If there were any question about how the majority of American gunowners would come down on the candidacy of Barrack Obama for president, the doubts vanished in a flash when Obama picked veteran anti-gun Sen. Joe Biden from Delaware as his running mate.
Biden proudly recalled during a July 23, 2007 Democrat candidates’ debate how he was “the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban.”
Where Obama is on record as opposing concealed carry, and favoring other restrictions, Biden has a long history of supporting gun control. He voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prohibits junk lawsuits against the firearms industry. He supported legislation to close the so-called gun show loophole.
Earlier last year, in the April 26, 2007 candidates’ debate in South Carolina, Biden—responding to a question about how the federal government might have prevented the Virginia Tech massacre—suggested that retaining the ban on semi-automatic rifles might have somehow had an impact, even though murderer Seung Hui Cho used two handguns that he purchased in retail gun shops.
Two of the nation’s leading gun rights forums, TheHighRoad.org and KeepAndBearArms.com, contained some bristling reactions from gun activists, and one said that Biden’s addition to the Democrat ticket is “a big break” for the gun rights movement.
Gunowners have been quick to reach back into Biden’s past to dig up comments he has made that somewhat paint him into a tight corner. For example, one remark that sped across Internet chat groups was made to the Associated Press in November 1993, when Biden was quoted stating, “Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.”
Gunowners like Melinda Meador of Inwood, WV, are convinced that Obama’s selection of Biden—a one-time chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee—signals gunowners that trouble is over the horizon if Obama wins the election in November.
“By selecting Senator Biden as his vice president,” Meador told Gun Week in an e-mail, “Obama has sent a clear message to gunowners that he does not care about protecting our right to keep and bear arms.”
She also predicted that Obama, as president, “would nominate (Supreme Court) justices like Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer and Kennedy—people who did not believe that a complete ban on handguns violates the US Constitution.”
“(Biden) claims the oxymoronic position of both respecting the Second Amendment and of being the author of the 1994 ‘assault weapons’ ban,” noted Chris Meissen of West Plains, MO. “Since the ban was only the latest iteration of a bill that Sen. Howard Metzenbaum first introduced in 1985 and the language as passed was a cooperative effort between Dianne Feinstein and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Joe’s claim rings about as true as Gore inventing the Internet. Still, if he wants to claim credit that shows that he has no respect for the spirit or language of the Second Amendment. His proven behavior fits well with the Democratic platform plank that ‘the right to bear (rather than keep and bear) arms’ is nothing more than an American tradition.”
And Tempe, AZ, resident Geoff Beneze, operator of the 1911TechTalk gun rights chat list, wryly observed, “We now have two of the Three anti-gun Stooges in place. Is Michelle to play that part of the third?”
Al Barth of Manteca, CA, recalling Biden’s consistently anti-gun voting record noted, “Is there any wonder why Biden was rated ‘F’ by the NRA?”