The National Rifle Association has declared Barack Obama a “serious threat” to Second Amendment gun liberties and now plans to spend $15 million of its $40 million campaign this fall to make sure he isn’t elected.
NRA lobbyist Chris Cox
Referring to Obama’s statement in April that when working-class voters experience economic hardship “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion,” NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox told the Politico, “We look forward to showing him ‘bitter.'”
“Apparently, he thinks gun owners are either fools or have short memories,” Cox said. “I can assure him he’s wrong on both.”
The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action already carries on its website an article that lists 21 “facts” from Obama’s record pointing to the Democratic candidate’s history of opposing Second Amendment issues. The multi-million dollar campaign this fall will seek to communicate that message to the NRA’s more than 4 million members and to an even larger nationwide audience.
According to Politico, the NRA strategy will include automated phone calls and mail to its members, pre-election editions of the association’s three magazines, and a media blitz of TV, radio and newspaper ads in key battleground states.
One of those states may be 21-electoral-vote Pennsylvania, where the state’s Game Commission rates it first in the nation in the amount of time its citizens spend hunting and the NRA has the most members per capita of any state.
“Our members understand that if Barack Obama is elected president,” Cox said, “and he has support in the Senate to confirm anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, (the District of Columbia v. Heller decision) could be taken away from us.”
The 5-4 Heller decision, as WND reported earlier, reaffirmed the individual’s right to gun ownership by striking down a Washington, D.C., ban on handguns and concluding that the Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain signed a friend-of-the-court brief in the D.C. case affirming his belief that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms and praised the decision publicly.
Obama, however, did not sign the brief and released a statement afterward that carefully straddled both sides of the issue.
Campaign spokesperson Tommy Vietor told Politico, “Sen. Obama has always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms and will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners, hunters and sportsmen as president.”
The NRA, however, is not buying the rhetoric and sees Obama as a threat. The NRA-ILA website points to an ABC News report from February where Obama seemed to support the D.C. gun ban against the Supreme Court’s constitutional arguments, saying, “The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun safety laws to deal with gangbangers and random shootings on the street isn’t born out by our Constitution.”
Though the NRA has not endorsed McCain for president in the upcoming election, it intends to let the nation know that Obama is not an acceptable choice. “Our members understand how bad Barack Obama is on the Second Amendment,” Cox told Politico.