President Obama and Gun Rights: Beware the Cornered and Quiet Politician
by Gerard Valentino
President Barack Obama has a long and undistinguished record of infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. When he was elected that record made him the darling of the anti-gun movement which expected to ride his coattails back to prominence in the marketplace of ideas.
The expected road back to relevance hasn't materialized as they expected, and the anti-gun crowd blames Obama's unwillingness to take action against the powerful gun lobby.
That decision isn't playing well in the anti-gun community or with many of his cronies from his old days as part of the anti-gun Democratic machine in Chicago. The anti-gun leadership in America expected a return to power upon Obama's ascendancy to the White House, and instead they got a president doing almost everything to distance himself from his anti-gun roots.
Because of his lack of action on the issue, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence continues to claim President Obama isn't doing enough to reward his earnest anti-gun supporters. They claim he has abandoned his anti-gun base and hasn't lifted a finger to further the cause of gun control in America. After his first year in office the Brady campaign actually gave the Obama administration an "F" grade.
Anti-gun leaders are incensed that President Obama refuses to respond to their calls for renewing the assault weapons ban and bringing about an end to gun shows. Oddly enough, during the campaign President Obama was routinely rated as the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history by pro-gun groups.
Clearly his willingness to be all things to all people has sowed confusion among the players in the gun debate, and among the electorate.
But, make no mistake – President Obama is an enemy of gun owners.
There is a chance that President Obama and his anti-gun cohorts refused to act until the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on the Second Amendment cases that originated in Chicago and Washington D.C. Any sitting president only has a certain amount of political capital to call on, and it's wasted if used on legislation that will be struck down. So by waiting for the rulings to be issued he can be sure any law he champions will pass constitutional scrutiny.
The fallout from the Supreme Court ruling is still being felt in cities like Chicago. But you can bet once the Obama administration and his anti-gun backers know the constitutional guidelines it will only empower them.
While the constitutional law community expected the Supreme Court to strike down the Chicago gun ban, such victories are only viable if we can keep the anti-gun leaders from learning how to circumvent the Constitution in the aftermath. The fact that we didn't get a slam dunk win that erased all doubt about our right to bear arms should make pro-gun advocates uneasy.
So, despite all of our victories, the fight continues.
It is always the case when it comes to our gun-rights because people of President Obama's mindset are continually looking for an angle or a weakness and will attack if given the opportunity. Now that the Supreme Court pro-gun rulings are far enough in the past it is time to renew an aggressive pro-gun legislative agenda at the national level.
Letting up now that we have changed the American viewpoint on guns is a dangerous gamble. Everyone knows the most dangerous politician is a cornered politician. So, there is also the chance that President Obama will strike once he realizes his destiny is to only serve one term in the Oval Office.
As his presidency has developed without aggressive attacks on gun rights some have started to believe the Obama Administration will not try to act on the issue. Such a viewpoint ignores the small administrative steps taken by Obama to disrupt certain aspects of the gun community. Still, there are some who see his failure to act on a larger scale as indicating a certainty that he will never act.
The only certainty, however, is that someone with Obama's rabid anti-gun past can’t pass up the opportunity to damage the right to bear arms.
Sooner or later he will stop taking small steps to destroy the right to bear arms and instead take overt and aggressive action on the issue.
Accepting that fact is key to protecting our rights. And the pro-gun community needs to be resolute in stopping the President from trying to perpetrate a sneak attack on guns . If he is planning to do so, now is the time considering the political world's preoccupation with renewing the Bush tax cuts and the focus on the economy.
Our victory in the Supreme Court is now old news politically, and when the Washington D.C. and Chicago gun bans were struck down it was a huge blow to the anti-gun crowd. In the end, however, they were simply two victories in a long war.
Once such a battle is over, it needs to be left in the past.
Granted, both were meaningful and set the stage for future successes. If we take time to gloat and pause to enjoy the win it might give the anti-gun crowd a small opening. That is a chance we can't take when our right to self-defense is threatened.
Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.