"We’re prepared to fight him every step of the way.”
Ooooh. I'd be scared. The skilled compromisers of the NRA are "going to fight (Obama) every step of the way." Read here: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/business-likes-obama-plan-2008-12-08.html
Gun groups don’t trust president-elect By Sam Youngman
Posted: 12/08/08 08:08 PM [ET]
Gun groups say they are “prepared to fight” the incoming administration on the issues dear to them despite President-elect Obama’s insistence that lawful gun owners “have nothing to fear” from him.
Obama, appearing on at a Sunday press conference, said he believes “in common-sense gun safety laws, and I believe in the Second Amendment.”
But Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) political arm, said membership in his organization is growing at record levels, and a number of reports show that gun sales are up by as much as 50 percent nationally since Obama won the presidency on Nov. 4.
“He says gun owners shouldn’t be worried, but clearly gun owners are worried,” Cox told The Hill.
Cox said Obama’s record, particularly from his time in the Illinois state Senate, paints a picture of an incoming president that is an enemy to gun owners, and he said the president-elect’s early actions bring that picture into focus.
The job application for a position in Obama’s administration includes questions about gun ownership, which offended the gun lobby.
“That’s a pretty outrageous abuse of not only taxpayer dollars but also personal privacy, and it’s clearly indicative of somebody who doesn’t respect the Second Amendment,” Cox said.
Toward the end of his campaign against Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Obama fought hard to win reliably red states, and in doing so, ran television ads promising gun owners they should not worry about his administration infringing on the right to bear arms.
But Cox and other gun rights groups say they expect Obama to betray that campaign promise now that he has won.
“We have no doubt that he’s going to break his promise to the American people that he made during the campaign, and we’re prepared to fight him every step of the way,” Cox said.
Cox declined to say how much money, if any, the NRA is preparing to use in paid media to wage war against Obama and any efforts at gun control laws he might try to enact.
“We’re prepared to fight,” Cox said. “We know how to fight.”
John Velleco, the director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America (GOA), said his organization is preparing to target Congress in an effort to stop gun control legislation from reaching the White House.
“We are going to try to keep the heat on the members of Congress who claim to be pro-gun but have not yet been tested and try to prevent them from sending President Obama anything he can sign,” Velleco said.
Obama tried to reassure gun owners on Sunday when he noted “lawful gun owners have nothing to fear.”
“I haven’t indicated anything different during the transition,” Obama said. “I think people can take me at my word.”
But Velleco said Obama’s choice of aides and officials have given gun owners several reasons to fear that the Obama administration “will be the most anti-gun in history.”
Velleco said Vice President-elect Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1993 and 1994, was instrumental in the passage of both the Brady Bill and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and he noted that incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, as a member of the Clinton administration, advocated for the assault weapons ban on Capitol Hill.
“It’s not only Obama who’s a huge concern, but it’s the people he’s surrounding himself with,” Velleco said.
Gun control advocates scoffed at what they see as the hysteria of their opponents, arguing that Obama and Biden join them in supporting “common sense gun laws,” not trying to ban guns for lawful citizens.
“We’ve been very impressed with Obama’s record in the past on the gun issue,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “He didn’t run from the issue [during the campaign].”
Helmke told The Hill that Obama has been “consistent” in his beliefs on gun control, specifically in approval of an assault weapons ban and improved background checks, including closing the so-called gun show loophole. It is that loophole that the Brady Campaign, which endorsed Obama, hopes the president-elect will try to address first, and, hopefully, in his first year in office.
“I think that’s the one that really makes the most sense to bring up first,” said Helmke, noting that the 10-year anniversary of the Columbine school shootings falls next April.
Helmke said he understands that an assault weapons ban “could be a little messier in terms of getting something worked out,” but he said the campaign will “work closely with the administration, the new attorney general and whoever the new head of the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] is to get some of these things done.”
Helmke criticized gun rights groups for not balancing the rights of gunowners with public safety.