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Gun Control and the 2012 Election

On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, President Obama stirred the proverbial shooting industry pot with his remarks on gun control during the Presidential Town Hall Debate. During the debate, the President expressed his desire to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.

The Assault Weapons Ban was introduced in 1994 during Bill Clinton’s first term, and had nothing to do with actual assault weapons. Think propaganda. It banned semi-automatic weapons that had too many “scary” features like folding stocks, pistol grips and flash suppressors among other such nonsense. The Real Men of Genius song should be running through your head right now.

President Obama wants it reinstated, and undoubtedly it would be even more restrictive this time around.

[blockquote cite="President Obama, October 16, 2012"]…weapons that were designed for soldiers, in war theaters, don’t belong on our streets.[/blockquote]

[blockquote cite="President Obama, October 16, 2012"]What I’m tryin’ to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally, part of it is seeing if we can get an Assault Weapons Ban reintroduced…[/blockquote]

His remarks sparked immediate outrage on social media outlets from those of us who support the Second Amendment and its original intent (hint: it has nothing to do with sporting applications), and rightfully so in my opinion. The Assault Weapons Ban had nothing to do with saving the children, and everything to do with restricting our liberties.

The outrage I completely understand, the shock, not so much. If you were surprised that President Obama wants to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban, you’re just not paying attention. To those of you whose immediate reaction was ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ - trust me, I’m right there with you. I would, however, like to take a moment to examine the President’s remarks on gun control, the 2012 election, and perhaps add a bit of temperament to some of the sensationalism that I’ve seen.

It’s Not Gonna Happen

First and foremost, an Assault Weapons Ban is just not gonna happen if Obama is re-elected. It’s just not. Let me explain.

Let’s take the President at his word (scary proposition I know, humor me) and pretend that when he says he wants to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban, he actually means it and is actually going to do it. What would he need in order to make that happen? Presidents can’t make laws, right?

Right. Presidents can’t make laws, technically speaking (more on this in a bit). If President Obama wants to legally get an Assault Weapons Ban passed, the bill would have to pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and therein lies his problem.

Generally speaking, gun control is a Democrat issue. If you vote Democrat and don’t like hearing that, I’m sorry, but statistically speaking, it’s true. Given this reality, even if the current 2012 election projections are off by a huge margin, the Democrats won’t retake the House of Representatives. In the Senate, it will either remain a slight Democrat majority or will shift to a slight Republican majority. Not exactly the type of political climate that would be friendly to gun control legislation. The votes aren’t there, it would never pass.

What about other forms of gun control?

Gun Control by Executive Order or UN Treaty

Both theories have been floated as possibilities for gun control in Obama’s second term should he win the election, especially in the conspiracy theory circles. Are either possible? Sure. Are either likely? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I think politicians in general, and particularly the Democrats, would love nothing more than to strip the American people of their God-given right to keep and bear arms, which is of course protected by our Second Amendment. Protected, not granted (an important distinction). If it did happen, gun control by Executive Order or UN Treaty wouldn’t be something as far-reaching and with as much authority as an Assault Weapons Ban that passed into law. Americans simply wouldn’t stand for it.

Does that make it right? Absolutely not. I would never support gun control in any shape or form, I’m simply offering my perspective.

What About Romney?

For those of you who think Governor Romney is a shining beacon for gun rights, I’m sad to break this to you – he’s not. To see this evidenced, one has to only look at his own track record as Governor of Massachusetts, and listen to his own words. Mitt Romney is a chameleon – his color changes depending on the election he’s running for, to whom he’s speaking, the day of the week, current wind speed, altitude, and of course, the time of the month. What he actually believes is a mystery.

Having said that, his Chameleon characteristics are exactly what makes him predictable where the Second Amendment is concerned. Since he is running as a Republican, it would be political suicide for him to even bat an eye at gun control.

Wrapping Up

This country faces some very tough times economically no matter who wins the coming election. From my perspective, neither Obama nor Romney will do what needs to be done to right our financial ship, therefore neither of them will get my vote. From a Second Amendment perspective, however, I will concede that Romney’s be-what-you-want-me-to-be tendencies make him a safer choice by far, but I seriously doubt we need to worry about gun control legislation regardless of who wins.

Here’s hoping I’m right.

Agree? Disagree? Perhaps I’m missing something – leave me a comment below. Debate is welcome, but keep a civil tone with each other. We can disagree and still treat each other with respect.

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32 Responses to Gun Control and the 2012 Election

  1. Jon B October 18, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Your post is pretty much spot on. I agree with you that an Assault Weapons Ban would never make it through Congress to get to Obama’s desk for a signature. The one item you left out though is an Obama second term may get to replace as many as 4 Supreme Court members. That’s a HUGE gamechanger. The Supreme Court could certainly try and remove our rights.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Agreed Jon, I couldn’t cover everything in one post. I also wanted to talk about panic buying and few other things. Maybe a future post.

  2. Mitch C October 18, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I couldn’t agree more. I live in MA and have seen Gov. Romney “lead” up close and personal. He did nothing to help gun owners in this state and I don’t think he’ll help us as President. That being said President Obama is much worse. He will and has actively worked to undermine Second Amendment rights and though I agree that the AWB isn’t coming back any time soon, I am of the mind that the President of the United States should defend the constitution not try to subvert it.

  3. GodnGunz October 18, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Great post! I look forward to your thoughts on “panic buying”, “Ammo Taxation”, “red tape” and other forms of obstacles that would make it difficult on our 2nd Amendment rights. God Bless.

  4. TC October 18, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Romney panders to his base, Obama panders to his base they both make promises their base wants to hear, but i have never heard anything from Obama that is on the same level as Romney has said. Romney has been far more vocal in his opposition to gun rights and gun control. This should have been a neutral year for the NRA but yet they decide to endorse Romney, a guy who said not too long ago that he “doesnt line up with the NRA” Some of you racist guys can use this to trash Obama as if you need more of an excuse other than your racism. But yea this article is spot on, dont believe the hype.

    • TK October 18, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Did you miss the quotes above? Obama has said more than once that he supports more gun control.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Are you suggesting that disagreeing with the President is somehow racism?

      • Dr. L. October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

        I’ll answer that. No. Disagreement is not racism. Disagreement is good citizenship, which is what I practiced from 2000-2008. I didn’t disagree with everything G.W. Bush did, just some things. And I kept personal attacks out of it.

        When I read peoples’ rants about secession, treason, and revolution, I’m sick. This is a great country, and we have it good. We must always remain vigilant against loss of personal liberty and individual freedoms.

  5. Philip October 18, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    You are missing the most obvious way of implementing gun control by bypassing congress: If Obama is re-elected he ay appoint up to four more Supreme Court Justices.

    “Re-interpretation” of laws and the constitution could be as effective in removing gun rights as any other method.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      Supreme Court Justices are very important, I agree. As I told Jon, there’s quite a bit that I didn’t cover in this post. It’s almost 1,000 words as it is. Thanks for the feedback though.

  6. TK October 18, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Awesome article man, spot on. Obama has been a nightmare for this country, and it’s doubtful that Romney would be any better.

    • Eric Lopez October 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      YUP, i just wish people would wake up and see that they both suck and all write in RON PAUL!

  7. pg October 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    I’m not sure how people can look at Obama and say that he didn’t keep any of his promises from his last campaign, and then take him at his word when he says he wants a new AWB. Either he’s an incompetent do-nothing, or he’s a savvy political operator who wants to destroy our freedoms. He can’t be BOTH things.

    I’d also like to point out that in that debate, he said that a major part of his violence-reduction strategy was to increase economic opportunity so that fewer people are driven to lives of crime. I can get behind that.

    I also think it’s a fair chance that he doesn’t really have any interest in a new AWB and he just threw that out there to pacify certain elements of his base.

    Either way, like you said, he doesn’t have the votes so it’s a moot point. The backlash from the first ban was severe enough that I don’t think anyone’s stupid enough to try it again, even by tacking it on to a popular omnibus bill like they did the first time.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      Oh I think he kept a few of his promises. But the fact that he would even talk about renewing the AWB offends me, personally.

  8. Jake October 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    I agree an assault weapons ban would be hard to pass (but possible). What could and is likely to happen is that the president has ammunition reclassified as explosive ordinance for shipping purposes. This could lead to ammunition and components sky rocketing in price effectively killing the shooting sports.

  9. Eric October 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    OK here is my question, and I ask this in all seriousness, if I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god, do I still have “god given rights”?

  10. Eric October 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Oh and if an “assault weapons ban” ever makes it through the House and the Senate, then everyone should cancel their NRA membership and ask for their money back from the NRA-ILA.

  11. Michael Carroll October 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Never underestimate the opponents in this case. We’ve seen already what the current president will and can do. With politicians anything is possible. But I hope for the country’s sake your right.

  12. whitey October 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Obama signed two pro gun pieces of legislation into law i.e., concealed carry in national parks and being able to carry in your luggage on Amtrak. Romney, has signed an AWB in the past. I’ll stick with Obama on this, there are too many moderate Dems in the senate now that are pro gun that wouldn’t let any AWB bill go anywhere. Or you can just believe all the BS the NRA tells you and get the chameleon.

    • Suburban October 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      So, you’re saying you’ll vote for the guy who added 6 trillion to the national debt in 4 years, put self-avowed socialists and communists in his cabinet, ramrodded a healthcare bill through congress that few really understood or wanted, and really made no effort to get a budget put into place? The guy who voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions TWICE, and tried to force the Catholic church to provide contraceptives (I’m actually a non-practicing Protestant, and NOT hard-line pro-life)? Because he signed these two bills?

  13. Billy October 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    The President mentioned at the debate that Chicago had one of the highest murder/violence(not sure exactly the words he used) rates in the country. He even mentioned that handguns were the problem. I would have loved to chime in and say, yes Mr President, and it’s against the law to own a handgun in Chicago, how is that law working out?

    Bottom line, you want to solve violence? Focus on improving education and reducing poverty. When you look at real violence in this country,not sensational events like CO, but real everyday violence on the streets, in the home, workplace and at school you will see many of the problems originate from lack of education and opportunity.

    When politicians don’t know how to solve problems, they create laws.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Exactly.

    • Billy October 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Where was I when Chicago passed the law to legalize handguns? Sorry for the stating the wrong thing.

      • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

        I believe you can now own a handgun if you have the correct permits and classes. You cannot, however, carry it.

  14. Ken October 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    I’m rather science/math-oriented. I deal more with fact than fear & fiction.
    Rommney has banned assault weapons in Massachusetts & was pro abortion rights. Now his support comes from the “other side”.
    During Obama administration. I have more gun-freedoms than ever!
    Obama was very gentle in his speech, compared to anti-gun people wanted.
    More importantly, he has done nothing to me.
    We all know, the United Nations is a rhetoric and no action. It doesn’t matter what positions they talk about.
    Rommney is a flip-flop artist NOT to be trusted.

  15. Alex October 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    One thing to think about when talking about Romney and gun control is that he has been very “let the states decide” this entire election. From what I’ve seen, while he may have signed an awb in Mass., I dont think he would do one nation wide. Not that makes it anymore comforting for me living in Illinois though. Sadly if Obama looses my horrible state will prolly take him back… I need to move. Anyone want to help me push Chicago into Lake Michigan?

  16. BH November 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    I thought I heard in the obamacare, if you have certain health issues(more then before) you will not be able to buy any type of weapon. Any thoughts??

    • Brandon November 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      I haven’t heard of that.

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