Has Obama Opened the Gun Control Pandora's Box?
2:31 PM, Apr 17, 2009 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
In his joint press conference with Mexican President Calderon yesterday, Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for an assault weapons ban. At the same time, he seems to regard it as an essentially unachievable goal:
Like many gun control advocates, Barack Obama wants to make something which is already prohibited even 'more illegal'. But while most gun control backers avoid revealing this fact, Obama owns up to it -- when he acknowledges that while it's legal to manufacture or own 'assault weapons,' it is illegal to ship them across the border. Apparently in Obama's mind, soldiers in drug cartels that are beheading police officers will be frightened about another weapons charge.
Later in the press conference, Obama said that he wants the Senate to approve the OAS treaty against illegal trafficking in firearms:
CIFTA is pretty obscure. The treaty was pushed by the Clinton administration and signed in 1997. But the Clinton administration never submitted it for ratification, due to political concerns over gun control. Harriet Babbitt -- the Clinton era Ambassador to the OAS -- recently testified before the Senate that the CIFTA is essentially modeled on U.S. law, and so imposes no new requirements on this nation. Ratifying it would simply show the U.S. commitment to cooperating with our OAS partners, she argues.
That said, the National Rifle Association make clear its opposition to the treaty after Obama mentioned it yesterday. They also deny Babbitt's assertion that the organization was involved in the negotiations:
If Obama intends to pursue ratification, it sounds like another tough vote for swing-state Democrats. And with rural voters seemingly more or less convinced that Democrats don't have any crazy plans to take away their guns, are they really willing to give Republicans more ammunition?