AP's Babington Can't Understand Why Anyone Would Think Obama Doesn't Support 'Backburner Issue' of 2nd Amendment Rights

In covering GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's appearance at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis yesterday, Associated Press aka Adminstration's Press reporter Charles Babington pretended to know nothing about President Barack Obama's opposition to basic Second Amendment rights. At least I hope he was pretending, because Obama's hostility to the right to keep and bear arms is longstanding, well-known, and did not stop when he swore an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution" on January 20, 2009.

I have excerpted Babington's first four paragraphs plus three others. I will follow that with a rundown of Obama's pre-2008 gun-hostile record, his meeting with the Brady group in May 2011, and this "little" thing called Operation Fast and Furious Babington and his establishment media colleagues have mostly deliberately ignored for well over a year (bolds are mine throughout this post; HT to a frequent emailer):

Romney: Obama will erode the rights of gun owners

The presidential campaign briefly veered from the emotional Mommy Wars on Friday to the back-burner issue of gun rights, with Mitt Romney telling the National Rifle Association that President Barack Obama is not protecting gun owners - even though the topic has rarely arisen during his time in office.

Without offering details, Romney said that Obama would like to erode gun owners' rights.

"We need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners," Romney told thousands of NRA members in St. Louis for their annual convention. "President Obama has not. I will."

Obama has said relatively little about firearms, deeply disappointing gun-control groups. Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president's record "makes clear the he supports and respects the Second Amendment, and we'll fight back against any attempts to mislead voters."

... Asked for details to support the claims, Romney's campaign said Obama has appointed judges, including Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who have supported moves such as placing temporary limits on importing semiautomatic assault weapons. The campaign said Attorney General Eric Holder has not adequately backed people's rights to own and use firearms.

But gun-control groups such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have expressed dismay over the lack of attention to their concerns. In its most recent assessment, in 2010, the group flunked on Obama on all seven issues it deemed important.

Campaigning in 2008, Obama said: "I believe in people's lawful right to bear arms. ... There are some commonsense gun safety laws that I believe in. But I am not going to take your guns away."

Well, Charles, if it's "details" you want, details you'll get.

Here is a rundown of Obama's gun-hostile history which I posted in late October 2008 by reference to a more complete rundown prepared by the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action:

  • Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.
  • Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.
  • He voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
  • He has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.
  • Obama also supports local gun bans in Chicago and other cities.
  • Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.
  • Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.
  • Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.
  • Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.
  • Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping, one-gun-a-month sales restrictions, a ban on inexpensive handguns, gun owner licensing and gun registration, and mandatory waiting periods.
  • Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.

My post also notes that Babington's then-colleague Nedra Pickler wrote in February 2008, with no sense of irony, that Obama "said he does not intend to take away people’s guns," but "voiced support for the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns." But after the Supreme Court's Heller ruling overturning the DC ban in late June, Obama said "he supports the decision."

My post goes reference another very important and less-known matter, namely that Obama worked with a group which conspired to create the artificial appearance of legal scholar-based opposition to Second Amendment rights, and almost succeeded:

During Obama’s tenure, the Joyce Foundation board planned and implemented a program targeting the Supreme Court. The work began five years into Obama’s directorship, when the Foundation had experience in turning its millions into anti-gun “grassroots” organizations, but none at converting cash into legal scholarship.

The plan’s objective was bold: the judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment.

Joyce’s directors found a vulnerable point. When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles. Law reviews are impartial, and famed for meticulous cite-checking. They are also produced on a shoestring. Authors of articles receive no compensation; editors are law students who work for a tiny stipend.

In 1999, midway through Obama’s tenure, the Joyce board voted to grant the Chicago-Kent Law Review $84,000, a staggering sum by law review standards. The Review promptly published an issue in which all articles attacked the individual right view of the Second Amendment.

(The Review) solicited only articles hostile to the individual right view of the Second Amendment. ….. Joyce had bought a veto power over the review’s content.

….. The plan worked smoothly. One court, in the course of ruling that there was no individual right to arms, cited the Chicago-Kent articles eight times.

….. The Joyce Foundation board (which still included Obama) ….. expand(ed) its attack on the Second Amendment. Its next move came when Ohio State University announced it was establishing the “Second Amendment Research Center” as a thinktank headed by anti-individual-right historian Saul Cornell. Joyce put up no less than $400,000 to bankroll its creation.

….. The Center proceeded to generate articles denying the individual right to arms.

….. The Joyce directorate’s plan almost succeeded. The individual rights view won out in the Heller Supreme Court appeal, but only by 5-4. The four dissenters were persuaded in part by Joyce-funded writings, down to relying on an article which misled them on critical historical documents.

If that's not enough for Mr. Babington, let's look at a May 2011 example of Obama stealth (HT Hot Air) which seems to run in the same vein as his promise to Russia's Medvedev that he'll have more flexibility" after winning reelection (internal links were in original):

While the Obama administration said it is committed to gun rights, a gun control advocate has spilled the beans, saying Obama is using stealth to work on firearms restrictions.

The Washington Post did a story on Steve Croley, the White House gun control czar. Croley is considered to be an expert on regulation and tort law. His approach to gun control appears to be a regulatory one.

According to the article, Jim and Sarah Brady visited Capital Hill on March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan; to push for a ban on "large magazines."

The couple reportedly were meeting with press secretary, Jay Carney, when, according to Sarah Brady, the President came in. She said the President told her he wanted to talk about gun control and "fill us in that it was very much on his agenda."

She went on to say Obama told her, "I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."

The statement reinforces an article in the Huffington Post describing how the administration is exploring ways to bypass Congress and enact gun control through executive action.

The Department of Justice reportedly is holding meetings discussing the White House's options for enacting regulations on its own or through adjoining agencies and departments. "Administration officials said talk of executive orders or agency action are among a host of options that President Barack Obama and his advisers are considering. "

I guess Mr. Babington might be able to claim that he wasn't really lying when he wrote that the topic of gun control "has rarely arisen," and that "Obama has said relatively little." But, as just seen, at least one time when the topic arose and Obama said something, it was to make the point that he is "working on" gun control.

Finally, a bit on Fast and Furious from Darrell Issa, who also spoke at the NRA convention, as relayed by Katie Pavlich at Townhall, including its relationship to the administration's just-described gun control goals:

Entering the Edward Jones arena to an applauding audience at the NRA Annual Convention in downtown St. Louis Friday, Congressman Darrell Issa made it clear his congressional investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal isn’t going away until the Obama Justice Department comes clean.


“The investigation of Operation Fast and Furious will not end until the full truth is exposed to every American,” Issa said, adding senior officials at the Department of Justice will be held accountable for the lethal program, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Eric Holder’s contempt for Congress and his failure to comply will not go unanswered, and you can count on me,” Issa said as a woman yelled, “Thank you!”

... Issa also touched on the motivations behind Operation Fast and Furious and how liberal Democrats in Congress have reacted to revelations in the scandal.

“Fast and Furious can be seen as nothing else but a needless attack on our right to keep and bear arms,“ Issa said. “When the facts began to come out about Fast and Furious, no surprise, Democrats in Washington, immediately seized on the opportunity to talk about the need for additional gun control laws.”

For months, I have been stressing the importance of understanding Operation Fast and Furious was not a “botched” program or an accident. Instead, DOJ officials made calculated decisions to allow some of the most ruthless criminals in the world to help themselves to American guns, while throwing law abiding gun dealers under the bus.

The bottom line for Charles Babington is that Mitt Romney is right. He either should know this and doesn't, making him extraordinarily ignorant, or he does know it and won't acknowledge it. All in all, it's just another typical Obama-supportive report from the Adminstration's Press.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

Political Scandals Political Groups Labeling Double Standards Bias by Omission Media Bias Debate Guns Government Agencies Crime 2012 Presidential Campaigns & Elections Colorado Regional Media Associated Press Wire Services/Media Companies Blogs Online Media Charles Babington Sarah Brady Darrell Issa