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Obama: Solution to Violence is “Seeing if We Can Get an Assault Weapons Ban”

After months of campaigning with little to no discussion on gun control, sportsmen and gun owners were starting to wonder if the presidential candidates would ever be forced into a firearms debate. Then, all of a sudden during last night’s second presidential debate, there it was. Undecided voter Nina Gonzalez (for some reason the Brady Campaign keeps calling her Nina “Rodriguez”, but that’s another story) asked President Obama about what his administration “has done or plans to do to limit the availability of [so-called] assault weapons.” See the 1:15 mark of the video below:

The president’s response is telling.

“We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment,” he said. “We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.”

Okay. So far, so good.

“But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I’ve had to comfort families who have lost somebody,” the president continued, “Most recently out in Aurora.”

And here we go.

” … Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets,” the president said. “And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.”

The perfect retort for Mitt Romney at this point would’ve been, “You’re right, Mr. President, there’s an awful lot of violence in your hometown of Chicago. In fact it has one of the highest murder rates in the country, but you know what, it also some of America’s strictest gun control laws. Your hometown proves that banning guns doesn’t solve the larger social issues causing violence in our country.”

Unfortunately, although Romney said he would not seek a renewal of the “Assault Weapons” Ban, his answer was far from a homerun in the eyes of some gun owners.

“I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation on — on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal,” the governor said. “We, of course, don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.”

Romney cited better education opportunities and encouraging children to get married before having kids as ways to bring about social change. He then briefly addressed the Fast and Furious scandal.

“The greatest failure we’ve had with regards to gun violence in some respects is what is known as Fast and Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don’t know precisely, where thousands of automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were — were given to people that ultimately gave them to — to drug lords … I’d like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords,” he said.

Romney’s remarks were interrupted by President Obama, who interjected, “Candy?” in an attempt to get the attention of event moderator Candy Crowley of CNN. Crowley heeded the president’s request to stop Romney, apparently unaware of the connection between Fast and Furious and semi-automatic rifles.

“Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer banned,” Crowley said. “I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?”

Perfect. What a great opportunity for Romney to clarify his past position on gun control and explain why his views have evolved. Sadly it appears to the author that this softball question was squandered.

“Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation,” Romney said. “And it’s referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that both wanted. There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven’t previously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed- upon piece of legislation. That’s what we need more of, Candy. What we have right now in Washington is a place that’s gridlocked.”

So, self-proclaimed pro-gun folks in Massachusetts ignored the interests of semi-auto enthusiasts and instead compromised with anti-gun folks, which Romney cites as an example of the strong bipartisanship America needs. Are gun owners likely to buy that?

Overall, most pundits and political analysts are scoring the debate as a draw. It was a heated and, at times, rather awkward and impolite affair in which both participants argued over who was lying. Both men often spoke out of turn, went over their time limits, and asked for another opportunity to speak. Some found their debate tactics equally distasteful. As a Forbes magazine writer put it, “Romney v. Obama Was a Nauseating Draw, and Both Deserve to Lose.” Indeed, at times the town hall event felt more like a trashy daytime talk show than a contest to decide the next leader of the free world.

(Who won the second presidential debate? Take the SV Poll!)

Did undecided voters hear anything of substance? Fox News’ panel of “undecided” voters say they were swayed much more by Romney. That’s no surprise, given the network’s right-leaning coverage. However, left-leaning MSNBC’s “undecided” panel was also more impressed by Romney. It will be interesting to see if these reactions play out in the next round of nationwide polling.

As a sportsman, who do you think won the debate and why? And what did you think of the candidates’ exchange on gun control?

22 Responses
  • Neil Combs

    Sounds like the same old Demorat gun grab sceniero!

    • Oh? How is it that Reagan did more to slow gun sales and personally campaigned on behalf of the Bradys for the AWB? Who was the grandfather of the California gun laws, started when the Black Panther Party dared to carry rifles and shotguns – ones that were not covered by the AWB that would be enacted on behalf of former President at that time Governor Reagan – on the steps of their home state’s Capitol building.

      Were the Democrats of the 1870′s repsonsable for many of the southern laws keeping guns out of the hands of non-whites? Yep. Is the GOP the party of Lincoln today? No. Times change and gun owners in the Democratic Party are going to effect change on the platform and bring fire to the feet of those who would reduce our Civil Rights on any topic, especially firearms.

      • Pro2AMDem

        Thank you. But the truth is wasted on forums like these. They have few points on Obama as president and the perceived threat of gun-grabs when the gun grabs are already going on by state law like Governor Romney’s support for AWB and a host of other anti-firearms laws. The NRA and others aren’t interested in the inconvenient truth as they are aligned with all the other Right Wing groups who could care less about 2nd Amendment Rights as long as they have well-heeled ally. They’ve weaved a fundamental right into buddying up with the chamber of commerce and anti-abortion opponents and will do whatever they have to preserve those other unholy unions.

      • It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t hurt. Much like the posts last month about Palin supposedly tnyrig to hijack the convention. How did that help Romney get elected? At least I used facts.Delete the post if it bothers you that much.

  • Joseph Gregory

    President Obama Is Truthful In The Things That He Talks About. He Caught Romney In Different Situation Where He Was Just Plain Lieing. We Want A Truthful Leader.President Obama Is Truthful And Very Serious As President. He Is For All Mankind. Romney Is Scanlas. Tells Lies. Yu Can Really Tell When He Shifs His Words Around. But He Tells Lies.I’m With Obama All The Way. He Will Still Be Our President. Hes Someone That You Can Trust. If He Says Anything About What He’s Doing. Its The Truth. He Has Did A lot Since He Has Been In Office.

    • N. Paul

      Are you living on the same planet we are living on? I would assume that you don’t own guns, don’t hunt and don’t pay attention to what is going on. The short facts are:
      Obama wants to take our guns (all of them) but wont increase border protection. You can’t even get protection if you are an ambassador.
      When Obama was elected, we stuck the barrel in the mouth of freedom. Re-election, would be pulling the trigger.

  • Bruce G.

    Methinks Joseph Gregory is not an American. No one capitalizes every word like that. Not even by accident. Has the ring of untruth just looking at it and when you read it it doesn’t sound very normal.

    Besides O lies every day. He even lied in the last debate.
    He’s not how you describe. You just want to promote him.

    Joe.. Even when someone is honestly telling me what they are doing TO me that I don’t want to happen, doesn’t make it OK in my book. It’s really a shame that any people fall for his way of thinking. It’s self destructive. Why do you want a distant, faceless Govt official running your life? That’s what you are promoting. No thank you. I really do believe in freedom.

    The Pres. said something very wrong. We DO need the same weapons available to the common man to keep secure our liberty against foreign agression. Which is what I accuse you of here textually.

    Bottom line. Making victims defenseless does NOT make them safer. Ever.

    When you add his goals of ‘no guns worth fighting with for us’ and creating some Civilian force “As well armed as the Armed Forces” together, one familiar with history can easily see two of Hitler’s actions being repeated. WHY? What in the world is a well armed Civilian force for with the public less able to defend themselves? Bad recipe’ for people who like to live in peace.

  • Dutch

    Me thinks Bruce G. is a bigoted racist. Just because someones English is not as eloquent or properly spelled as yours DOES NOT mean that they are not American. It’s obvious English is Mr. Gregory’s 2nd language, but why would that make him not an American? He could be a newly sworn in citizen, or maybe not had the opportunity for a good education, but to call someone not an American because of their grammar is just backwards ass hillbilly rhetoric. Mitt Romney is the worst, bold faced, unapologetic liar I’ve seen since Rush Limbaugh. Thank god we have video taped evidence of what he really thinks about regular people. If Obama was pro-gun then He would be the perfect prez, oh well.

  • fred

    Uh, and Romney’s solution was actually banning assault weapons. Before his latest flip-flop (he has no pro-gun legislation yet though – better hope he stays flopped). I’ll vote for the guy who let me carry in National Parks: Obama.

  • Ross Walters

    Obama may WANT more gun laws, but with a Republican-led U.S. House he isn’t going to get any.
    At least he’s truthful on the subject.

    As the re-elected Prez it’s possible his Supreme Court appointments will ‘swing’ the majority to the Democrats.
    It would be easy for them to outlaw CCW, Semi-Auto rifles, and any other guns they don’t like.
    Don’t start thinking that if they do, a squad of military and police won’t target your house for seizure if you fail to voluntarily turn in your illegal weapons.
    The government knows which guns you own and where you live.
    Are you willing to die for your guns?
    Endanger your family’s welfare to keep or hide them?

    Romney is about as attractive a Presidential candidate as Chaz Bono.
    But if you value your firearms and want to ‘buy’ insurance that it will be legal to own them 10 years from now vote for Romney because he will appoint gun-friendly Supreme Court justices.

    • Gary

      Well Ross IMHO you are way off the mark. Why support someone who has already demonstrated that he is against “assault weapons” (Romney) when you could support someone who has done nothing to infringe upon the 2nd amendment and actually signed a bill to allow guns in the national parks (Obama)? Not all Democrats are gun grabbers like many of you think. Obama has done nothing to infringe upon the 2nd amendment and Romney is too busy flip flopping to make any intelligent statements let alone tell anyone about his policies other than to state that 47% of the American people are moochers which he thinks includes disabled vets, seniors, students and poor working people that don’t make enough money at their jobs to pay income tax. I am in favor of a president who works for all the American people not just the chosen few at the top.

      • Pete

        Did you hear what came out of his mouth? Or was he lying then also Gary? He did say he want’s a assualt weapons ban get your head out of your a$$ and pretend to be alive and not a member of the Brady bunch which we know all of you posters are.

  • dave m

    thay both suck!

  • Pete

    I have read here over and over all the Obama apologists say time after time that “he is a good POTUs for gun owners he has only passed bill for guns never against this is all a conspiricy by the NRA to sell guns. Well what do you apologists have to say now? You can’t apologize your way out of his comments in the debate. Pulled your heads out of your a$$es yet? I seriously doubt it. It seems like he has a mesmerizing ability over the slow and stupid among us. I guess we will se just how much the second ammendmant means to these opologizers now. Obama win=America loses, just the facts. What is better now than it was in 2008? How much cheaper are goods and services now than they were then? How many jobs other than “you want fries with that” are there out there? Answer no a single one. Obama is a lying loser that couldn’t manage a McDonalds.

  • LIV2500

    Why is it all about AK47′s? There are very few ACTUAL AK47 (select fire, russian made), and those guns are not being used violently. Most of those are HEAVILY REGULATED and COST TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. These are not being used by dirt poor gangbangers in intercity LA. Let me keep my guns, the cool ones too.

  • Dywlf

    Neither candidate is a prize. Both represent the status quo of the parasites, obama for the unions and academia, romney for the corps. Where is it that the average american has any clout?

  • John

    This is Romney’s state lay on firearms he has signed in past. Gun control

    During his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney had been a supporter of the federal assault weapons ban, and had also said he believed “in the rights of those who hunt to responsibly own and use firearms.”[126] On July 1, 2004, Romney signed a permanent state ban on assault weapons, saying at the signing ceremony for the new law, “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”[127] The law extended a temporary measure that had been in effect since 1998 and covered weapons such as the AK-47, Uzi, and MAC-10.[127] The same law also modified some other aspects of general firearms licensing regulations.[127]

    Plus he Joined the NRA to get their vote, he claims he has hunted many times; but a few days later says he has only been out hunting twice once when he was around 15 then again in 2007. he keeps doing all these flips what is the real truth behind his actions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I dont know about the rest of you, but i know ill FEEL better when ALL ihave to worry about is getting clocked with a brick or clubbed to death with a 2×4 [SARCASTIC REMARK]

  • james

    Obama has voted against law abiding firearms owners since his
    early days. But wait, there is more, his RECORD.

    Just look at Obama’s history:
    • Obama supports ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of all handguns (1996).

    • Obama endorses ban on the sale or transfer of all semi-automatic firearms (1998).

    • Obama supports 500 percent increase in taxes on both guns and ammunition (1999).

    • Obama proposes banning gun stores within five miles of any school or park (1999).

    • Obama co-sponsors legislation limiting gun purchases to “one gun a month” (1999).

    • Obama serves on board of directors of the radically anti-gun Joyce Foundation (1994-2002).

    • Obama votes to ban hundreds of common, conventional rifles and shotguns (2003).

    • Obama votes to prosecute victims who use guns for self-defense in their homes (2004).

    • Obama backs federal law to abolish Right-to-Carry nationwide (2004).

    • Obama votes to ban common rifle ammunition (2005).

    • Obama votes to expose U.S. gun industry to potentially bankrupting lawsuits (2005).

    • Obama votes to reject pro-Second Amendment Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito (2005 and 2006).

    • Obama supports Washington, D.C., ban on guns in the home for self-defense and refuses to sign bipartisan “friend of the court” brief urging Supreme Court to overturn it (2008).

    • Obama votes to jeopardize federal criminal investigations by opening up sensitive BATFE gun-trace data for manipulation by anti-gun politicians (2008).

    Appointed Judge Satomayer and lawer Kagen to SCTOUS

    If you think that’s bad, well, let me tell you something, You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Because those are just the things Obama did before he occupied the Oval Office.

    • wilbur

      Mitt has a worst record on gun rights…but you will never admit it.

    • LANDOFTHEFREE

      Congrats you can copy and paste from the NRA website!!! What has Obama done to take away guns since becoming POTUS???

    • Balls

      I guess when I loop of an intruders head with a sword it will be ok then.

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