administratively eliminate any or all gun shows, and McCain-Feingold, the campaign speech restriction law which significantly affects right-to-arms groups).

    Poor: Former Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.). Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.). As noted by, inter alia, the Boston Globe, Romney's flip-flops on guns are part of a larger record of inconsistency.

    Almost perfect anti-Second Amendment record: Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Former Vice-President Al Gore (in Congress, a nearly perfect pro-gun record until 1989, when he switched sides). Al Sharpton (D-N.Y.).

    Record of anti-Second Amendment leadership: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)(very effective in pushing gun control during his tenure as Judiciary Committee chairman). Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa). Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-N.Y.)(even worse than his predecessor, Democrat David Dinkins; indeed, based on his record, arguably worse than Sen. Clinton).

As noted in my January 15 article, history shows that 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.

The top polling Republicans, Sen. John McCain and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are listed by Kopel as "mixed" and "record of anti-Second Amendment leadership" respectively.

The top polling Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, are listed by Kopel as "record of anti-Second Amendment leadership" and "almost perfect anti-Second Amendment record" respectively.

It is time to wake up, folks. It has been easy for gun owners to get comfortable in the first decade of the 21st century. But unless we awaken, we may soon find ourselves in far worse shape than we were during the Clinton 90's.

UPDATE: Dayton Daily News: Ohioans favor Clinton, Giuliani in early poll

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