Obama acceptance speech imagines divisions between Ohio gun owners; Campaign materials prove his ignorance about guns

By Chad D. Baus

Gun owners in Ohio were given attention from former Joyce Foundation board member Barack Obama in his acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver on Thursday, and his comments, while short, are sure to draw renewed attention to his ignorance about firearms.

In his acceptance speech, Obama said:

"The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals."

Thanks to passage of a concealed carry law (a concept which Obama opposes) and a statewide preemption law (another concept which Obama opposes), the reality of gun ownership in Ohio is the same no matter where in the state one lives.

Gun owners like urban Cleveland resident Damon Wells and rural Galion resident Nathan Zeger are both able to enjoy their Second Amendment right to bear arms, with no thanks to the likes of Barack Obama. Indeed, if Obama had his way, both men would likely be dead, as would the many other law-abiding Ohio gun owners who have been able to protect themselves when violently attacked.

Because Obama utilized one of his favorite gun control talking points about AK-47s, however, let's take the opportunity to expose just how ignorant Obama and his campaign are when it comes to firearms.

In an Obama campaign position paper directed at convincing sportsmen that he supports their rights, and located just under a header entitled "Promote Common Sense Gun Control", is the following statement:

As a long-time resident and elected official of Chicago, Barack Obama has seen the impact of fully automatic weapons in the hands of criminals. Thus, Senator Obama supports making permanent the expired federal Assault Weapon Ban. These weapons, such as AK-47s, belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets. These are also not weapons that are used by hunters and sportsmen.

Leaving aside for a moment the many hunters and sport shooters who DO use military-style rifles for both hunting and target shooting, there is a larger problem with Obama's statement: the "expired federal Assault Weapon Ban" (which was written by Obama's running mate, Joe Biden), didn't address the "issue of fully automatic weapons in the hands of criminals." In fact, it didn't address "fully automatic weapons" at all!

Indeed, criminals, including felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens and fugitives from justice, were prohibited from purchasing firearms long before the 1994 Biden/Clinton gun ban, as was ownership of fully-automatic firearms, which has been heavily regulated by federal law since 1934.

Congress allowed the Biden/Clinton gun ban to sunset two months before Obama was first elected to U.S. Senate in November 2004. But the Democrat presidential nominee can hardly use that as an excuse. Debate on whether or not to renew the gun ban had been a hot topic on the campaign trail throughout 2004, and Obama went on record at the time as supporting its renewal. But as Obama's own presidential campaign materials prove, he did not then and does not now understand what the legislation actually did, or rather what it did not do.

With poll after poll showing that Americans are increasingly concerned about his lack of experience, and with the McCain campaign sure to hammer that point home next week at the Republican convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Barack Obama can ill afford to be making such obvious gaffes on such simple issues, and maintain any hope of fooling gun owners into thinking a vote for him is anything but a vote to weaken their Second Amendment rights.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer thinks Obama's "compromise on gun rights...might be acceptable to rural Ohio hunters." (As if this anti-gun newspaper has ever had the pulse of Buckeye state gun owners.)

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