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Obama Favors Gun Control . . . Until the Pennsylvania Primary

John Lott has this very interesting op-ed, tracking Senator Obama's support for broad gun control measures ... support that seems to have evaporated with the Pennsylvania primary just a few weeks away. Lott quotes a personal exchange with Obama in which Obama said directly to Lott, "I don't believe that people should be able to own guns."

It will be interesting to see what exactly Obama says about his position on gun control during the campaign. Based on the evidence cited by Lott, it looks like he has taken a fairly consistent position in favor of banning handguns and perhaps some other guns as well.

Steve:
I guess there are people who ascribe more credibility to John Lott than I do, but I have my doubts that Obama really said that.
4.10.2008 12:33pm
Virginian:

I guess there are people who ascribe more credibility to John Lott than I do, but I have my doubts that Obama really said that.


Why? Such a statement is certainly consistent with his voting record and official positions of his prior campaigns (unless you believe his BS excuse blaming them on uninformed staffers).

But of course, using a Democrat's own statements against him is "swiftboating" and dirty politics.
4.10.2008 12:41pm
Brian Mac:
Am I the only one impressed that he can recall, verbatim, a conversation held 15 years ago?
4.10.2008 12:41pm
GP (mail):
I'm not surprised. John Lott is an infallible source.
4.10.2008 12:43pm
M (mail):
I agree that we shouldn't give Lott much credence since he's a known fibber on a pretty large scale. Given that it's unlikely that he can really recall exactly what's said so long ago, and doesn't present any context, I'd tend to think we should rate this pretty low in terms of likelihood of truth.
4.10.2008 12:43pm
Houston Lawyer:
So we should soon expect to see video of Obama in camo sporting a recently borrowed shotgun blasting away at some hapless birds; and it will probably be a semi-auto that violates someone's definion of an assault weapon.
4.10.2008 12:45pm
Mary Rosh (mail):
I'm not surprised. John Lott is an infallible source.


You can say that again. John Lott's integrity is above reproach. He'd never make up anything untrue. And I know that from personal first hand experience.
4.10.2008 12:51pm
yankev (mail):
Can someone call my attention to what makes Lott a "known fibber on a pretty large scale"?
4.10.2008 12:51pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I agree that we shouldn't give Lott much credence since he's a known fibber on a pretty large scale.


Based on his previous conduct, Obama deserves even less deference.

More importantly, regardless of what one thinks of Obama or Lott's credibility and even if you discount the private statement entirely, in this case Lott has the evidence in the form of Obama's votes, legislation he's sponsored, gun control groups he's supported, and other public statements which support his article.
4.10.2008 12:55pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Can someone call my attention to what makes Lott a "known fibber on a pretty large scale"?"

Google Mary Rosh.

Virginian:

"Why? Such a statement is certainly consistent with his voting record and official positions of his prior campaigns (unless you believe his BS excuse blaming them on uninformed staffers).

But of course, using a Democrat's own statements against him is "swiftboating" and dirty politics."

Other than Lott's recollection, what evidence do we have for the position that Obama believes people should not be allowed to own guns *period* (as opposed to believing in restrictions on sale, use, number, type of weapon, zoning, etc.)? Even most liberal constitutionalists, and Obama certainly qualifies, would likely concede that a flat out ban on any type of gun ownership would probably be unconstitutional (or at least that the issue is not free from doubt until a definitive Supreme Court case).
4.10.2008 12:56pm
GP (mail):
4.10.2008 12:58pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

Can someone call my attention to what makes Lott a "known fibber on a pretty large scale"?


I think it was the part where he spent twenty years attending a racist church where the preacher yelled "godd*** America!" from the pulpit after 9/11 and taught that AIDS was invented by our government to kill black people but later claimed that he wasn't aware of any "controversial" statements from his "spiritual advisor."

Oh wait . . .
4.10.2008 12:59pm
cboldt (mail):
John Lott is more credible than Obama.
.
Obama is running for office. Of course he is shading his position. But as far as I'm concerned, all Democrats are presumptively anti-gun. Not that all of them ARE anti-gun, but that's the presumption I saddle them with. Less so Republican politicians, but Republican politicians aren't immune from holding gun-nanny positions.
4.10.2008 1:01pm
Jiminy (mail):
Yeah, after checking into that Mary Rosh and the Freakonomics angle, I am not very convinced of Lott's memory skills when talking about a current-events politician and a gun control conversation he had with him. Especially considering how firm Lott is with regards to this issue. A little convenient, methinks. Any secondary or supporting sources??
4.10.2008 1:02pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

Even most liberal constitutionalists, and Obama certainly qualifies,


Oh please, as we saw from Obama's statement about his vote against John Roberts, constitutional theory takes a back seat to whether one has the proper "empathy" to know what it's like to be an unwed mother.

Almost as dumb as pretending that you support the Second Amendment because you respect that people have a "tradition" of "hunting and sports shooting" which is what gun grabbers always say when they're trying to pretend that they're trying to pull a fast one.
4.10.2008 1:06pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"but later claimed that he wasn't aware of any "controversial" statements from his "spiritual advisor."

Oh wait . . ."


Hmm. I don't think that Barack Obama ever publicly claimed to be unaware of *any* controversial statements made by Jeremiah Wright. In fact, he acknowledged on March 18, 2008 that he was aware that Wright sometimes made controversial statements with which he disagreed, and claimed not to have been present (a claim thus far unrebutted, except by a quoted fabrication later retracted column by William Kristol) during the sermons from which the video clips were drawn.

No reason to say that criticism of Obama's association with Wright is not legitimate; equally there is no reason to make things up about Obama's statements on the matter.
4.10.2008 1:06pm
EKGlen (mail):

"Can someone call my attention to what makes Lott a "known fibber on a pretty large scale"?"

After you google Mary Rosh, google Levitt/Lott and read up on how Levitt eviscerated Lott's shoddy scholarship arising from, among other things, Lott's bizarro world argument that They find evidence that legalizing abortion increased murder rates from 0.5 to 7 percent.

There are also some very serious questions about the, um, validity of the data he cites to support his arguments.

I support the right to keep and bear arms and I think it is a shame that some good arguments in support of that right have been tainted by Lott's conduct.

I can't imagine why anyone would think that he has any credibility at this point.
4.10.2008 1:08pm
CDU (mail) (www):
Other than Lott's recollection, what evidence do we have for the position that Obama believes people should not be allowed to own guns *period* (as opposed to believing in restrictions on sale, use, number, type of weapon, zoning, etc.)? Even most liberal constitutionalists, and Obama certainly qualifies, would likely concede that a flat out ban on any type of gun ownership would probably be unconstitutional (or at least that the issue is not free from doubt until a definitive Supreme Court case).


On a 1996 survey, he was asked if he supported legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. He answered yes without qualifications. He's since claimed that an aide filled out the questionnaire without consulting him, but considering that there's a copy of the survey with his handwritten notes on it, that denial seems pretty weak.
4.10.2008 1:16pm
Fearless:
Nice to see you linking to propaganda.

Here is one thing said by the always dishonest Lott:


The notion that people might want to protect themselves when the police are not around isn't something that he sees as legitimate.


I am sure that it is Mr. Obama's position that people whose life is threatened must simply roll over and die.

Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.

It is nice to see Mr. Cassell linking to lies. Good job. That really is an impressive contribution.
4.10.2008 1:19pm
Brett Bellmore:

Other than Lott's recollection, what evidence do we have for the position that Obama believes people should not be allowed to own guns *period*


Item 1: Support for D.C.'s remarkably draconian gun laws.

Item 2: His answers to candidate questionaires before he was trying to appeal to a national office.

The evidence that Obama is an anti-gun extremist is pretty extensive. If he stops short of wanting all guns banned, it's not by much.

Yes, I realize the above link is to Lott's essay. It also relates independently verifiable facts, and provides links to evidence. Frankly, I'll take the word of somebody with a worse record of lies than Lott, if they document what they're saying.
4.10.2008 1:20pm
PLR:
It is nice to see Mr. Cassell linking to lies. Good job. That really is an impressive contribution.

Slow day on the Jeremiah Wright front, perhaps.
4.10.2008 1:21pm
Fearless:

Slow day on the Jeremiah Wright front, perhaps.


Have fun beating your dead horse.
4.10.2008 1:22pm
Frog Leg (mail):
The general quality of postings on political topics here has been very poor. If I wanted political hackery, there are any number of sites I could go to. Can we please keep this a blog on legal issues?
4.10.2008 1:25pm
Brian Mac:

"keep this a blog on legal issues"


Prior restraint!
4.10.2008 1:31pm
byomtov (mail):
Hey. Don't question Lott's credibility. He had it all on a computer, but the hard disk crashed. Or maybe his dog ate it.
4.10.2008 1:31pm
Displaced Midwesterner (mail):

The general quality of postings on political topics here has been very poor.


I have to agree. Not that it is really the VC's fault. The general quality of political discourse in America is pretty shoddy. Not to mention that the campagin season runs way too long. I'm pretty sure the present election cycle actually started while I was in utero.

Which is why there is really only one solution: amend the Constitution. From now on, we select our presidents in the Octagon.
4.10.2008 1:37pm
CJColucci:
We don't have to take John Lott's uncorroborated word about his personal conversation with Barack Obama. Mary Rosh was there, and she'll back him up.
4.10.2008 1:48pm
Fearless:

Hey. Don't question Lott's credibility. He had it all on a computer, but the hard disk crashed. Or maybe his dog ate it.


Ha. This is pretty hilarious.

Lott's intellectual dishonesty runs pretty deep. I don't know why anyone would think it was smart to link to him.
4.10.2008 1:49pm
Fearless:
Here is a fun and very short CNN blurb concerning Obama on the campaign trail.
4.10.2008 1:55pm
GP (mail):
God, I wish it were November already. The non-news keeps getting worse.
4.10.2008 1:59pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Here is Wikipedia's page on Obama's gun control support. Every claim is cited from independent sources.

As far as Lott goes, I don't trust him as an individual but do read him and verify his sources independently, and have found him to be fairly accurate of late.
4.10.2008 2:00pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
The credibility of John Lott (whose scholarship always seemed to me to be accurate and thorough, but I'm not an economist) is somewhat beside the point here.

What is important is Obama's voting record on gun control issues, which has been consistently antigun. In addition, he has come up with a number of anti-gun statements, most recently a comment that he opposes concealed carry because it will turn our nation into the Wild West, with people holding CCW licenses shooting people in minor altercations like fenderbenders (this is my interpretation, not an exact quote of Obama, which is probably available somewhere on the web).

A politician's voting record is a far better indicator of what they will do when elected than any campaign rhetoric. Most of the "changes of heart" that they espouse on the hustings evaporate once they are in office. Personally, I generally ignore anything a political candidate says that conflicts with his or her voting record.

Obviously, on some issues, one needs to apply common sense interpretation, but on core constitutional issues like gun control, free speech, etc., how they voted in the past is generally how they will vote in the future.
4.10.2008 2:02pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
You can almost see the tide turning from Obama: Transformational Figure to Obama: Typical Democratic Machine Hack with (1) primary financial backer imprisoned, (2) 20 year mentee relationship with wacky, hate-America theologian (how about instead of Discussing Race, you just, you know, walk out?) (3) wife ensconced in fake $300,000 liaison admin sinecure.
4.10.2008 2:03pm
Vinnie (mail):
I suppose Obama could be on the board of directors of the Joyce foundation for three years and NOT have strong opinions about gun control.
Of course the Mormon church could show up on my door step and want me to be a bishop too.
4.10.2008 2:03pm
Cato the Elder:
Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.

Really? Have you read the facts of the Parker/Heller litigation? After Shelly Parker was threatened in her own home, she was warned by the District of Columbia that if she used a firearm to protect herself in a similar situation, she would be prosecuted.
4.10.2008 2:04pm
Fearless:

The credibility of John Lott (whose scholarship always seemed to me to be accurate and thorough, but I'm not an economist) is somewhat beside the point here.


Oh really? I think that the credibility of John Lott is an issue as soon as you start linking to his writings to support a point of view.

Smooth move Mr. Cassell.
4.10.2008 2:07pm
John R Lott (mail) (www):
Note also these public statements by Obama on banning guns that are in my piece (for links see this):


For example, when Obama ran for the Illinois state senate the political group, Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI), asked him if he supported a "ban [on] the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns" and he responded "yes."

Realizing how damaging this could prove in the general election, his presidential campaign "flatly denied" Obama ever held this view, blaming it instead on a staffer from his state senate race.

But then IVI provided Politico the questionnaire with Obama's own handwritten notes revising another answer. Members of IVI's board of directors, some of whom have worked on Obama's past campaigns, told Politico that "I always believed those to be his views, what he really believes in, and he's tailoring it now to make himself more palatable as a nationwide candidate."

But the IVI questionnaire isn't the only one out there.

In 1998, another questionnaire administered by IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test didn't ask about banning all handguns, but it did find that Obama wanted to "ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons."

Indeed, such a ban would outlaw virtually all handguns and the vast majority of rifles sold in the United States.

In addition, from 1998 to 2001, Obama was on the board of directors for the Joyce Foundation, which funded such anti-gun groups as the Violence Policy Center, the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, and Handgun Free America. Both the Violence Policy Center and Handgun Free America, as its name suggests, are in favor of a complete ban on handguns. During his tenure on the board, the Joyce Foundation was probably the major funder of pro-control research in the United States.
4.10.2008 2:09pm
Roscoe B. Means:
Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.

Fearless, you must not spend much time talking to Democrats. It's a minority view, but it's not a tiny minority. There are many who will tell you outright that the notion of "self-defense" is immoral, because it rests on a value judgment that the life of the defender is more worthy of preservation than the life of the attacker.
4.10.2008 2:09pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Like Chicago Mayor Daley, Illinois Governor Blagojevich, VP Al Gore, Bill Clinton, in other words 87.6% of all Democratic politicians, Obama is pro-gun control. Hillary is just as bad. The John Dingells are few and exceedingly far between. Not that McCain is significantly better than the Dem candidates.

Remembering the easy passage of the Brady Bill, I think gun rights advocates are just going to have to pin their hopes on the Supreme Court for the next four years, which I would have never thought I would say.
4.10.2008 2:10pm
MXE (mail):
The evidence that Obama is an anti-gun extremist is pretty extensive. If he stops short of wanting all guns banned, it's not by much.

+1, and to be honest, I don't really care all that much whether he wants a total ban on all firearms or "just" a ban on handguns and assault weapons.

That distinction doesn't really make a material difference, considering that a President Obama would be extremely unlikely to get anything more than a renewed AWB and maybe a few other bits of "nibbling at the edges" legislation through even a Democratic Congress.

It's kind of like marijuana politics. I'd love to see a politician come out and just say, "Legalize it" (optionally followed by flipping off the camera). But in practical terms, such a leader probably wouldn't make any more progress than someone who talks "decriminalization" and "medical marijuana," because those are the only realistic near-term goals.
4.10.2008 2:10pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
In his memoir, Dreams From My Father, BHO engages in serious exaggeration about his job at Business International Corporation in NYC. He calls BIC a "a consulting house to multinational corporations." It wasn't. BIC was a small sweatshop that published a newsletter. In his book, BHO writes, "Then one day, as I sat down at my computer to write an article on interest-rate swaps, …" One of his coworkers at the time says that's false. He edited an article on interest rate swaps-- quite a difference.

In general it's hard to catch BHO in an outright lie. He introduces enough ambiguity into his narratives to give him some wiggle room. He will say things like "I never heard Wright say some of those things," hoping the listeners will hear "any" instead of the actual "some."

As for Lott's memory, it's entirely possible to remember that far back in time if something impresses you. Given BHO's support of gun control, it's entirely credible Lott heard that.
4.10.2008 2:11pm
Fearless:
Roscoe B. Means,

Maybe you should stop reading so much propoganda about Democrats.

Some Republicans are racist...

Pointing out the views of fringe individuals is not a way to advance a policy discussion. There are freaks on both sides. I bet Branch Davidians are Republican.

When I say no one, I really mean no one of any significance. If you want to search long and hard to find some loon to contradict my "no one" statement, have at it. Its your time that you will be wasting, not mine.
4.10.2008 2:14pm
Cornellian (mail):
When I read that flat-out, categorical quote, devoid of any context, I immediately wondered "who is John Lott?" I wouldn't be surprised if Obama isn't as pro-gun ownership as the average Republican or as much as people around here would prefer, but that story strikes me as a bit suspicious, like we're not being told the whole story.
4.10.2008 2:18pm
Fearless:

As for Lott's memory, it's entirely possible to remember that far back in time if something impresses you. Given BHO's support of gun control, it's entirely credible Lott heard that.


And its also entirely possible that your nothing more than a brain in a vat, and all your life experiences are the product of the various experiments of mad scientists.
4.10.2008 2:21pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
Definitely check out the Wikipedia item on Obama's stand on gun control. It also covers many other issues. I haven't looked yet, but I'm sure there are similar Wikipedia items on the other candidates.

Thanks, Kevin P!

It is questionable whether President Obama could enact his antigun wish list; it might be remembered that laws proposed by the President have to be passed by the Congress before the President signs them into law.

As for the possibility of a President instituting gun control by executive order, thus bypassing Congress, I'm not sure of the legality of this. Can anyone enlighten me here?
4.10.2008 2:24pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
When those loons hold the reigns of power over prosecution it doesn't matter how fringe their views are, they must be combatted.
4.10.2008 2:31pm
Fearless:
Soronel Haetir,

Please, enjoy your propoganda. I swear, a lot of people who vote Republican are dupes who fall for lies.

Oh, by the way, you might want to read More Guns, Less Crime. One reader, Mary Rosh, wrote a very good review of it, and that made me want to buy the book.
4.10.2008 2:39pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
I am a former student of John Lott and he was the bestest teacher ever, and he was the most credible person I ever met. Me and my girlfriend Mary Rosh were amazed by how awesome he was.
4.10.2008 2:40pm
Brian Mac:

"I am a former student of John Lott and he was the bestest teacher ever, and he was the most credible person I ever met."

If you were really brave, you'd have logged in as Mary herself. I thought of doing so, but figured I might get sued. Anyone know if a lawsuit would have been plausible?
4.10.2008 2:43pm
Displaced Midwesterner (mail):

As for Lott's memory, it's entirely possible to remember that far back in time if something impresses you. Given BHO's support of gun control, it's entirely credible Lott heard that.


And given Lott's opposition to gun control, it's entirely credible that Lott remembers hearing that, but that Obama never said it. As an earlier poster noted, though, whatever his views on gun ownership rights and gun control, it is unlikely to make much of a difference in the actual law.
4.10.2008 2:45pm
Vinnie (mail):
Soronel Haetir,

Please, enjoy your propoganda. I swear, a lot of people who vote Republican are dupes who fall for lies.


fixed it for you.
4.10.2008 2:49pm
eric (mail):
Can anyone respond to the substance of the allegations that BHO is anti-gun?

All the this "oh my god, I cannot believe you linked to John Lott" is pure bullshit. Grow up. Also, this stuff about the poor quality of political commentary and keeping this blog a legal blog is bullshit as well. It is not your blog. I am sure you hacks can find somewhere else to troll with your snarky and unimportant comments.
4.10.2008 2:53pm
Virginian:

Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.


Then why did the governor of Illinois veto a bill to "that provides an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance prohibiting or restricting the use of firearms in cases where the firearm is used in an act of self-defense or defense or others..."?

And what good is it to support the right to self-defense if you deny the right to possess the necessary tools?
4.10.2008 2:56pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.


That might be the case. I'm not so sure, given the folk who seem to pretty heavily state otherwise or who have attempted to ban and/or highly regulate any method with which one can defend him or herself. There are IANSA reports stating that the writers believed that no individual has the right to self-defense under the United Nations charter, and that only countries do.

I suppose they don't count as anyone, though.
4.10.2008 2:56pm
Thales (mail) (www):
To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."

It's fine to disagree with the man's policies or intimate that he is less than honest about his policy views (though I'd say the evidence is pretty thin on this front, at least compared to the admittedly low standard set by contemporary politicians). However, this crypto-Muslim extremist crap should really stop.

You might disagree with him or dislike him, but Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides, this despite his own liberal/progressive views. And there should be no reason to impugn his love country based on lack of lapel pins, or his middle name, or still photos of him not saluting the flag when singing the Star Spangled Banner, or ridiculous things said by his minister, or heated things about national pride said by his wife during a campaign. Please, take the high road.
4.10.2008 3:06pm
Brian Mac:

Can anyone respond to the substance of the allegations that BHO is anti-gun?...this "oh my god, I cannot believe you linked to John Lott" is pure bullshit. Grow up. Also, this stuff about the poor quality of political commentary and keeping this blog a legal blog is bullshit as well. I am sure you hacks can find somewhere else to troll with your snarky and unimportant comments.

How to make friends and influence people.
4.10.2008 3:08pm
Brian Mac:
Thales:


"Impugn his love country"

Sounds kind of kinky...
4.10.2008 3:19pm
Careless:
To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."


Well, the alternative would be calling him BO, which the Obama campaign probably wouldn't prefer.
4.10.2008 3:24pm
Temp Guest (mail):
I haven't found a convincing argument here that Lott's portrayal of Obama is inaccurate. Lott's sourced data have decide me that I will vote against Obama. Those sourced data alone are sufficient to determine two things: (1) Obama is more "anti-gun" than any other candidate and (2) he is willing to lie through his teeth to hide this fact. In my opinion both the position and the dishonesty unsuit him for high political office.

Anyway, I'm happy some of you folks got some venom out of your system with ad hominem "humor". Maybe some of you will be less nasty for the rest of the day than liberals usually are. You may even see fit to make a charitable contribution like we conservatives are wont to do (Clinton Foundation doesn't count).
4.10.2008 3:26pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Well, the alternative would be calling him BO, which the Obama campaign probably wouldn't prefer."

I have to admit, that made me laugh out loud, but how about just his surname? And of course I meant to write "impugn his love *of* country." Apologies.
4.10.2008 3:26pm
Kevin P. (mail):

Thales:
To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."


Dropping the H would result in initials of BO. Is that an improvement?

I don't know what the big deal is. Hussein is his middle name, just like Hillary is Hillary Rodham Clinton, a.k.a. HRC.
4.10.2008 3:27pm
Perry (mail):
I'll take the 'potentially gun restriction supporting' Obama over the 'riding roughshod over everyones civil rights' GWB any day of the week.

I wish some of the folks here would show half of the anger they show towards Obama towards the fact that this country was duped into solely supporting a trillion dollar multi-decade war that never directly addressed the group who ACTUALLY attacked us.

Saddam Hussein: Captured and killed within the span of a few years.

Osama Bin Laden: (remember that guy? anyone?) Still running around making anti-US videos and drinking lattes somewhere.

All of us: Stuck.
4.10.2008 3:30pm
PLR:
I'm an Obama supporter who occasionally refers to BHO and HRC as a shorthand way of mentioning the candidates. I have no issue at all with the name Hussein, and to the extent it has a historical connection for me it is with the Jordanian royal family, not the former dictator of Iraq who was generally referred to by his first name, Saddam.
4.10.2008 3:30pm
Prufrock765 (mail):
thales:

FDR, LBJ, HST, RMN, JFK, HRC, GWB,...
all okay...right?

but not BHO?
4.10.2008 3:33pm
The Unbeliever:
Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial?


To be honest, I had the same initial reaction, but then I realized referring to a candidate by the initials BO was probably a worse idea given what the abbreviation colloquially stands for in American slang.

IMO BHO is OK as an abbr, but ofc YMMV.
4.10.2008 3:38pm
Steve P. (mail):
From what I've been able to find, it seems pretty clear that Obama definitely supports strong gun restrictions. There are lots of sources for that statement that don't engage in sock-puppetry.

The interesting point for me is whether he would make gun control a priority. That point may not matter if you're a single-issue voter (on the subject of gun rights), but I suspect it's the more relevant question.
4.10.2008 3:38pm
The Unbeliever:
I'll take the 'potentially gun restriction supporting' Obama over the 'riding roughshod over everyones civil rights' GWB any day of the week.


Hmm, I didn't know GWB was running for a 3rd term this year.
4.10.2008 3:41pm
Cato the Elder:
When I say no one, I really mean no one of any significance.

The Parker facts thoroughly disprove this. But hey, why worry about an actual government actor telling an actual person that she could not defend herself? Unfounded assumptions are much more helpful than real facts.
4.10.2008 3:47pm
Joe Kowalski (mail):

The interesting point for me is whether he would make gun control a priority. That point may not matter if you're a single-issue voter (on the subject of gun rights), but I suspect it's the more relevant question.



Agreed. Given how little Obama, and pro gun control dems in general, seem to be pushing the issue anymore it's unlikely to be a priority. Especially when he has bigger fish to fry for the time being like the economy, health care, Iraq, etc, he isn't going to spend out his political capital to push gun control. Now, his second term might be a different story, but for now, the issue by and large is a dead one at the national level.
4.10.2008 3:50pm
amliebsch:

To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."

I think you're overreacting. It has been common shorthand for many years to refer to political entities and figures by their initials, particularly whenever it is loquacious to do so, e.g., FDR, JFK, RFK, LBJ, GWB, DNC, GOP, HRC, etc. I wouldn't read so much into it.
4.10.2008 3:53pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
It is questionable whether President Obama could enact his antigun wish list; it might be remembered that laws proposed by the President have to be passed by the Congress before the President signs them into law.

As for the possibility of a President instituting gun control by executive order, thus bypassing Congress, I'm not sure of the legality of this. Can anyone enlighten me here?


It's simple -- instead of going through Congress or your State legislature to enact restrictions on a disfavored, you get the AG and/or a friendly plaintiff's firm to hit whatever industry you don't like -- be it alcohol, tobacco, or firearms -- with multiple lawsuits in enough diverse jurisdictions that the industry has to defend itself in multiple forums. Even if the suits are dismissed or overturned on appeal, if you make expensive enough for them to defend themselves, you can force them to enter into a "settlement agreement" whereby they agree in a legally binding way to do the very things you couldn't force them to do if you went through the legislative process.

It's what Clinton's DOJ did during the 1990's until we (finally) were able to get the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005 (which Obama of course voted against). Theoretically this should stop the firearms industry from being targeted in the future (barring amendment or repeal of the Act, a judge who decides to ignore it or lawyer who figures out a way around it) with similar tactics but the damage was already done.
4.10.2008 3:53pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
I am sure that it is Mr. Obama's position that people whose life is threatened must simply roll over and die.

Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.


The DC gun ban says your gun must be inoperable in the home and you cannot make it operable even if someone is raping your wife or trying to kill you.

In DC you have no right to defend your life with a gun in your home. You must submit.
4.10.2008 3:56pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
You might disagree with him or dislike him, but Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides, this despite his own liberal/progressive views.


If by the phrase "from all sides" you mean only the Left and Far Left then you've included enough qualifiers that I suppose the statement could be true. But there isn't any evidence of Obama taking into account the views of anyone in either the political center or political right in any of his proposed policies.
4.10.2008 4:00pm
Brian K (mail):
To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."


no! don't stop using it. it instantaneously lets the reader know that the author has left reality and is inhabiting some magical fantasy land, has ceased all rational thought and can safely be ignored.
4.10.2008 4:03pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
Other than Lott's recollection, what evidence do we have for the position that Obama believes people should not be allowed to own guns *period* (as opposed to believing in restrictions on sale, use, number, type of weapon, zoning, etc.)?
Having followed the gun controversy for forty years, and having met, debated, voted against, read, and listened to folks with Obama's record, my position is that what such people are willing to "allow" is negligibly different from a complete ban.

Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.
Back in the early 1980s, when I got involved in sexual assault prevention, many activists were advocating non-resistance. "If you fight back, you might get hurt." That didn't last long.

I have a concealed handgun license and teach the Texas class. I've run into a number of people who call me names, accuse me of being a vigilante, etc. because "no one should be able to take a life, even of a criminal." One of them even called my boss and told him I should be fired unless I agreed to give up my license and quit teaching.

In England, today, fighting back against a violent criminal invading your home will often land you in worse trouble than the criminal.

In D.C. (D.C. v Heller) the law permits keeping a long gun in your place of business, so you can protect your till, but prohibits keeping one at home where you might need to protect your family.

In discretionary states (where they get to decide if you "need" a gun permit) carrying large sums of cash is considered a much more valid reason than "I don't want to be raped or murdered."

Then there's the "You're (insert number) times more likely to shoot a family member than kill a burglar" canard.

I have lots more, but I'll resist. There's also the, "Of course you can defend yourself. As long as you don't try to use a gun or other weapon." See Bernard Goetz, acquitted of protecting himself from the attack of four gang members but imprisoned for possession of the handgun that made it possible.
Hey. Don't question Lott's credibility. He had it all on a computer, but the hard disk crashed. Or maybe his dog ate it.
I think that was Bellisles.
It is questionable whether President Obama could enact his antigun wish list; it might be remembered that laws proposed by the President have to be passed by the Congress before the President signs them into law.
Yeah. And I can keep my fingers crossed, too.
As for the possibility of a President instituting gun control by executive order, thus bypassing Congress, I'm not sure of the legality of this. Can anyone enlighten me here?
Bill Clinton, by executive order, raised the fee for a Federal Firearms License by several hundred percent, and made rules that cut the number of licensed dealers by 80%.
4.10.2008 4:08pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Give me a break. No one believes that people do not have a right to defend themselves in life threatening situations. No one.


Then why did the governor of Illinois veto a bill to "that provides an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance prohibiting or restricting the use of firearms in cases where the firearm is used in an act of self-defense or defense or others..."?


Good point and let's not forget that Obama voted against that same bill. The fact that Obama actually voted against it -- as opposed to merely voting "present" as he had on so many controversial pieces of legislation -- ought to give you an idea of how opposed he is the right of people to defend themselves in life threatening situations.
4.10.2008 4:09pm
Karan Singh (mail):
The Clinton years showed how destructive the Executive branch could be on its own when it came to the rights of gun owners.

It was during this era that ATF publicly declared that "sporting purposes" did not include sport shooting sanctioned by three different international organizations (IDPA, IPSC, and USPSA). ATF also framed the debate over so-called "assault weapons" as "who needs access to high-capacity ammunition magazines?" rather than semi-auto rifles. The same ATF revoked the licenses of thousands of law-complying non-stocking FFL holders because they weren't running a brick-and-mortar business with an inventory. And even HUD got into the act with a contemplated lawsuit against "the gun industry."

So, yes, the Executive has a lot of power to wield without worrying about the Legislature.
4.10.2008 4:14pm
hawkins:

I don't know what the big deal is. Hussein is his middle name, just like Hillary is Hillary Rodham Clinton, a.k.a. HRC.



FDR, LBJ, HST, RMN, JFK, HRC, GWB,...


HRC is a maiden name which she regularly uses, much different from a middle name. As far as the others go, they were middle names or initials by which the person was commonly known (to distinguish from their fathers in the case of JFK and GWB).

Unless a person is known by the name or middle initial, it is rare to use that initial. For instance, Terrell Ownens is known as TO not TEO. Michael Jordan as MJ not MJJ.
4.10.2008 4:14pm
Oren:
Also importantly, to what degree will Obama seek to use Federal power to regulate guns versus deferring to the states? Given that most of the important policy (hanguns, CCW) is made by the states, he might not be in a position to do that much damage.

For the single-issue voters this probably won't matter, but as much as I support the RKBA, I will probably swallow it at vote for him on the other issues.
4.10.2008 4:18pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
I seriously doubt Obama will exercise the same sort of discretion as President that he exercised as a senator. As a single senator in a group of 100, his vote is 1% of the final result, and he cast it accordingly. As President, I think he'll think a lot harder about what he signs and what he vetoes - because it's fully 100% of the result.

I don't trust most candidates to understand that. Obama is different. I think we need different. I do not believe any other candidate has a better chance of being a truly great President, whereas EVERY other candidate has a much better chance of being a truly awful President.
4.10.2008 4:29pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Unless a person is known by the name or middle initial, it is rare to use that initial. For instance, Terrell Ownens is known as TO not TEO. Michael Jordan as MJ not MJJ.
I missed the primaries where these guys were running for president.

Seriously, the whole thing about BHO initials is silly and counterproductive. If elected, he would be known forever as either BHO or BO.

I find this esp. rich since President Bush (43) is commonly known by his middle initial. Fair play and turnaround would have Obama known by his middle initial and name. He wouldn't be, of course.

Yes, it is unfair that the most vocal anti-war candidate has the middle name of one of our opponents in this war on terror, and that middle name sounds (and typically is) Islamic, when we are currently fighting militant jihadist Islam. But as his hero, JFK, was reported saying, life is unfair. And, Obama would not be where he is today, if he hadn't been born half-black, attended Harverd LS, etc.
4.10.2008 4:48pm
Sam Draper (mail):
I don't see how see how Levitt eviscerated Lott. Lott sued Leavitt and Leavitt actually had to send a letter correcting some of the allegations he made. See . The court found those allegations to be "defamatory."

I understand that the rest of the lawsuit was dismissed as Leavitt's statements were found by the judge to have a possible innocent construction. If the statements have an innocent construction, they are hardly eviscerating.

The whole Rosh thing is ridiculous though, as is filing a lawsuit about dueling pop science books. If Obama denies making such a statement, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.
4.10.2008 4:48pm
Sam Draper (mail):
Here is the link I was tring to insert in my post: http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Lott_v._Levitt_2007.pdf. How in the world do you get the links to work on this website?
4.10.2008 4:50pm
Richard Burke (mail):
One can find Levitt's correction letter here. Ted Frank over at Overlawyered.com called it "a remarkable letter of apology." Ben Zycher wrote:


Steve Levitt's utterly embarrassing letter to John McCall, a letter that most scholars with a shred of dignity would write only after having crawled into a deep hole.. . . . In case you missed it: Levitt admits that even as he claimed that the special issue of the JLE that Lott put together was not refereed, Levitt himself was one of the referees. Second, Levitt's claim that Lott invited only authors whose views were consistent with his was undermined completely by his admission that he had been invited to submit a paper. . . . And, third, the comedy highlight of Levitt's letter is his claim that "[Levitt] did not mean to suggest that Dr. Lott did anything unlawful or improper in arranging for the payment of the publication expenses for the Conference issue." Of course not; precisely what, then, did he mean to suggest?
4.10.2008 5:11pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Whether gun control is or isn't practicable in the current political climate is only marginally important. The politicians who would impose gun control if they could will legislate on other matters on the same principle that underlies gun control: that the People are villains or fools. This is simply not compatible with the long-term survival of popular sovereignty.
4.10.2008 5:14pm
Steve P. (mail):
Sam — same as HTML in general. Put the url inside the rel="nofollow" href="" quotes, and put some text in between the "a" tags. Thusly. You can hit "Preview" to see if you're doing it right without adding a comment.

Without commenting on the "evisceration" issue, Lott still seems to leave a bit to be desired.
4.10.2008 5:18pm
Smokey:
What, nobody wants to discuss John Lott's 1:09 pm post? Refute it if you can. Instead of, you know, calling names and all.


Fearless:
I bet Branch Davidians are Republican.
Well, of course they are! Janet Mangina Reno [JMR] fire bombed them, didn't she?
4.10.2008 5:21pm
MXE (mail):
You might disagree with him or dislike him, but Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides [...]

Hahaha, yeah, even those of us who disagree with and dislike Obama have to admit that truly believes in compromise, bipartisanship, a wholly new brand of politics, and uniting all sides of issues. I also hear he rested only half a day after creating the universe, too. He's that dedicated!
4.10.2008 5:25pm
Steve P. (mail):
Sorry Sam, ignore the ref value in that example — it was procedurally added by (what likely is) this site's anti-spam code.
4.10.2008 5:25pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Smokey:

Well, of course they are! Janet Mangina Reno [JMR] fire bombed them, didn't she?

A calumny. All she did was attack their children with CS. If the Davidians became Republicans after that it just shows what bad sports they are.
4.10.2008 5:34pm
Smokey:
Sam Draper:

To link,

1) Highlight the page address that you want to link to

2) Copy it

3) Highlight the word(s) in your comment that you want to be your hot link

4) Click on the "Link" button above the comment box

5) Paste the saved page address into the pop-up window

6) Click on Preview & then click your hot link to verify

It's so easy even I can do it.
4.10.2008 5:41pm
eric (mail):
<blockquote>
<i>How to make friends and influence people.</i>
</blockquote>

Which assumes I care about making friends or influencing people . . .
4.10.2008 6:04pm
zippypinhead:
Oh, c'mon! So here we have a candidate who was on the Board of the Joyce Foundation, and who (with perhaps one exception) voted for the restrictive position on every piece of firearms-related legislation that ever came before him on both the state and Federal levels? And who on April Fools Day blurted out a [non-joking] comment at a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania suggesting that unlike either of his opponents, he's even opposed to civilian concealed-carry rights? Give me a break, folks - surely NONE of us are perceptive enough to have any clue on such a balanced record of how he'll come down on Second Amendment issues if he's elected! [/sarcasm off]

Here's my suspicion: Obama is smart enough to realize what's likely to happen when the Supreme Court hands down Heller in several weeks. He wants to be able to say that his view of the Second Amendment was "right" (at least on a theoretical level) all along, and that he certainly supports "individual rights." But that has absolutely no bearing on what his firearms-related legislative or regulatory agendas will be once he's in office. My guess: he's going to push the issue as hard as he thinks he can get away with doing within the constraints of Heller and electoral politics. Guaranteeing that Rep. McCarthy is going to get to blow the dust off her expanded assault weapons ban bill, at minimum.

What a smart strategy -- he gets to be on both sides of the issue! But given Obama's Harv.L.Rev. history, this "smart" position for some reason also reminds me of some words to live by from my 1L property law professor regarding the practical sense of some "smart" people (made long before the Obama words John Lott quoted that raised so many hackles on this thread): "I wouldn't let half the law review probate the will of my dog." Possibly even a verifiable quote, since it was said in front of a class of 80 witnesses (including at least one regular blogger on this site). Obama's probating Fido's Laws Will &Testament here, folks...
4.10.2008 6:28pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
You might disagree with him or dislike him, but Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides
This is a problem, not a feature. I prefer the safety of Federal gridlock.
4.10.2008 6:31pm
yankev (mail):

What is important is Obama's voting record on gun control issues, which has been consistently antigun.
Sorry, you're not allowed to say that, and I don't have to belive it, because (a) John Lott said it, whioch makes it suspect no matter how well documented and no mater who else said it, (b) any criticism of Obama is by definition a smear campaign and consitutes guilt by association. In this case, of course, the assocaition is between Obama and his owne views, statments, and voting record.
4.10.2008 6:48pm
Brett:
I seriously doubt Obama will exercise the same sort of discretion as President that he exercised as a senator. As a single senator in a group of 100, his vote is 1% of the final result, and he cast it accordingly. As President, I think he'll think a lot harder about what he signs and what he vetoes - because it's fully 100% of the result.

I don't trust most candidates to understand that. Obama is different.


What flavor is the Kool-Aid today, out of curiosity?

Look, friend: Obama is a doctrinaire gun-grabber. This point is not seriously in dispute. Hoping that, as chief executive, he'd exercise restraint vis-a-vis gun policy out of respect for his ideological opponents is breathtakingly naive.
4.10.2008 7:29pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Obama is a doctrinaire gun-grabber.

Yeah, although I was prepared to vote for Fred Thompson it didn't seem to do any good. Californians' gun rights were signed away by one Republican governor after another; McCain seems to be fairly RINO-like on this subject.
4.10.2008 7:52pm
Oren:
The politicians who would impose gun control if they could will legislate on other matters on the same principle that underlies gun control: that the People are villains or fools.
Exception of course, their opponents, who will not legislate my right to bear arms but somehow have a lot to say about where I put my dick.

Since I'm quite sure that there are no candidates that fully respect my rights as an individual, it remains only to chose which, on average, will end up destroying them least.

[Footnote, as an Obama supporter in the woods here, I'm not trying to convince anyone that my analysis is fool-proof. My intent is only to illuminate my logic.]
4.10.2008 8:26pm
Oren:
My guess: he's going to push the issue as hard as he thinks he can get away with doing within the constraints of Heller and electoral politics. Guaranteeing that Rep. McCarthy is going to get to blow the dust off her expanded assault weapons ban bill, at minimum.
Since we're engaging in wild speculation, my guesses are:

(1) The opinion in DC v. Heller will end up creating mass confusion as to how to balance the individual right vs government interest (strict scrutiny is no good, rational basis is no good, it'll have to be something untested). In the wake of this confusion, there will no incentive to start regulating until the dust settles.

(2) Obama will not risk the frail majority in the Senate (Webb, Tester) by putting forth any major gun control legislation. We might revive Brady, as it existed in 2004 when it expired, but that will be the end of it.

(3) Even if Obama does push for it, the Senate, which has a pro-gun majority will kill it.

Granted this is rank speculation but I can't see him sacrificing his lofty goals for an issue that is largely behind us.
4.10.2008 8:32pm
Oren:
^^ I should add that I thought gun control was largely behind us in the Federal sense. The States have seen fit to regulate it as they will.
4.10.2008 8:52pm
MXE (mail):
Exception of course, their opponents, who will not legislate my right to bear arms but somehow have a lot to say about where I put my dick.

Oren: your point is valid as far as choice of candidates is concerned, but I'm pretty sure John McCain hasn't said a whole lot, if anything ever, about restricting where people put their junk. I could be wrong.
4.10.2008 8:56pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
To the various commenters using "BHO" and the like:

Can we seriously please stop with the loaded use of the middle initial? . . . this is only slightly less slimy than the name-dropping of "Hussein" or rhyming with "Osama" or "Iraq."

no! don't stop using it. it instantaneously lets the reader know that the author has left reality and is inhabiting some magical fantasy land, has ceased all rational thought and can safely be ignored.


Ha ha ha! You guys are really scared of BO's middle name aren't you! You think BO is better?

Like someone said presidents affectionately go by FDR, JFK, LBJ. Get used to it. BHO is what it is.
4.10.2008 8:58pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
2008


Obama is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides, this despite his own liberal/progressive views


2000

Bush is the first serious presidential candidate in a long time that seems truly to believe in pragmatic compromise and searching for common solutions to problems that attract support from all sides, this despite his own conservative views.
4.10.2008 9:25pm
GaltLives:
Isn't it bizarre that a leading contender for the presidency has the names of two of America's worst enemies?

It would be like Harry Truman running against Barrak Musonini Hitler! Simply bad vibes.
4.10.2008 9:27pm
Oren:
McCain is 0/6 on the current LGBT bills in the Senate. Not very promising.
4.10.2008 9:34pm
Brian K (mail):
Ha ha ha! You guys are really scared of BO's middle name aren't you! You think BO is better?

how in the world did you manage to (mis)interpret my statement to make it seem like i was scared of it.
4.10.2008 9:56pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Oren:

Exception of course, their opponents, who will not legislate my right to bear arms but somehow have a lot to say about where I put my dick.

There you go: they just consider us villains, not fools as well. We have to take what we can get. ;^)
4.10.2008 10:17pm
ManBearPig:
fearless, you may as well just change your moniker to brainless.
4.10.2008 10:33pm
Oren:
There you go: they just consider us villains, not fools as well. We have to take what we can get. ;^)
Truth be told, the one tool is considerably more important to me in day-to-day life than the other. Like I said, I'd like a candidate that isn't interested in either, but that doesn't appear forthcoming.

Interestingly enough (on the 'fool' angle), Obama's speech on race relations was the first time in a long time I felt like a candidate was talking to me like an adult. Just my impression though.
4.10.2008 11:30pm
GaltLives:
Obama's speech on race relations was the first time in a long time I felt like a candidate was talking to me like an adult.

But he just beat around the bush spouting platitudes without answering the main question of how he could spend 20 years listening to an anti-white anti-American bigot. He never answered the question.
4.10.2008 11:39pm
Doc W (mail):
I think LarryA had it right, back around 5 hours ago--federal gridlock is our best hope. The less the politicians accomplish, the better off we are. Sort of like separation of powers updated.
4.10.2008 11:54pm
Doc W (mail):
I think LarryA had it right, back around 5 hours ago--federal gridlock is our best hope. The less the politicians accomplish, the better off we are. Sort of like separation of powers updated.
4.10.2008 11:54pm
Doc W (mail):
I think LarryA had it right, back around 5 hours ago--federal gridlock is our best hope. The less the politicians accomplish, the better off we are. Sort of like separation of powers updated.
4.10.2008 11:54pm
Doc W (mail):
Sorry for the triple post, folks. My bad.
4.10.2008 11:55pm
Richard Burke (mail):
Oren, the Brady Law didn't expire in 2004, it was the Assault Weapon ban. In addition, just because the senate is closely divided now doesn't mean that it will be closely divided after November. Even if the D's pick up just a couple
4.11.2008 1:15am
Oren:
My mistake. In any case, I can't imagine the Dems, saddled with Webb &Tester as they are, really doing much in the Senate. I hope I'm right, in any case.
4.11.2008 3:49am
JKB:
"I seriously doubt Obama will exercise the same sort of discretion as President that he exercised as a senator. As a single senator in a group of 100, his vote is 1% of the final result, and he cast it accordingly. As President, I think he'll think a lot harder about what he signs and what he vetoes - because it's fully 100% of the result."

Sorry but you're wrong. The measure of a man and a leader is the choices they make when they are alone and the impact is minimal. If they won't make the tough choice or they make a self-serving choice when alone in the dark, they don't have the fortitude to make the hard decisions, when as a leader, the pressure is on. Leadership is a constant challenge to convictions. The character necessary for leadership does not suddenly materialize. It is slowly built up layer by layer from a lifetime of choices and discretion.

If you are saying that Obama made the easy choices while a Senator because his vote had little impact, then he does not have the strength of character for command. If he wouldn't make the hard choice in a trivial matter when he was one of many, he will buckle when he is standing alone and the stakes are high.
4.11.2008 4:10am
Richard Burke (mail):
Is the bottom line agreement that Lott's piece was correct that Obama wanted to ban guns? I haven't seen anyone question his writing regarding the two surveys, his past voting record, or the Joyce Foundation association. Does anyone disagree with Lott's claim? We are also talking about relatively recent events.

If no one disagrees with Lott about that, then does it not follow that Obama is being less than truthful now about "flatly" denying these positions.

The only debate here seems to be whether Obama will be able to implement his beliefs as president. My concern is that the debate on legislation is not only wrong but much to narrow. Obama will have an impact through his appointments to the courts, his administration of existing laws, and how he uses his government resources to frame the debate on guns. Does Oren or anyone else disagree with any of that?

So in conclusion, the only debate is over whether the D's will pick up enough seats in the House and Senate to get legislation through (of course, this discussion was not even in Lott's piece).
4.11.2008 5:13am
Richard Burke (mail):
Is the bottom line agreement that Lott's piece was correct that Obama wanted to ban guns? I haven't seen anyone question his writing regarding the two surveys, his past voting record, or the Joyce Foundation association. Does anyone disagree with Lott's claim? We are also talking about relatively recent events.

If no one disagrees with Lott about that, then does it not follow that Obama is being less than truthful now about "flatly" denying these positions.

The only debate here seems to be whether Obama will be able to implement his beliefs as president. My concern is that the debate on legislation is not only wrong but much to narrow. Obama will have an impact through his appointments to the courts, his administration of existing laws, and how he uses his government resources to frame the debate on guns. Does Oren or anyone else disagree with any of that?

So in conclusion, the only debate is over whether the D's will pick up enough seats in the House and Senate to get legislation through (of course, this discussion was not even in Lott's piece).
4.11.2008 5:13am
Oren:
The only debate here seems to be whether Obama will be able to implement his beliefs as president. My concern is that the debate on legislation is not only wrong but much to narrow. Obama will have an impact through his appointments to the courts, his administration of existing laws, and how he uses his government resources to frame the debate on guns. Does Oren or anyone else disagree with any of that?
I disagree, for reasons I've already set forth.

As far as Justices, I can't imagine Tony, Tony or Tommy stepping down anytime soon, so the next President will not have a chance to move the Court against the RKBA.
4.11.2008 4:25pm