Gun Control

02Mar07

George W. Bush (r), (Incumbent, Will not Run in ’08)

Back in the 2000 Presidential election, G. Bush surprised many by backing the continuation of a weapons ban passed 10 years prior. Democrats had, by that point, already abandoned gun control as a “losing issue.”

By 2004, gun activists were furious at Bush’s stance, and made themselves heard. During his 2004 campaign, Bush said that he supported bans on “assault weapons”; many, however, saw this as a cheap way to enamor himself to gun activists without sacrificing individual philosophies in the slightest.

A good way to sum up Bush’s gun control stance: He will sign legislation advocating further gun control, but he won’t push or advocate it himself.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Against “assault weapons”

What his actions say: Generally for more gun control

Hillary Clinton (d), (Candidate, ’08)

H. Clinton has generally been in support of gun control throughout her political career. Among other things, she has advocated the Brady bill, selling child-safety locks with all handguns, and banning high-capacity ammunition clip imports.

Clinton has been especially vocal about using gun control to keep violence away from children, as the child-safety locks and her visit with the mother of a first grader shot by a fellow first grader attest to. She has especially made public her dislike of the House’s tendency to “water down” legislation.

Clinton has also said that “tougher gun control keeps guns out of the wrong peoples’ hands.”

The Bottom Line__

What she says: We must implement stronger forms of gun control

What her actions say: We must implement stronger forms of gun control

John McCain (r), (Candidate, ’08)

While J. McCain did indeed vote against the Brady bill and assault weapons bans, he has advocated the ban of “cheap” guns, and bans on specific types of assault weapons.

McCain has endorsed the repeal of current gun restrictions and the penalization of criminal use instead. Also, he has favored allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.

But while all these factors may make him seem a conservative on the gun control issue, some others don’t agree. As John Lott Jr. says, “Let’s consider just one of these issues: McCain’s claimed pro-gun record. This was true a decade ago, but since then, on issues such as regulating gun shows, banning less expensive guns and so-called assault weapons, and requiring gunlocks, McCain has supported central portions of the gun-control agenda. Indeed, in a couple cases, McCain authored the proposed legislation himself.”

With McCain attempting to regain the vote of the “far right,” he’s on a slippery slope at this point.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Against many forms of gun control, for heightened criminal punishment

What his actions say: Against many forms of gun control, but some say reading between the lines reveals otherwise

Barack Obama (d), (Candidate, ’08)

By advocating the ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons, an increase in state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms, and the requirement on manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms, B. Obama has definitely established himself as pro gun control.

In general his philosophy seems to engender the ban of all semi-automatics and the imposition of stronger restrictions on gun access for all people.

During Obama’s campaign for Senate, his opponent Alan Keyes said Obama wanted to make America safer for criminals. Indeed, though, this is an argument that can be applied to all pro-gun control activists.

As would be expected, the “Gun Owners of America” has given Obama the grade of ‘F.’

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Pro- stricter gun control

What his actions say: Pro- stricter gun control

Rudy Giuliani (r), (Candidate, ’08)

R. Giuliani has stated in the past that he does not believe in the government’s ability to prevent the right to bear arms. No matter, as Giuliani has acquired the reputation of being one of the most aggressive gun control advocates during his time in New York.

Is this a justified image?

“My position for many years has been that just as a motorist must have a license, a gun owner should be required to have one as well,” says R. Giuliani, who really has cast himself as a conservative when it comes to gun rights numerous times.

He claims his gun control actions as mayor of New York were purely to reduce crime- which did happen- and would not extend to anything beyond that. Nevertheless, there will always be doubters.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Respects second amendment

What his actions say: Used gun control extensively in New York, no precedent for what he would use it for otherwise

John Edwards (d), (Candidate, ’08)

Hailing from the rural South, J. Edwards stance on gun control may come across as a little strange; he is a pro- gun control advocate.

While he has said that he views hunting guns as fine, he has endorsed restrictions on nearly every other type of gun; like H. Clinton, he has made protecting children from gun related injuries a priority.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Respect the second amendment, but restrict access to enhance safety

What his actions say: Respect the second amendment, but restrict access to enhance safety

Mitt Romney (r), (Candidate, ’08)

He’s voted for Democrats in Massachusetts primaries. He’s changed from pro-life to pro-choice. He’s changed from pro-choice to pro-life. Now, add one more to that list: changing from pro- gun control to anti- gun control.

Campaign officials acknowledged on the 20th of February that M. Romney had not been a member of the National Rifle Association until last August. In the past, Romney has backed a 5 day waiting period on gun sales as well as bans on certain assault weapons.

In 1994, Romney told the Boston Herald: “I don’t line up for the NRA.” 13 years later, speech by speech, he’s doing just that.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Anti- gun control

What his actions say: Was pro- gun control, now anti- gun control, his new stance not too certain

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One Response to “Gun Control”


  1. 1 Issues « Mango Ice Cream

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