November 27, 2007


Obama: Balance Gun Control: He Cites ‘Realities' of Hunting, Urban Crime (John P. Gregg, 11/27/07, Valley News)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama yesterday said he believes the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms but also said it must be balanced by laws designed to curb gun violence.

At a meeting with Valley News editors and reporters, the Illinois Democrat was asked about a case the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear this session that could re-open a longstanding legal debate about whether the Second Amendment's “right of the people to keep and bear arms” applies to individuals, or relates only to their service in a militia.

The 46-year-old Obama, the first black president of Harvard Law Review and currently on leave as a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, said the Second Amendment was not one of his academic specialties but also said, “I think the decision that this just applies to militias probably did not fairly read the Second Amendment. I actually think, though, that just because it's an individual right doesn't preclude gun control.”

Not being around in 1994 he couldn't learn from it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 27, 2007 5:09 PM

Well, his campaign was interesting while it lasted.

I look forward to Clinton's finesse on the subject.

Posted by: Benny at November 27, 2007 5:53 PM

a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, said the Second Amendment was not one of his academic specialties

What else in the Constitution did he lecture on?

For a person with such stellar academic credentials, he is disappointingly lame.

Posted by: ic at November 27, 2007 6:49 PM

Since entering the race, Obama has exhibited the brains of a goldfish. Now I have read that his Harvard friends thought him the smartest man on campus, and certainly the smartest at the Law Review.

I suspect that says more about the prevailing ethos at Harvard than it does of Obama, but I could be wrong. After all, Hillary is the smartest woman in America.

But will we see Hillary hunting with Ted Strickland in Oct. 2008?

It will be difficult for her to finesse the gun issue, because she endorsed the "assault" weapons ban back in the day, and the main gun-grabber in the House, Carolyn Maloney, is from NY. But the Dems will surely lay low on this, having been burned badly before.

Posted by: ratbert at November 27, 2007 7:00 PM


At least when I was there, Obama lectured on the parts of constitutional law that black liberals love, equal protection and due process (substantive variety, mainly), plus emanations and penumbras. He isn't half the man or a tenth the scholar the late, great Prof. David Currie was.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at November 27, 2007 7:08 PM

By the way, Obama's line is pretty hilarious when you think about it. Rural folks in red states, perfectly OK for you to keep your guns. It's just there's too much crime in the blue inner cities, so we need gun control there.

Translation: The white folks in Iowa are OK, they're real citizens. The irresponsible black folks on the South Side of Chicago, no way, disarm them for their own good.

Obama's world in practice: Two weeks ago, about a block from Obama's old office at the University of Chicago Law School, persons unknown shot and killed a U of C grad student named Amadou Cisse. The University is going to be installing some more security cameras and adding vans to its late night ride service, because safety is a high priority. Gun control in Chicago is very effective.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at November 27, 2007 7:23 PM

As a matter of policy, Obambi's position on guns is not only reasonable, but consistent with both constitutional principles and broadly accepted current law.

As a matter of politics, another thing entirely.

Posted by: ghostcat at November 27, 2007 8:09 PM

Obambi - very good.

Posted by: ratbert at November 28, 2007 1:36 AM

Well, the acceptance of the standard model of the Second Amendment, subject to reasonable regulation, as freedom of speech is subject to reasonable reguolation, as all well and good.

However, advocacy of "gun control" has to mean endorsement of more gun control, which is unacceptable.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 28, 2007 5:13 AM