Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Storm front

With three National Rifle Association members in our household, we get all of the organization's magazines. This month's issues seemed unusually hefty when they arrived in yesterday's mail.

I picked up my copy of American Rifleman and began leafing through it. Advertising sales are good, it appears, and the editorial content is substantial this time around. In all three publications is a two-page spread exhorting me to oppose the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama, complete with six (count 'em) corresponding tear-out cards for me to distribute to my fellow gun owners.

Anyone who values our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms should fear the prospect of an Obama presidency. Unlike typical election-year fear mongering, however, the NRA's campaign is based on facts -- drawing from both Sen. Obama's record and his rhetoric.

The association's latest volley is "Barack Obama's Ten-Point Plan to 'Change' The Second Amendment":

Ban the use of firearms for home defense.

Pass federal laws eliminating your Right to Carry.

Ban the manufacture, sale & possession of handguns.

Close down 90% of the gun shops in America.

Ban rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting & sport shooting.

Increase federal taxes on guns and ammunition by 500%.

Restore voting rights for five million criminals including those who have been convicted of using a gun to commit a violent crime.

Expand the Clinton semi-auto ban to include millions more firearms.

Mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm.

Appoint judges to the U.S. Supreme Court & Federal judiciary who share his views on the Second Amendment.

That list is distilled from "On the Second Amendment, Don’t Believe Obama!" (pdf), which should be required reading for every American gun owner. The expanded version includes 16 citations validating the NRA's pessimism.

Supporters of Sen. Obama will counter with what he's
said on the campaign trail -- "I am not going to take guns away from anybody" -- but the NRA isn't fooled by such pandering, and neither am I.

This week, in advance of the major parties' conventions, attention has turned to the nominees' choice of running mates -- the so-called "veepstakes" -- and both campaigns are making sure that certain names get a lot of chatter. For gun owners who need another reason to oppose Sen. Obama's candidacy, here it is:

Joe Biden.

It's by no means certain that Sen. Obama will tap Sen. Biden, but reportedly he's a leading candidate -- and if he were to get the nod, it'd be the worst possible news for Second Amendment supporters.

Remember the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that ran from 1994 to 2004? We've taken to calling it the "Clinton Gun Ban," but it'd be more accurate to call it the "Biden Gun Ban" -- because Sen. Biden, not Pres. Bill Clinton, was the architect of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, of which the ban was a part.

Under an Obama-Biden administration and with a Congress controlled by a Democratic majority, it wouldn't be long before we'd see an even more oppressive ban, among other sweeping restrictions. Gun ownership wouldn't be outlawed, per se, but it'd be regulated to the brink of prohibition.

Waving Heller in our elected representatives' faces would be futile -- the Supreme Court left room for "reasonable restrictions," and our legislature runs on a much faster track than our courts. By the time a challenge would rise to the high court, the damage will have been done.

So, to be blunt about it, if Sen. Obama wins in November, we're screwed. If he brings Sen. Biden along for the ride, we're colossally screwed. And although I'm no disciple of Sen. John McCain, I'll hold my nose and vote for the GOP nominee.

Speaking of Sen. McCain and the veepstakes, by the way, if he were to choose either Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman or former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge (who's pro-choice), he'd virtually ensure an Obama victory. Sen. McCain already has a slippery grip on his "conservative base," and he'd surely lose that grip with either of those choices. On November 4th, miffed conservatives would stay home in droves.

By the first of September, probably sooner, we should know what each party's ticket will look like. If it's Obama-Biden or Obama-Clinton versus either McCain-Lieberman or McCain-Ridge, I have a pretty good idea of what we'd do here in the KintlaLake household -- raise some cash and buy what'll be unavailable or prohibitively expensive under an Obama administration.