Ask him to prove that he ‘supports the Second Amendment’

Now that H.R. 6842 (which, by virtue of House Amendment 1171, now contains the language of H.R. 6691) has passed in the House, the next (very unlikely) step is to get it passed in the Senate this month.

As I mentioned Monday, not only do I not see this going anywhere in the Senate, I don’t think it was ever intended to go anywhere–the intent, as I see it, is merely to give the impression that pro-rights forces are fighting the good fight.

Still, as Sebastian points out (also here), some good can perhaps be gotten from this. The following point, in particular, would seem to have some promise:

2. Harry Reid protects Obama by keeping it off the floor, in which case you now have that as an election issue to use against Democratic leadership, including Obama.

Obama is, of course, eager to reassure gun owning voters that he is not a threat, and that he supports an individual right to firearm ownership.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is apparently trying to muster enough signatures to pressure Harry Reid to being the bill up for a vote. She evidently needs the signatures by tomorrow.

Again, I’m not convinced this is going anywhere, but a refusal on Obama’s part to sign the letter gives us one more piece of evidence to point to, to refute AHSA’s lie that Obama supports gun owners.

My message to Obama follows.

Dear Senator Obama,

Congratulations on your nomination as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

I am writing to urge you to consider the fact that perhaps the greatest threat to the freedom of the American people is posed by the U.S. federal government itself, and as head of that government, perhaps the president’s greatest responsibility is protecting the people from that threat.

More specifically, I am concerned that the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms is at risk. Although the Supreme Court’s Heller decision now makes it a settled point of law that outright bans of handguns are unconstitutional, creative citizen disarmament advocates are finding plenty of ways to regulate that fundamental right out of existence. Measures enacted by the Washington D.C. city council are a prime example (although there are many more such examples, in other jurisdictions).

Recently, you have, in a rather dramatic contradiction of your voting record in the Illinois state senate (as an Illinois resident, I am familiar with that record) and as a United States Senator (not to mention your leadership position with the very anti-gun rights Joyce Foundation), expressed support for the Second Amendment, and your belief that American citizens have an individual right to own firearms. I imagine that you are aware that I am far from the only gun owner to view this seemingly new position with a great deal of skepticism.

The good news is that you have an opportunity to go a long way in allaying that skepticism. As you are probably aware, the House of Representatives has passed H.R. 6842, as amended by House Amendment 1171, which would, if enacted, greatly help in the protection of Washington D.C. residents’ gun rights. Unfortunately, time is quickly running out for bringing this vital measure to a Senate vote before the end of this Congressional session. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is leading an effort to persuade Senator Harry Reid to bring H.R. 6842 up for a vote. By cosigning that letter by Friday, September 19th, you could do much to calm the suspicion, held by a great many gun owning voters, that you remain opposed to private ownership of firearms.

Please do so, and help convince gun owning voters that your words of support for the Second Amendment are not merely empty rhetoric.

Kurt Hofmann

Come to think of it, with a few alterations, it would be worth sending to McCain, as well–it’s not as if he has earned a free pass, either.


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