Wednesday, February 20, 2008

John McCain and the Second Amendment: Where Does He Stand?

A Mixed Bag...

...But not as bad as Clinton or Obama

"He is really hard to get a fix on with gun rights."

John McCain and the Second Amendment: how does he stack up?

When we tackled the question, we have to confess, we didn't know. We assumed that McCain's record on Second Amendment issues would be the same as the rest of his record: more conservative than most Democrats, but not an advocate for the gun owner.

And at the conclusion of reading McCain and gun control articles by various Second Amendment groups and gun owners' rights websites, that's the evaluation that remains.

After reviewing all the information on John McCain and his record on Second Amendment issues, we have to agree with gun rights website, Front Sight's, appraisal.

"He is really hard to get a fix on with gun rights."

Some groups hold McCain's feet to the fire whenever he teams up with Democrats on any gun control legislation.

That's fair.

Government never takes away rights in one fell swoop: it is almost always incrementally, over a period of time that citizens lose their rights.

And government, especially the U.S. federal government, is especially jealous of the power it gets. Once it gets power, it almost never ever (the 21st Amendment being the only exception we can think of) gives it back.

A quick survey of what's been said of the Republican front-runner on gun rights from around the web.

The Buckeye Firearms Association:
As if there wasn't already plenty of evidence that Senator John McCain is the wrong choice for pro-gun Republicans in the Presidential primary, the Columbus Dispatch has added one more item to the list:

The specter of Mike DeWine as U.S. Attorney General.

BFA then cites a story from the Columbus Dispatch titled, "DeWine Could have a Shot in a McCain Cabinet". The Buckeyes weren't too fond of DeWine, describing him as "an anti-gun candidate sporting a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) endorsement, [who] proved himself out-of-touch with Ohio voters on the Second Amendment, [and] was drummed out of office just over 1 year ago."

The Ohio report then lists a little bit of background about Mike DeWine and his attitude toward Americans and firearms.
In 2006, Human Events Online named DeWine among the Top 10 anti-gun U.S. Senators. And shortly before his defeat, DeWine took a position in opposition to legislation which barred gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers from frivolous lawsuits designed to put them out of business. He consistently cast his votes on the side of the most rabid anti-gun Democrats in the Senate. And now he wants you to cast your vote for Senator John McCain.

Approximately 1/2 million people have hunting and/ or concealed handgun licenses in Ohio. According to the Minneapolis StarTribune's Dennis Anderson, Ohio gun owners made up 27 percent of the total vote in Ohio in the year 2000.

And they were none too happy with Mike DeWine, McCain's possible Attorney General.

Another gun website was unhappy at McCain in 2001: It gave the Arizona Senator "Two Thumbs Down" for his appearance in a trailer attached to "Pearl Harbor", then showing in theaters nationwide.
Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has appeared onscreen in many theaters, peddling a dangerous and very explosive propaganda -- thanks to an anti-gun group based out of Washington, D.C., which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the political ad as a trailer in theaters this spring.

Urging parents to lock up their guns at home, Sen. McCain says "we owe it to our children to be responsible by keeping our guns locked up." This might sound "responsible" at first blush, until one realizes this one-size-fits-all approach can be deadly.

The reason? People don't know exactly when they will wake up and find themselves under attack. Like the Japanese zeros, criminals do not phone ahead and tell their victims to prepare for an assault.

Locking up one's guns might sound to some like the "responsible" thing to do. But if, God forbid, you should have to use your gun in an emergency, you can be sure of one thing: the thug in your home will not have a trigger lock on his gun.

Click on image to enlarge McCain warning label

In 2002, McCain sponsored legislation with Joseph Liberman(CN) to crack down on private sales at gun shows. According to a NewsMax story:
The gun-grabbing senators are now threatening to insert their bill (S.890), banning private sales at gun shows unless all gun buyers undergo background checks, as an amendment to other bills, according to Gun Owners of America (GOA).

Americans for Gun Safety(AGS)--(Ed. note: a gun control group]--has already claimed there was a link between terrorism and gun shows. No such link was ever demonstrated. It was all immersed in deception used to exploit the 9-11 tragedy. Americans paid no heed to this nonsense and instead rushed to buy firearms for self and family protection.

Gun owners should be concerned. As GOA declared in a press release: "Even more ominous, the McCain bill would threaten the very existence of gun shows. S. 890 would impose a five-year jail sentence on any gun show organizer if a single attendee of the show were not notified of his obligations under the Brady law. Obviously, if this bill were passed, an organization would be foolish to even sponsor a gun show."

The gun site, Front Sight, is more charitable about McCain's gun record: it calls it "mixed".

It has an excellent summary of John McCain's statements, votes and record on almost every gun control and 2nd Amendment issue that has come before the Senate during McCain's tenure there.

Front Sight's summary on McCain:
John McCain suffers from “senator’s disease” as a presidential candidate: as a long-time U.S. Senator, he has the most documented track record on the issues of all the top echelon candidates for 2008. Living up to his reputation as a maverick and a free thinker, McCain has not toed the gun rights party line. His record is profoundly mixed. Sometimes he has been with us; sometimes he has been very much against us. At times he has advocated positions such as mandatory gun locks and background checks at gun shows and then voted against the legislation when it finally came to a vote. Also he has voted against particular issues and then later advocated them in public statements. He is really hard to get a fix on with gun rights.

For a complete breakdown on McCain's record on guns, visit the Front Sight article, "John McCain on Gun Control".

In conclusion, we'd have to say that John McCain is more conservative on this issue than on many others. Whether McCain is a conservative, as McCain, his backers, the New York Times and other Mainstream Media outlets insist, is problematic.

On many issues, the Arizona Senator and the Senators from Illinois (Barack Obama) and New York (Hillary Clinton) have virtually identical records or stands.

We think he's definitely better on this issue than the two Democrats running for president.

However, that's a decision that each voter, particularly Second Amendment enthusiasts, will have to make.

John McCain and gun control.

What do you think?

by Mondoreb
hat tip: pat
* joebluhm
* Bob McCarty
* John McCain on Gun Control
* Gun Shows and Gun Control
* Another sign John McCain is no friend of Gun Owners
* DeWine could have a shot in McCain cabinet
* Two Thumbs Down for John McCain's Gun Control Ad


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