Despite fears on the right that Obama would trample the Second Amendment and take people’s guns, his presidency has so far been marked by a string of pro-gun victories and a reinvigorated gun advocacy movement — the result of a Democratic leadership that has proven unwilling to take on powerful firearm interests.
The NRA, the leading gun rights group and one of Washington’s most formidable lobbies, has forcefully staked out its territory in Congress. Last month, Democrats, fearing an NRA backlash on a campaign finance measure, carved out what was widely considered a special exemption for the group. Subsequently, the NRAdropped its opposition, and the measure passed the House.
“Some people are so terrified of the NRA vote score that they’ll vote for anything the NRA says to vote for and against anything they say to vote against,” Nadler said. “It’s unfortunate in the extreme.”
Some gun control advocates expected more from this president. As a state senator in Illinois, Obama threw his weight behind various regulatory measures. He backed a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and voted to limit handgun purchases to one a month per person.
But Obama notably distanced himself from the cause during the 2008 election, proclaiming his commitment to the gun rights. “I believe in the Second Amendment,” he said. “I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”
One year into his presidency, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave Obama an “F” across the board on gun control issues. The Chicago Tribune jokedthe following month that “[o]n the list of issues for which Obama is willing to put himself on the line, gun control ranks somewhere below free trade with Uzbekistan.”
Although there are more pressing issues, such as, the economy and wars, it is still discouraging that more is being done to increase gun rights but republicans still use the issue to scare their voters. Obama and the Democrats should use this as a lesson that no matter what you do, whether Republicans agree with the issue or not, you will still not have their support.