Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
by Steve Fair

Since President Obama has been elected, gun and ammunition sales have doubled. Gun and ammunition manufacturers are unable to keep up with the increased demand for their products. Scott Hoffman, a Connecticut resident sums up the feelings of a lot of Americans. He says, "it's a fact that the liberal Democrats that now control all three branches of our government do not like guns. They want us out of business." They don't want the average American to have a right to defend themselves."

Do gun owners in the U.S. have reason to be concerned? It would seem so. In a 1999 article in a Chicago newspaper then-Illinois state senator Obama promoted a plan to increase federal taxes by 500 percent on the sales of firearms and ammunition. When Obama ran for the Illinois state senate seat the political group, Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI), asked him if he supported a “ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.” The then future President responded yes. Realizing how damaging this could prove in the general election, his presidential campaign denied Obama ever held this view, blaming it instead on a staffer from his state senate race.

But Obama was on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation, a liberal group that opposes private handgun ownership. Before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, he was very transparent about his position on gun ownership- he believed the American public should not have access to handguns. His Presidential campaign website only recognized two legitimate purposes for civilian ownership of guns: “hunting and target shooting.”

Although a lively debate has raged over the purpose of the Second Amendment, the nation's courts--federal and state alike--have been in basic agreement on this subject for as long as judicial judgments have been made on contentions that the Second Amendment establishes a personal right to have firearms, free from government regulation. Such decisions of the courts go back more than 100 years. Politicians have attempted for years to circumvent the 2nd amendment by imposing restrictions on what type of weapons citizens could own and establishing background checks and waiting periods for buying guns.

In 2001, a Gallup poll showed that 54 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws. In 2007, that number was 50 percent. In a poll conducted by CNN in April 2009, only 39 percent of Americans now favor stricter gun laws. The poll also showed that gun laws followed political party lines. Nationally, sixty percent of Democrats favor gun control laws, compared with only twenty percent of Republicans and thirty three percent of Independents.

Recently, the National Rifle Association reported they have received several calls from NRA members in border states- Texas, Arizona, New Mexico- who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. On their website, the NRA posted the following account of what the BATFE is doing. “In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess. In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico.”

Evidently, some of the federal agents have been less than professional in their tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member for refusing to cooperate. If these tactics are the actions of a few rogue agents, then gun owners in America have little to fear, but if these tactics being directed “from the top,” then the average citizen better be prepared to stand up for their constitutional rights.

During the presidential general election campaign, Obama said he, "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms" and "will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns." While that statement sounds good, does it match his actions?

Political commentator, Dr. Charles Krauthammer says, “Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan & Clinton. He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!

From all indications, Obama is the most anti-gun President we have ever had. The BATFE will not be criticized for their actions by this president. It is critical that Americans understand the true purpose of the second amendment and work to insure this guaranteed right is not eroded any further. Contact your Congressman and US Senator to express your support of the second amendment.

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