November 21, 2008

Legitimate fear?

Insty has a link about Obama Attorney General nominee Eric Holder's views on gun rights:

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that “Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence”–a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as “children.” . . .

Holder, along with other former Clinton admin. officials filed an amicus brief in the Heller case supporting Washington DC's handgun ban. In oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, Holder told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.

Is this worrisome? Sure it is, especially based on Obama's past opinions on gun rights. Back in April he refused to answer a question about the Washington DC then-upcoming handgun ban SCOTUS decision. He had previously voiced support for the ban. The questionnaire for potential employees of his incoming administration specifically asks if you own a gun, and inquires about its registration information:

“Do you or anyone in your immediate family own a gun? If so provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Fortunately, in Heller, the SCOTUS affirmed the individual right to own a gun. But if Obama gets a chance to appoint several SCOTUS justices, for how long will this right remain?

Posted by Hube at November 21, 2008 08:29 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

My impression is that most law enforcement officials favor some degree of gun control. Therefore, it remains a matter of debate over what the definition of "some degree" should be.

As with regard to neglected regulation of banking and brokering institutions, weakened badly under Clinton and Bush-43, the government can play a positive role by providing some degree of oversight and sanity re gun control.

The NRA approach opposing any kind of regulations/restrictions on guns is indeed insanity, in my view.

Eric Holder approaches the subject from a law enforcers point of view, in the context of the DC street, advocating for regulations that minimize the probability of guns getting into the hands of those with criminal records or intentions.

Having been on the DC, Philly, and NYC streets and having witnessed some pretty scary and bizarre behavior, I am in sympathy with Eric Holder's initiatives.

I suspect that a great number of guns rights advocates are rural types who have little experience in the urban arena.

I do agree that the average citizen has a constitutional right to own and bear arms, even to carrying a concealed weapon prepared for self defense, provided adequate training and handling skills testing, and background checking, is carried out periodically. That said, I also support gun registration. Finally, I favor a ban on assault weapons. The days of the civilian militias must be put into the past tense, since the frontier days are long gone.

Holder's approach appears to be a bit too restrictive, regarding over-control of gun shows, for example; hopefully debate and compromise will produce a reasonable set of gun regulations. Hopefully debate and compromise will bring us to a reasonable bill in line with the Constitution.

Posted by: Perry at November 22, 2008 03:33 PM

Your trackback feature isn't working this morning, but your article has been referenced in the comments to this article.

Posted by: Dana at November 23, 2008 09:06 AM

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