Obama vs. Guns

Barack Obama has a lot of things going for him, but once his positions get scrutinized, he may have trouble getting the votes of the masses. For example, he has an unusually extreme, even for liberals, Anti-Gun Stance.

A discussion about guns has broken out in the comments, but I’d like to raise some questions. How could anyone–let alone a former professor of Constitutional Law like Obama– think the 2nd Amendment is just to protect the gun-owning rights of hunters and skeet shooters?

Did the founders think “militias” were groups of guys who went out on hunting trips? Or a club devoted to SKEET SHOOTING? Doesn’t the reference in the 2nd Amendment to a “militia” suggest that an armed populace is to be a safeguard against enemies foreign and domestic? While the 2nd Amendment certainly protects hunters and skeet shooters, isn’t its major purpose to give citizens the right to use weapons to defend themselves?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • CRB

    Here is some food-for-thought from military historian, Victor Davis Hanson He offers several important comments about Obama and other items as well concerning U.S. politics, et al. Well worth reading–this retired professor and farmer!
    http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/victordavishanson/

  • CRB

    Here is some food-for-thought from military historian, Victor Davis Hanson He offers several important comments about Obama and other items as well concerning U.S. politics, et al. Well worth reading–this retired professor and farmer!
    http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/victordavishanson/

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  • organshoes

    It ought to be a big red flag, a clue, at least, to how he views the rights of citizens overall.
    The same goes for all anti-guns contenders: they’d be muddleheaded and stingy defining and enforcing any rights, if they’re muddleheaded and stingy on guns.
    When abortion is more clearly a constitutional right than gun ownership…they’re not really thinking in The American Way.

  • organshoes

    It ought to be a big red flag, a clue, at least, to how he views the rights of citizens overall.
    The same goes for all anti-guns contenders: they’d be muddleheaded and stingy defining and enforcing any rights, if they’re muddleheaded and stingy on guns.
    When abortion is more clearly a constitutional right than gun ownership…they’re not really thinking in The American Way.

  • Bror Erickson

    If a guy can’t trust me with a gun, does he really trust me? If he can’t trust me should I trust him? I have to say for the most part I think Obama has been somewhat a breath of fresh air. I have enjoyed watching him in the race for president. I really do enjoy his rhetorical skills, and the fact that he has pretty much walked all over Hillary. But then he always talks about being open and trusting, then this? My personal arsenal is actually quite small and would remain unscathed by what he proposes, but I still don’t like it. I would like to think if I ever felt the need, or just wanted to I could by a handgun and keep it in my sock drawer for self defense. I just don’t trust that the police could really be there when I might need them, until long after I need them.

  • Bror Erickson

    If a guy can’t trust me with a gun, does he really trust me? If he can’t trust me should I trust him? I have to say for the most part I think Obama has been somewhat a breath of fresh air. I have enjoyed watching him in the race for president. I really do enjoy his rhetorical skills, and the fact that he has pretty much walked all over Hillary. But then he always talks about being open and trusting, then this? My personal arsenal is actually quite small and would remain unscathed by what he proposes, but I still don’t like it. I would like to think if I ever felt the need, or just wanted to I could by a handgun and keep it in my sock drawer for self defense. I just don’t trust that the police could really be there when I might need them, until long after I need them.

  • organshoes

    I’m really not getting those rhetorical skills of Obama, or the fresh air he expires.
    Unless we mean he has a nice way of offering bad things. Then I guess I get it.
    But I can’t get past the bad things he’s offering–the socialism, the radicalism, the departure from tradition, the unpreparedness for anything except running successfully.
    It would be nice if his being so nice (which I’m not sure he’s really being) didn’t get him such a pass from real scrutiny, let alone criticism.
    Are y’all so sure that the dog is really smiling?

  • organshoes

    I’m really not getting those rhetorical skills of Obama, or the fresh air he expires.
    Unless we mean he has a nice way of offering bad things. Then I guess I get it.
    But I can’t get past the bad things he’s offering–the socialism, the radicalism, the departure from tradition, the unpreparedness for anything except running successfully.
    It would be nice if his being so nice (which I’m not sure he’s really being) didn’t get him such a pass from real scrutiny, let alone criticism.
    Are y’all so sure that the dog is really smiling?

  • S Bauer

    I wonder what it is that makes some people feel safe with no thought to having a weapon at hand and other people who feel safe when they do have a weapon at hand. No one should suppose that I am trying to imply that either view is more rational or enlightened than the other. Aside from one side simply accusing the other of being “naive scaredy-cats” and the other returning the favor with “testosterone-engorged thugs,” it strikes me that one’s position on this issue is determined by more than just rational arguments for or against. I suppose it might have something to do with whether one has already been a victim of violence. But I was bullied and beat up at times when I was much younger and did not feel the impulse to learn how to box.

  • S Bauer

    I wonder what it is that makes some people feel safe with no thought to having a weapon at hand and other people who feel safe when they do have a weapon at hand. No one should suppose that I am trying to imply that either view is more rational or enlightened than the other. Aside from one side simply accusing the other of being “naive scaredy-cats” and the other returning the favor with “testosterone-engorged thugs,” it strikes me that one’s position on this issue is determined by more than just rational arguments for or against. I suppose it might have something to do with whether one has already been a victim of violence. But I was bullied and beat up at times when I was much younger and did not feel the impulse to learn how to box.

  • Bror Erickson

    Sbauer,
    To be honest I have never felt the need to have a gun for personal safety. That even though when I was younger I had death threats come from people carrying guns to school, my name on the bullets.
    Yet, I do think there are times when carrying a gun is necessary for one safety, and the safety of those around him/her. And I don’t like the fact that a guy who campaigns on trust, won’t trust me to make that decision for myself. I do not think that one’s previous exposure to violence has much at all to do with whether or not one is predisposed to gun rights or not. I know many who have never been beaten who are for them. I know others who were beaten who are still against them.

  • Bror Erickson

    Sbauer,
    To be honest I have never felt the need to have a gun for personal safety. That even though when I was younger I had death threats come from people carrying guns to school, my name on the bullets.
    Yet, I do think there are times when carrying a gun is necessary for one safety, and the safety of those around him/her. And I don’t like the fact that a guy who campaigns on trust, won’t trust me to make that decision for myself. I do not think that one’s previous exposure to violence has much at all to do with whether or not one is predisposed to gun rights or not. I know many who have never been beaten who are for them. I know others who were beaten who are still against them.

  • organshoes

    Untold circumstances influence a person’s decision on gun ownership. But what difference does that make? We don’t claim rights according to personal circumstances.
    And there’s a much broader debate than each side calling the other names. It’s certainly not a part of this minimal discussion, so I wonder why it was brought up. Doing so certainly clouds the issue at hand, and perhaps on purpose.
    I used to feel safer with a gun nearby until two things occurred: grandchildren scouring the house, and my own failure to train consistently in the gun’s use.
    But there are other defenses literally at hand these days: purse-sized pepper spray, personal stun guns, noisemakers, keyless entry to cars, home and car alarm systems, and a cellphone in hand or at the bedside to summon help more quickly than ever before.
    So, just because people eschew a gun for personal safety doesn’t mean they simply give up on protecting themselves, or simply feel safe for no reason. I guarantee they have something at hand, even if it’s just a keyring gizmo or a cellphone, that, among other things, makes them feel safe.

  • organshoes

    Untold circumstances influence a person’s decision on gun ownership. But what difference does that make? We don’t claim rights according to personal circumstances.
    And there’s a much broader debate than each side calling the other names. It’s certainly not a part of this minimal discussion, so I wonder why it was brought up. Doing so certainly clouds the issue at hand, and perhaps on purpose.
    I used to feel safer with a gun nearby until two things occurred: grandchildren scouring the house, and my own failure to train consistently in the gun’s use.
    But there are other defenses literally at hand these days: purse-sized pepper spray, personal stun guns, noisemakers, keyless entry to cars, home and car alarm systems, and a cellphone in hand or at the bedside to summon help more quickly than ever before.
    So, just because people eschew a gun for personal safety doesn’t mean they simply give up on protecting themselves, or simply feel safe for no reason. I guarantee they have something at hand, even if it’s just a keyring gizmo or a cellphone, that, among other things, makes them feel safe.

  • lootershootersnakeeater

    Keeping a gun for: safety, sport, protection against a tyrannical governments are all good and very valid arguments and need to be brought in to the discussion, but the reason I should be able to have a gun or not is because I have a right as a human to have a gun. It’s just the right thing. No one or no government has a right to take that away from me or you.

  • lootershootersnakeeater

    Keeping a gun for: safety, sport, protection against a tyrannical governments are all good and very valid arguments and need to be brought in to the discussion, but the reason I should be able to have a gun or not is because I have a right as a human to have a gun. It’s just the right thing. No one or no government has a right to take that away from me or you.

  • Joe

    The true intent of the 2nd Amendment is pretty easily determined from the text and the historical context of the Amendment itself. But the debate should have been settled the day Laurence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz came out and renounced the collective rights model and embraced the individual right model. That liberals such as Tribe and Dershowitz to agree with the position of, say the NRA and Gun Owners of America, speaks volumes about the correctness of the validity of the individual rights position.

  • Joe

    The true intent of the 2nd Amendment is pretty easily determined from the text and the historical context of the Amendment itself. But the debate should have been settled the day Laurence Tribe and Alan Dershowitz came out and renounced the collective rights model and embraced the individual right model. That liberals such as Tribe and Dershowitz to agree with the position of, say the NRA and Gun Owners of America, speaks volumes about the correctness of the validity of the individual rights position.

  • Greg

    I don’t own a gun and don’t want to own a gun. But I prefer a society with lots of gun owners around. I simply don’t trust government and see a society flush with guns as a society in which governments tyranical impulses are restrained.

  • Greg

    I don’t own a gun and don’t want to own a gun. But I prefer a society with lots of gun owners around. I simply don’t trust government and see a society flush with guns as a society in which governments tyranical impulses are restrained.

  • Don S

    Dr. Veith, I completely agree with you on this point! I have always marveled that the conversation always turns to hunters and sportsmen as well. It is obvious that the original 2nd Amendment right to bear arms was intended to ensure that citizens of the several states had the ability to resist a future tyrannical federal government, and that the several states would continue to have an ability to marshal an effective military force apart from the federal government. It was another of the checks and balances the founders so wisely provided.

  • Don S

    Dr. Veith, I completely agree with you on this point! I have always marveled that the conversation always turns to hunters and sportsmen as well. It is obvious that the original 2nd Amendment right to bear arms was intended to ensure that citizens of the several states had the ability to resist a future tyrannical federal government, and that the several states would continue to have an ability to marshal an effective military force apart from the federal government. It was another of the checks and balances the founders so wisely provided.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Actually, I think that Obama gets the militia part full well, just thinking that the definition has changed to “standing army.” What he misses is the “right of the people” part, which is not surprising for a Chicago politician.

    And liberals not getting the real meaning of a phrase? Next thing, you’re going to tell me that they’re going to legalize prenatal infanticide because they think that “privacy” is in the Constitution.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Actually, I think that Obama gets the militia part full well, just thinking that the definition has changed to “standing army.” What he misses is the “right of the people” part, which is not surprising for a Chicago politician.

    And liberals not getting the real meaning of a phrase? Next thing, you’re going to tell me that they’re going to legalize prenatal infanticide because they think that “privacy” is in the Constitution.

  • Don S

    Check out this link to a WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120398899374792349.html?mod=rss_opinion_main
    In December, at Cornell University, Obama actually said:

    “And my opinion is that the Second Amendment is probably — it is an individual right and not just a right of the militia. That’s what I expect the Supreme Court to rule. I think that’s a fair reading of the text of the Constitution. And so I respect the right of lawful gun owners to hunt, fish, protect their families”

    So, he supports the right of lawful gun owners to FISH! Very comforting.

  • Don S

    Check out this link to a WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120398899374792349.html?mod=rss_opinion_main
    In December, at Cornell University, Obama actually said:

    “And my opinion is that the Second Amendment is probably — it is an individual right and not just a right of the militia. That’s what I expect the Supreme Court to rule. I think that’s a fair reading of the text of the Constitution. And so I respect the right of lawful gun owners to hunt, fish, protect their families”

    So, he supports the right of lawful gun owners to FISH! Very comforting.

  • Kyralessa

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/DF9F175C2F225844862573E9001BDB9A?OpenDocument

    I guess the guy who shot several people in Kirkwood, MO (where I live) a couple weeks ago was just exercising his constitutional right to resist an oppressive government. He did, after all, shoot only civil servants: Policemen and members of the city council. (And one journalist who seems to have just been inadvertently in the line of fire.)

    Thanks to all for enlightening me on the real purpose of guns.

  • Kyralessa

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/DF9F175C2F225844862573E9001BDB9A?OpenDocument

    I guess the guy who shot several people in Kirkwood, MO (where I live) a couple weeks ago was just exercising his constitutional right to resist an oppressive government. He did, after all, shoot only civil servants: Policemen and members of the city council. (And one journalist who seems to have just been inadvertently in the line of fire.)

    Thanks to all for enlightening me on the real purpose of guns.

  • organshoes

    The wrath for that crime belongs on the man who committed it; not on people who own guns but don’t kill to settle scores.

  • organshoes

    The wrath for that crime belongs on the man who committed it; not on people who own guns but don’t kill to settle scores.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    OK, I give. Don’s just proved me wrong. Well said, Dr. Veith.

    (what I said might apply to most anti-gun liberals, but not Obama, at least in December at Cornell)

    Good grief.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    OK, I give. Don’s just proved me wrong. Well said, Dr. Veith.

    (what I said might apply to most anti-gun liberals, but not Obama, at least in December at Cornell)

    Good grief.


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