Thursday, October 18, 2012

Out with a bang

While my lefty friends spent yesterday high-fiving one another about binders, a different group of people with  the demonstrated ability to move public opinion were focused on something else that got said in Tuesday's debate. Forget binders, everyone -- the real question is clips:

In his 2008 campaign and while president, Obama has distanced himself from gun issues, aware that it could hurt him politically in key battleground states. But when pressed about gun violence during the Tuesday town hall-style presidential debate, he fully embraced a Clinton-style assault weapons ban. Clinton's ban expired in 2004.

Suggesting a ban not just on semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 but maybe even handguns, the most popular rifle in America, the president said, "What I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap handguns."

That got the National Rifle Association's attention:

The National Rifle Association, jumping on President Obama's new and firm support for a Clinton-style assault weapons ban, is stepping up its attack on the president in Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin with a new "we told you so" theme.

David Keene, president of the NRA, told Secrets, "the president has ratified what we have been saying" in ads and mailings to pro-gun voters. "See, he peeked out and finally said what he wants," said Keene.
I think that was a big mistake on Obama's part. If Ohio and Wisconsin both go Romney's way, the Obama presidency will be over in January. The NRA is awfully good at reaching gun owners and there are a lot of them in both Ohio and Wisconsin. And gun owners and those who support the 2nd Amendment are always likely voters.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

Two things:
1) Get out and vote!
2) Buy a handgun in the next 18 days. Just to be on the safe side.

Bike Bubba said...

....and learn how to use it. Add at least $100 to the cost of the gun for proper training and ammunition at the range. (a gun without training to use it is at best a paperweight, and at worst a hazard....see the hilarious video of the DEA officer shooting himself in the foot for why)

Brian said...

Maybe, though I've been getting dire emails about Obama taking my (non-existent) guns away for four years, so I do question how much of an effect further histrionics on the issue are likely to have. We'll see, I guess.

As to the substance of what he said (this was one of the few parts of the debate I actually heard) the "other sources of violence" to which he was referring are pretty clearly the lack of economic and educational opportunities he spent the balance of his time talking about, not handguns. (As I recall, he also acknowledged that the 2nd Amendment protects a right to arm oneself for self-defense, which would be pretty incongruous with a desire to restrict handgun ownership.)

Of course, the way he phrased things, it will be simple for someone to spin it as "Obama wants to take your handguns away", and I imagine that they will. (I don't think Mr. D has done that here, to be clear.)

Anonymous said...

Brian, spinning away huh? Kind of like how Romney doesn't support equal pay for equal work or how he doesn't support women's rights? What is good for the Goose is certainly good for the gander! The problem is that it's only fair when it's the Socialist in Chief or one of his various toadies making the accusations! "They can't violate or pledges, only we can violate our pledges!"

Mr. D said...

Of course, the way he phrased things, it will be simple for someone to spin it as "Obama wants to take your handguns away", and I imagine that they will. (I don't think Mr. D has done that here, to be clear.)

Yep. And that's how it will be spun. The difference, I suspect, is this is the first time he's even tacitly endorsed any restrictions on guns, to my knowledge. It was an unforced error and the sort of error that could cost him some key votes in places where needs every vote he can get.

Brian said...

Anon--I don't believe I have proclaimed the Obama camp innocent of spinning, but do feel free to project all you like.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Romney is going to steal lady parts. Obama's goin' after the guns.

What's a gun-toting lady to do?