How will Obama react to D.C. v. Heller?

Many, including me, were disappointed at Senator Obama's statement opposing the Supreme Court's ruling that child rapists could not be sentenced to death.  I see it as a tactical move to appeal to the large numbers of Americans who support the death penalty.  Now, I'm not freaking out and screaming CONCERN at the top of my lungs, but as a careful adoption of a not-so-progressive position on an issue many progressives care about, it is duly noted.

My real question is this: how do you think Sen. Obama will react to the likely outcome of D.C. v. Heller?  This case, set to come down any day now, will likely reveal the Court's never-yet expressed doctrine on the Second Amendment, and will set the rules for all gun-control efforts in the future.  Per SCOTUSblog, Heller is the only case left from its original batch, and Justice Scalia is the only justice without a majority opinion from that batch.  Not a good sign for those of us who don't favor radical reinterpretations of two hundred years of Constitutional law based on what was good policy for the matchlock muskets and devolved federal structure of 1784.

Obama's position on the Second Amendment:

Repect the Second Amendment. . . . as a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.  He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.  He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and commonsense regulation.

Source: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/additi onal/#sportsmen (click "read the full plan.")

There's a fair amount of wiggle room in that policy position.  If the Court announces an individual right to bear arms, which seems likely, Obama will probably have to support it publicly.  The question will be the kind of "reasonable and commonsense regulation" the Court will allow--if it allows any at all.  I personally expect a somewhat broad consensus that the Second Amendment does, in fact, provide an individual right, and then a confusing mess of concurrences and dissents about exactly what kind of regulation of that right is permissible.

So, how will/should Obama play this?  Gun control, like the death penalty, is one of those issues that the great swath of Americans known as "the middle" seem to agree on: they're for it, but not too much.  My prediction is that, whatever the specifics of the holding, Obama will play to the mountain west in his response. Which I'm okay with.  I guess.

I just hope that if Scalia goes completely off the deep end and declares an untouchable, sacred right to the automatic assault rifle, Obama will speak out strongly in favor of the need for gun control.

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Barack and Jamiel

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Somebody killed Jamiel Shaw Jr. with a handgun on March 2, 2008, just like the 4000 other black teenagers killed with handguns every year in the United States.

Barack Obama's support for overturning Washington's ban on handguns in Heller v. District of Columbia is one of the most important reasons why I oppose his candidacy for President.

I cannot understand how a black man could possibly support a Bill-of-Rights recognition of the individual right to bear arms, which would undermine every gun control law ever written.

4,000 black teenagers pay with their lives every year for the power of the NRA, and when Obama comes down on the side of handguns, it seems to me that he is betraying the same people he pretended to explain to the rest of us in his miserable speech in Philadelphia.

Stark Juxtapositions

I saw this and felt compelled to share it, from ABC News' Politics page:

Giuliani Guns

In case you can't read the circled text, the breaking news says "Delaware State University Shut Down After Two Students Were Shot..." and the top story says "Rudy Guns for NRA Backing."

Of course, we remember that after the Virginia Tech massacre, the NRA promoted a Fox News poll arguing against tougher gun laws.

We also remember that, during George W. Bush's 2000 Presidential run, the NRA bragged that, if Bush won, the NRA would have a President "where we work out of their office."

And this is the endorsement that Rudy Giuliani is "gunning" for.

A stark, striking juxtaposition that gave me pause.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Delaware State University community.

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Gerry Cardinale and the Gun Lobby: Perfect Together

by Stephen Yellin

I've previously written here about NJ-39 and Gerry Cardinale; you can read the articles here:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/11/1235 59/993

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/9/17/1342 8/9971

Yesterday I profiled New Jersey State Senator Gerald "Gerry" Cardinale and his ultra-conservative positions that he's taken throughout his 25-year career. However, I deliberately did not mention his most extreme belief - on gun control. Let me be clear: New Jersey is NOT an NRA-friendly state. In fact, one reason former Governor Jim Florio nearly won reelection in 1993 after dropping to an 18% approval rating was because of his courageous efforts to promote gun safety and reform the state's gun laws. One of his chief opponents in that fight was Gerry Cardinale. And after 25 years as a State Senator, Cardinale continues to promote an extreme, NRA-style agenda on gun control that is way out of line with New Jersey voters.

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Why We'll WIn

I am working on a book that I believe is very relevant to this forum and was hoping that you all could look into it and provide some feedback. I represent the book, "Why We'll Win: Left Edition" by Malcolm Friedberg, which explores the constitutional contentions behind hotpoint issues such as abortion, the pledge of allegiance, gun control, and gay marriage along with perspectives written by liberal leaders.

The book is written from a bipartisan perspective with the aim to inform the average political junkie of the legal and constitutional arguments that are made and heard within the confines of the Supreme Court. For instance, the chapter on abortion draws the distinction that the constitution lays out (and the courts have specified) between the state rights to protect the unborn and a woman's right to choose. While, of course, there is no easy mediation between the two sides, this book is designed to make readers aware of the LEGAL contentions behind the debate and prepare them to argue their case.

I thought that this book would be of interest to this community. What do you all think?

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Diaries

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