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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2008 / 27 Sivan 5768

A silver bullet for Obama?

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to gun control, the Democratic Party is a house divided against itself. That helps explain Barack Obama's dizzyingly inconsistent positions on District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Second Amendment case decided by the Supreme Court last week.


As a candidate for the Illinois Legislature in the 1990s, Obama had supported legislation to "ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns," so it wasn't surprising that he endorsed the gun ban being challenged in Heller while campaigning for president. In November, for example, his campaign told the Chicago Tribune that "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional." In February, when a questioner during a televised forum said, "You support the D.C. handgun ban," Obama readily agreed: "Right."


By March, however, his spokesman would no longer say whether Obama considered the gun ban constitutional, and when the senator was asked about it in April, he refused to give a clear answer on the grounds that "I obviously haven't listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence." Still, when the court issued its 5-4 ruling last Thursday, Obama claimed that his views had been vindicated. "I have always believed," his statement began, "that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms." Then again, reported the Associated Press, "the campaign would not answer directly . . . when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court."


This is not just the customary political choreography whereby Democratic presidential candidates dance to the left during the primary election season, then pirouette back to the center for the general election. (Republicans twirl the other way.) Guns are a particularly thorny issue for Democrats, who have long been the party of gun control, and whose strong left wing detests firearms and looks down on the "gun nuts" who enjoy them. Liberal Democrats have generally seen the Second Amendment as an embarrassing constitutional anachronism. And they nurse a singular loathing for the National Rifle Association.


The problem for Democrats is that such views are well beyond the American mainstream. There are as many as 283 million privately owned firearms in the United States, and nearly half of all US households own at least one gun. Even before the Supreme Court ruling, a large majority of Americans - 73 percent, according to Gallup - believed the Second Amendment guaranteed the right of private citizens to own guns. Nearly 7 in 10 opposed any law making handgun possession illegal.


Given such widespread pro-gun sentiment, a political party inclined to demonize guns can expect to alienate many voters. In 1994, within months of enacting a ban on assault weapons, Democrats lost their majorities in both houses of Congress. Their "inability to consistently win elections in places where gun shops outnumber Starbucks," the respected political analyst Charlie Cook wrote in National Journal during their long exile, "is a big reason the party controls neither the House nor the Senate."


Some Democrats have worked to shed the image as the party of gun-haters. Running for president in 2004, Senator John F. Kerry made a point of donning orange and hoisting a shotgun for a very public day of duck hunting in southern Ohio. When Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana ran for reelection two years later, their TV ads depicted them using guns. More than 60 Democrats were endorsed by the NRA in the midterm election of 2006 - the election, perhaps not coincidentally, in which their party regained control of Congress.


Still, for many Democratic liberals, the antigun animus is reflexive. Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein wasted no time deploring the court's ruling in Heller last week; Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago denounced it as "very frightening." Over the years, such attitudes have been a political boon to Republicans, helping them paint Democrats as out-of-step elitists who hate something millions of Americans love. John McCain's statement hailing the decision pointedly referred to Obama's infamous statement that Middle Americans "cling to guns or religion" when "they get bitter."


Ironically, the impact of last week's decision may be to deprive the GOP of a valuable political weapon. By ending the debate over whether the Second Amendment confers an individual right to own guns, the justices have just made it safer for gun owners to vote Democratic. McCain cheered the court's ruling, but Obama may prove the biggest winner of all.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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