Obama Goes Off-Teleprompter on Gun Control

With a pre-selected question surely meant to paint Mitt Romney into a corner with the NRA, debate moderator Candy Crowley instead induced the president to go off-teleprompter with his thoughts on gun control.

The audience member asked:

President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?

And the president replied, "I believe in the second amendment," but added:

... I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so 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 home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns.

The president has kept his gun control agenda under wraps during his first term, although in another off-teleprompter moment last year, Obama told the head of the Brady gun-ban group "we are working on it ... we just have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

But with his debate remarks the president has handed the NRA the opening to say "we told you so" -- not only on so-called assault weapons, but also on handguns, as reported by the Washington Examiner:

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 ...

... Keene said that Obama's statement was a "strategic error on his part" because it blew up the president's pro-Second Amendment rhetoric. "He knows it's politically dangerous to take on the Second Amendment," said Keene.

"We have credibility when we say that Barack Obama is a threat to your rights. But that credibility is obviously enhanced 10-fold when Barack Obama, in a moment of weakness, says, 'Yeah, as a matter of fact I am.' And that's what he did," said Keene. "This is going to help us."

The NRA includes some 4.3 million members, who help protect the Second Amendment rights of more than 80 million gun owners nationally, with an estimated 45-50 percent of households owning guns. 

The organization's strategy in this critical election cycle has been to focus on gun owners in swing states, "blanketing Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin" in particular with mailings and advertisements aimed at getting gun owners to the polls on Election Day.

At the NRA annual meeting last April, Governor Romney said he does "not believe in new laws restricting gun ownership and gun use."  He reiterated that stance in his answer to the gun question at last Tuesday's debate, while also bringing up the Obama-Holder "Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal.

At the April NRA meeting, Romney also expressed his concern that a re-elected Obama would use his newfound flexibility "to remake the Supreme Court with justices who could be unfriendly to gun rights."

President Obama has already appointed two anti-gun Supreme Court Justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and may have the opportunity to appoint as many as three more, which would almost certainly mean severely restricted or completely curtailed Second Amendment rights for Americans.

Obama and company have lent their support to the temporarily stalled United Nation Small Arms Treaty, which if approved by the U.N. could fester like an open sore until a future, more compliant United States Senate approves it, just as the Marxist-based Law of the Sea Treaty, originally drafted in 1968 and most recently promoted by the Obama administration, has languished for decades awaiting Senate ratification.

An NRA article titled "Obama's Secret Plan To Destroy the Second Amendment By 2016" describes the Obama strategy:

1. Neutralize gun owners and NRA voters ...

2. Win re-election to a second term in the White House, where they then will be immune to the will of voters ...

3. Prosecute a full-scale, sustained, all-out campaign to excise the Second Amendment from our Bill of Rights through legislation, litigation, regulation, executive orders, judicial fiat, international treaties-in short, all the levers of power of all three branches of government.

The NRA piece goes on to describe Obama's early career (italics in original):

Before moving into the White House, Barack Obama spent his entire career proudly, publicly advancing the most radical anti-gun positions you can imagine.

In short, Obama never met a gun he liked, and never met a gun ban he didn't like.

He endorsed a total ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. He opposed Right- to-Carry laws. He voted to ban nearly all common hunting-rifle ammunition.

And Vice President Joe Biden shared the same notions during the 2008 campaign:

Obama vowed to re-impose the discredited Clinton gun ban, and Biden bragged that, "I'm the guy that originally wrote the assault weapons ban."

In the NRA's words, a second Obama term could see "the worst anti-gun legislative avalanche since 1968."

Gun bans. Microstamping. Bullet serialization. "One gun a month." Global gun databases, secret watchlists and the holy grail they've worked to impose for the past 50 years: Gun owner licensing and gun registration regimes that could be used for gun prohibition, confiscation and ultimate destruction.

In other words, the end of firearm freedom as we know it.

If Republicans keep the House of Representatives, there is little or no chance of any of this immediately becoming law.  But the president has already proven he will use all manner of executive orders, regulations, and skullduggery to go around Congress, and in a second term, there will be little to stop him from doing whatever he sees fit to achieve his objectives.

Just as candidate Obama previewed redistribution with "Joe the Plumber," President Obama has now previewed his second-term anti-gun agenda with a national audience.