Op-Ed: Gun Rights and Presidential Politics
By Ken Blackwell
The debate over individual gun rights just has become a front line issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. The United States Supreme Court decision to hear arguments on District of Columbia v. Heller, the D.C. gun ban case, guarantees it.
...With nearly 100 million American gun owners and a fluid nominating process in both primaries, Second Amendment voters matter. In fact, their votes could be the deciding factor in the volatile Iowa and New Hampshire contests propelling the winner into the pivotal South Carolina and Florida primaries.
Second Amendment voters are strict constitutionalists and will be closely watching how the presidential candidates address the gun issue.
The president is sworn to uphold “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The duty to protect the Constitution and uphold the law requires a firm, clear belief one way or the other on the rights of Americans to buy and own a gun.
Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee are staunch Second Amendment advocates and all oppose most restrictions on gun rights including D.C.’s. Rudy Giuliani favors some restrictions but opposes the D.C. gun ban. He thinks the Supreme Court should strike it down permanently.
Now let’s hear what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards have to say. What do they believe the framers meant by the “people”? The answers will speak volumes about their views on a wide range of issues...
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