Senator Al Franken clarified his support today that he is in fact in favor of the proposed "assault weapons" ban. "[W]e should reinstate a ban on assault weapons," said Franken today in a statement.
But in 2008, when he was running for office against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, Franken sang a very different tune:
Franken was, he insisted, an adamant believer in the Second Amendment.
"Look, I support the Second Amendment. I don't think we're any different on this," Franken said, looking at his Republican opponent. "I support peoples right to collect guns, to use guns for protection, to hunt--I don't think there's any difference whatsoever between us!"
At the time, Coleman responded, "That is a stunning statement to say that we are the same on Second--a stunning statement." The Republican added, "You've learned the political game pretty well in a short time," pointing to statements and positions of Franken's that were anti-gun.
Coleman went on to point out the fact that he was awarded an A rating from the National Rifle Association, while Franken received an F.
Franken went to narrowly win that election. But four years later, he appears to have flipped on the gun issue.
In an email today, I asked Coleman for his response to today's reversal by Franken on guns. "As I said in the debate--I found his statement of unequivocal support for the 2nd Amendment and gun owner rights to be a stunning reversal of prior positions. It seems he really earned that F from the NRA," Coleman wrote to me.