Tuesday, February 19, 2008

David Bernstein finds some Obama quotes from the 1990s. One is about economics, and the other is about gun control. Obama's had an unclear past on gun rights (at one point, in 1996, his campaign said he favored the banning of handguns, but Obama's campaign now says that he never believed that--he now says that the ban on handguns would not be "politically practicable" at the moment). He now says that he believes in the individual right to bear arms but also says that he believes in the "commonsense regulation" of this right. What does Obama think to be a "commonsense regulation"? He supports the Washington, DC gun ban, and the quote Bernstein's found from 1999 offers some other policies that Obama apparently thinks are "common sense" (e.a.):

Obama outlined his anti-gun plan that includes increased penalties for the interstate transportation of firearms. The maximum penalty now for bringing a gun across the border is 10 years in prison. Obama is proposing to make it a felony for a gun owner whose firearm was stolen from his residence which causes harm to another person if that weapon was not securely stored in that home.

He's proposing restricting gun purchases to one weapon a month and banning the sale of firearms at gun shows except for "antique" weapons. Obama is also proposing increasing the licensing fee to obtain a federal firearms license.

He's also seeking a ban on police agencies from reselling their used weapons even if those funds are used to buy more state-of-the-art weapons for their agencies. Obama wants only those over 21 who've passed a basic course to be able to buy or own a firearm.

He's proposing that all federally licensed gun dealers sell firearms in a storefront and not from their homes while banning their business from being within five miles of a school or a park.
So if a burglar steals a gun from your home (unless, perhaps, the gun is secured in a gun safe) and injures someone with it, Barack Obama thinks that you should be charged with a felony? And the five-mile anti-gun-store school-and-park radius would effectively ban the sale of guns in all urban areas, many, if not all or most, suburban areas (a single school zone would, after all, mean at least seventy-five square miles of anti-gun territory), and, I would guess, a great number of rural areas. Obama's "commonsense regulations" (at least circa 1999) would significantly restrict the ability of the vast majority US citizen to buy guns legally. Indeed, for some, it would effectively be a gun ban.