Walking The Tightrope

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on June 26, 2008

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama will be back on political tightrope over the next couple of days as people seek to understand today’s decision on gun control by the United States Supreme Court

The 5-4 decision outlawed the contentious Washington, DC gun ban law saying it violated the right to bear arms.  The city had argued that the limits on gun ownership was “reasonable.” 

As cities look to figure out how to deal with gun play in their communities, Obama will look to figure out how to reconcile his previous positions and statements with the Court’s decision and the issue of gun control.  Most Democrats representing cities, as Obama did in the state legislature in Illinois, back up their cities and Mayor’s in their efforts to limit guns on city streets.

Obama has tried to straddle that position with one that respects the second amendment as his campaign has expanded and grown.  Earlier this year CNN’s Leon Harris asked Obama about his position and he tried to support cities and gun owners, Obama repsonded, “I think it’s important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally,” he said. “And a lot of people — law-abiding citizens — use it for hunting, for sportsmanship and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets, we are going to trace more effectively how these guns are ending up on the streets, to unscrupulous gun dealers, who oftentimes are selling to straw purchasers. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. Those are all approaches that I think the average gun owner would actually support.” 

That balance between supporting sportsmen and hunters and cities targeting illegal handgun ownership and massive gun shot incidents is an act the Republicans and their presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain will try and upset and Obama will have to find a balance as he walks the fine tightrope of gun control in America.      



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