Editor’s Note: The first of three articles excerpted from the new book “Emily Gets Her Gun … but Obama Wants to Take Yours” by Washington Times senior opinion editor Emily Miller.
The biggest fight in history over Americans’ right to keep and bear arms is being waged today. There were attacks on the Second Amendment in the early 1990s with the passage of the Brady bill and the “assault weapons” ban. The gun-control battle of 2013, however, could easily see the greatest losses of Second Amendment rights ever.
There are two key factors that make this assault more serious: billionaire New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is willing to spend anything to win, and a longtime anti-gun fanatic Barack Obama, who is applying the full power of the presidential bully pulpit for the gun-grabbers’ cause.
Obama’s long-time, gun-control agenda
Back when Mr. Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate, he didn’t try to hide his anti-gun views. When asked on a candidate questionnaire in 1996 if he supported legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns,” Obama simply answered, “Yes.” He also responded that he wanted laws to ban assault weapons and “mandatory waiting periods, with background checks, to purchase guns.”
In his third term in the Illinois Senate, he supported a package of bills that would have limited citizens to buying only one handgun a month and allowed civil liability lawsuits for death or injuries caused by handguns.
COVERAGE: Second Amendment & Gun Control
During his 2004 run for the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama elaborated on his views. Answering the same questionnaire again, he previewed what would be his top agenda in 2013, saying he supported mandating background checks of buyers purchasing guns at gun shows, through the Internet and through print advertisements.
On the question of legislation to ban all handguns, Obama replied, “While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety.”
He reiterated his support for reinstating the Clinton-era assault weapons ban that Congress let expire that same year because it had not reduced crime. U.S. Senate candidate Obama also said on the questionnaire, “I would support banning the sale of ammunition for assault weapons and limiting the sale of ammunition for handguns.”
Going after bullets is just a backdoor way to get to guns.
Obama in Washington
True to his word, once he got to Washington, then-Sen. Obama was one of only 30 votes in favor of an amendment sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy to expand the definition of “armor-piercing” ammunition, a deliberately vague label that could cover regular hunting ammo.
SEE ALSO: Obama issues new executive orders against guns
However, once he was elected president, Mr. Obama didn’t push his gun control agenda in his first term for political reasons. But a secret internal Justice Department memo obtained by the National Rifle Association (NRA) Institute for Legal Action described the Obama administration’s true goal — confiscation.
Greg Ridgeway, who is now acting director of the National Institute of Justice, wrote in January that, “in order to have an impact, large-capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail their availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale and possession. An exemption for previously owned magazines would nearly eliminate any impact.”
The Justice Department has refused to say who requested the memo or who received it.
A socialist’s view of gun control
Why do gun issues matter so much in American politics? Votes.
Only one of four registered voters believes stricter gun control laws will reduce firearm-related violence. Nearly half of all households have a gun — and that is just the ones who would admit to a strange pollster on the phone that they have a firearm at home.
The highest rate of gun ownership is in the South (54 percent) and the lowest is in the East (36 percent). Note that none of the presidential swing states is in the East.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, the strongest defender of the Second Amendment in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, also warned about the true political objectives of Barack Obama.
I interviewed Mr. Perry at the NRA’s annual meeting in Houston on May 3. I told the governor that, while he was speaking, Mr. Obama was just south of the border, saying that infringing on Second Amendment rights would benefit Mexicans.
“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” Obama said in Mexico City. “I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States.”
The Texas governor was so shocked that he pushed back his chair from the table and thought before answering. “The idea that a United States president would go to Mexico and make that statement is incredible,” he said. “His goal — well before he became president of the United States — was to try to disarm the American public. He just disregards the Constitution.”
Mr. Perry went on to say, “He believes this. I got in trouble for calling Barack Obama a socialist, but he is. Socialists believe in disarming the public. Just go look at how he’s performed on economic issues, health care, gun control, and Barack Obama is a central-control socialist.”
Disarming the American public has been the goal all along for Mr. Obama. He and Mr. Bloomberg were laying the groundwork for the right time to try to do it. Sadly, that came in December 2012 with the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Click here for the second excerpt: Liberal media distort the gun debate; loaded language misleads the public
• Adapted from “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery, 2013). Reprinted with permission by Regnery Publishing Inc.