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.

Tags: Barack Obama, gun control, Jamiel Shaw Jr, NRA, Second Amendment (all tags)

Comments

34 Comments

Re: Barack and Jamiel

This issue doesn't break down as easily as you'd think. And I thought Clinton had the exact same stance on this particular issue?

by ragekage 2008-03-24 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

While I respect your opinion perhaps your anger is misdirected.  Please keep in mind that DC is bordered by both Maryland and Virginia, which allow both handguns and rifles.  A great number of these weapons find their way into the District and are used in a variety of crimes while at the same time, law abiding citizens are unable to protect themselves and their families.  While I absolutely concur with you that the 2nd amendment is an antiquated and outmoded amendment that was designed for a time lost past, you cannot allow one jurisdiction to arm itself without allowing another to do the same in self-defense.  The greater issue needs to be the reduction, and ultimately the removal, of the 2nd amendment from our Constitution rather than specifically targeting a fraction of the population that happens to live in one of the most crime ridden cities in America.  I would know, I lived there for quite a while...

by Rockville Liberal 2008-03-24 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

forgive the typos, I was typing quickly.

by Rockville Liberal 2008-03-24 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

Highly Recommended!

by Fleaflicker 2008-03-24 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel
Law abiding citizens in DC can still protect home and family with shotguns, for example.

I agree that the effectiveness of the DC handgun ban was compromised by the failure of Virginia and Maryland to exercise reasonable supervision.

But if the Supreme Court agrees with Obama about the case in point, Heller v. District of Columbia, it will be impossible to maintain even the pitifully weak gun control laws now in force or write new laws elsewhere.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 06:22AM | 0 recs
Gun control in general

Let's just say from the outset that the idea that we're ever going to ban handgun possession nationwide is simply a non starter. Politically there is no way this would ever happen.

Now, this brings us to the question of local bans, such as the one at issue in D.C. Do you honestly believe that the D.C. handgun ban has led to fewer gun deaths? The minute you ban handguns in one area, all that happens is that they will flood in from the surrounding regions. Drugs are illegal everywhere but the lure of profits have pushed people to dig mile long tunnels from Mexico, build million dollar submarines filled with tons of cocaine and launched from Colombia, and farm poppy fields in the middle of a war zone.

The way you reduce senseless killings is by doing what we did in the 90s - increased policing in neighborhoods/working cooperatively with citizens and nurturing the economy so that people are not drawn towards illegal means of gaining money. I would also suggest that we shift our focus for first time non violent drug offenders from jail/prison, to treatment, but that is for another discussion.

by highgrade 2008-03-24 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Gun control in general
I'm not ready to concede control of America to the NRA! Those miserable bozos may be willing to sacrifice any number of lives for their goddamned hobby, but I think that eventually the rest of us will get sick of the ongoing slaughter, and flush the NRA down into the sewer of bigotry where it belongs.

Jamiel Shaw Jr. should be getting ready to go to Stanford in the fall, and he died for the miserable hobbyists of the NRA.

God damn them all!
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Gun control in general

Look, I have no love for the NRA, but if it were to magically disappear tomorrow I don't think the situation would be much different.

by highgrade 2008-03-24 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

Please see this CBS article from 1/17/07.  It demonstrates that Obama had an excellent record on gun control issues in the Illinis State Senate.

"Obama regularly supported gun-control measures, including a ban on semiautomatic "assault weapons" and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month.

He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.

Supporters framed the issue as a fundamental question of whether homeowners have the right to protect themselves.

Obama joined several Chicago Democrats who argued the measure could open loopholes letting gun owners use their weapons on the street. They said local governments should have the final say, but the self-defense exception passed 41-16 and ultimately became state law.

"It's bad politics to be on the wrong side of the Second Amendment come election time," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. "It will certainly be talked about. You can take that to the bank." '

by nklein 2008-03-24 06:54AM | 0 recs
Changing standards
Mr. Obama's opinion on Heller v. District of Columbia quoted in the link in my diary may conflict with his earlier opinions, when he represented a south Chicago constituency in the Illinois State legislature, but in national elections it is more convenient not to oppose the NRA, and supporting an individual right to bear arms will give gun fanatics everything they want for the foreseeable future.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Changing standards

He's on record as saying that the DC gun ban is constitutional -- as I noted below.  Also, his position on gun rights is the same as Larry Tribe's:  An individual right exists, but it can be abrogated by reasonable restrictions.    

by HSTruman 2008-03-24 08:22AM | 0 recs
Hypocrisy
This is just more hypocritical double-think from Obama and his friends. It is just barely possible that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Heller they might restrict the decision so thoroughly that some of the existing statutes would stand up under the new syandards, but it is also true that every gun-control group in the United States is opposed to recognition of an individual right to bear arms.

Recognition of such a right threatens every gun control law now in force, and when Tribe and Obama pretend the best of all possible best-case scenarios is the most likely outcome of finding for Heller, it's just another example of double-think from Obama and his friends.

The bottom line is that Tribe and Obama are siding with the NRA against all gun control advocates everywhere.

It really doesn't look good, and the likely outcome would cost the lives of thousands of black teenagers and a rainbow colored array of other people as well.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hypocrisy

Tone down your rhetoric a little bit and we might actually be able to discuss this topic rationally.  

First of all, whether the Second Amendment provides an individual right to gun ownership is a complicated Constitutional question that can be argued both ways.  Legal scholars are all over the place with respect to the Second Amendment, and not necessarily along typical ideological fault lines.  For example, Robert Bork of all people thinks it's ridiculous to argue that the Second Amendment speaks in terms of an individual right.  Larry Tribe thinks it does.  I understand your policy arguments in support of gun control, but we're talking about a constitutional question here.  That's different.  

Second, there is nothing remote or strange about recognizing that a right exists but nonetheless allowing it to be curtailed in appropriate instances.  The First Amendment, which is revered more than just about any other constitutional right, has exceptions.  So does the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.  In short, most constitutional rights can be limited under certain circumstances.  

According to my own nose counting, which admittedly may be off, I think we will get a very similar result in Heller.    

by HSTruman 2008-03-24 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Hypocrisy
In the whole history of the United States, the Supreme Court has never found an individual right to bear arms. The idea that existing gun control laws won't be undermined by a finding for Heller is just whistling in the dark, and every gun control organization in the United States opposes Mr. Obama's position on this issue. The safety of real human beings is a very significant issue for every court, and Mr. Obama can't hide behind some technical pretence, what you call "a complicated Constitutional question," to claim justification for supporting a position that would probably cost the lives of thousands of Americans of all colors.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Hypocrisy

My mistake.  I thought it might be possible to have a rational discussion on this topic.  Clearly that was an error on my part.  Apologies.  

Just for the record, the Supreme Court hasn't considered this issue at all in --if my memory serves -- almost 70 years and even there the decision was far from a model of clarity.  Since that time, the Second Amendment has remained a fertile area of constitutional scholarship with powerful arguments on both sides.  Too bad everyone didn't just ask you what the answer was.  They could have saved so much time and effort.  

by HSTruman 2008-03-24 09:47AM | 0 recs
First,

you're wrong if you think DC's handgun ban led to lower homicides.  It did not.  Sadly, they had record handgun homicides with the ban in place.  

Second, this is racist:

"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."

Why should Barack be required to have any opinion just because he's a black man, while Hillary, presumably because she's white, gets a pass in your diary (despite the fact that she also believes that there is an individual right to bear arms under the 2nd amendment).

by bigdcdem 2008-03-24 06:55AM | 0 recs
Racism
Mr. Obama's pseudonymous friends love to throw out the charge of racism against real people who post under their own names!

Mr. Obama has affirmed his (non-exclusive) identification with black Americans on numerous occasions, most recently in his speech in Philadelphia, and my assertion is that supporting the NRA in a case that would undermine all gun control laws grossly compromises the safety black teenagers all across the United States.

Yes, I would certainly expect Mr. Obama to take special care of the interests of black Americans, especially where it only conflicts with the trivial interests of gun-freaks. If Bill Richardson had been the nominee, I would have expected him to be especially sensitive to the problems of hispanic Americans, wherever those interests aren't in conflict with the general welfare of the rest of us.

There's nothing racist about it, and it's offensive to the thousands of parents who have lost a child to gun violence for you to give Mr. Obama yet another free pass on this issue just because you claim that other candidates aren't any better.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 08:28AM | 0 recs
Yes, that is racism

It can be used as an empty charge, but not here.  You are attempting to hold minority candidates to some special threshold simply because they're minority.  It is unfair to them and it gives white candidates a pass.  Further, you have no demonstrable evidence that DC's handgun ban has made the city safer.

by bigdcdem 2008-03-24 09:48AM | 0 recs
No free pass
I'm not giving anybody a pass on this issue.

If Hillary Clinton supported Heller, I would write exactly the same about her as I write about Obama.

About racism, it's ridiculous for Obama to claim a special understanding and connection with the black community, as he claimed in his speech in Philadelphia, and then betray that same community on the life and death issue of gun control.

But Obama and his friends always want to have everything both ways.

Obama attacks Hillary for voting for the War Powers Act, but votes to fund the war himself with no definite date for withdrawal. Obama attacks Hillary about NAFTA, but votes for NAFTA-Peru himself.

Everything is always every which way for Obama, as long as it doesn't get in the way of his ambition.
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: No free pass

<<If Hillary Clinton supported Heller, I would write exactly the same about her as I write about Obama.>>

She does and you didn't.  Because she's white and you're being racist.  You still have not shown that DC's gun ban reduced crime and thus is in the interest of black DC residents.  I won't hold my breath for that.

by bigdcdem 2008-03-24 05:20PM | 0 recs
It's a lie that Clinton supports Heller
bigdcdem claims HRC supports Heller to overturn the ban on handguns in DC.

I think this is a lie, rather than a simple mistake.

bigdcdem: Do you have any kind of source for your claim, or are you just slinging mud to protect your candidate?
by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-24 07:24PM | 0 recs
You really need to learn to use Google

because you are embarassing yourself now.

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx ?id=718635

"I believe strongly people have the right to own and bear arms under the Second Amendment. And I also believe we can reconcile our constitutional rights with common-sense measures that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and people with mental health problems," Clinton said."

Yep, that sounds like an individual right to me.  And no, you haven't provided that support for the DC gun ban reducing crime because ... oh yeah ... it doesn't exist.

by bigdcdem 2008-03-24 11:33PM | 0 recs
Heller v. District of Columbia?

Heller V. District of Columbia is a specific case with very specific implications. Clinton does not suppoprt Heller.

Your citation of Hillary's vague statement that some form of the Second Amendment has to be respected does not mention Heller and misses the whole point.

The word "individual" in the discussion is crucial for current and future gun control laws, as you would know if you had followed the links in my diary, or could understand what you may have read.

But all the preceding discussion obviously went right over your head, and for you, all distinctions at law get reduced to an "all cats are gray in the dark" confusion.
 

by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-26 02:31PM | 0 recs
If you really believe that Hillary

was not referring to an "individual" right in that quote, then you are smoking crack (or are just simply naive).  But, by all means, keep dreaming.

by bigdcdem 2008-03-28 07:07AM | 0 recs
Words matter

Obama keeps saying "words matter," except when they happen to be an embarassment for him, and then "words don't matter."

There's a huge difference at law between a Second Amendment right and a specifically "individual" right, but if you haven't read any of the links in this story by now, you probably don't care about words or facts either.

by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-28 01:48PM | 0 recs
Duh

<<There's a huge difference at law between a Second Amendment right and a specifically "individual" right>>

I assure you that I know more about the subject than you do.  The part that you don't get is that Hillary also believes in a specifically individual right to bear arms.  But I'm sure you'll just keep your head in the sand.

by bigdcdem 2008-03-28 06:41PM | 0 recs
What are you? 11 years old?

You claim to know more than every gun control advocate in the United States, because all of them are on the other side of this issue from Barack "Both Ways" Obama.

And yet somehow you don't even know that every court in the United States except the DC Appeals Court has constantly found specifically against an "individual" right to bear arms!

No wonder you love Obama! You're just the kind of adolescent knowitall who never has to read anything to "know" you're right about everything and you're a perfect fit for the demographic of "Suckers for Obama."

by Jacob Freeze 2008-03-29 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: What are you? 11 years old?

Again, I clearly know more about this issue than you do.  You have offered no new information.  You don't even seem to understand that Hillary also believes in an individual right to bear arms.  But, by all means, continue to single out Barack because he's black.

<<You claim to know more than every gun control advocate in the United States, because all of them are on the other side of this issue from Barack "Both Ways" Obama.>>

Where did I say that I know more about this issues than "every gun control advocate in the United States?"  I did not.  Only you.  You made that up.

<<And yet somehow you don't even know that every court in the United States except the DC Appeals Court has constantly found specifically against an "individual" right to bear arms!>>

What's your basis for saying I'm not aware of this?  I am fully aware of this and of the fact that all of those decisions will take a legal backseat when the Supreme Court decides this issue.

<<No wonder you love Obama! You're just the kind of adolescent knowitall who never has to read anything to "know" you're right about everything and you're a perfect fit for the demographic of "Suckers for Obama.">>

Again, you haven't shown one bit of intelligence in this exchange.  You've only shown how naive you are about the fact that Hillary threw your "collective right" view under the bus.  The Supreme Court will do so shortly as well.  

How does it feel to have no major national Democrat publicly defending your view?

by bigdcdem 2008-03-30 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What are you? 11 years old?

No wonder you like Obama!

If Barack Obama has to kill 10,000 black teenagers to get elected, he'll do it in a New York minute, and "bigdcdem" will be right there cheering.

Maybe you should take a break from writing garbage on the blogs and try to get yourself a soul, you sick little freak!

If the Supreme Court finds an individual right to bear arms, like Obama advocates, it's a death sentence for thousands of children.

What king of freak cheers for the death of children?

by Jacob Freeze 2008-04-02 10:12PM | 0 recs
Again, as you continue to go in circles,

DC's gun ban did not stop its record number of murders.  

Try answering some of the points you're responding to once in a while.

by bigdcdem 2008-04-04 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

Jacob:

Thank you for bringing up this very important issue which is now being heard in the Supreme Court in the District of Columbia where they have some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.    

www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?st oryId=88552264

I also believe the issue of violence between the children in our society should be a forward topic of discussion in our local as well as national government.  

It is my opinion that the underlying issue resulting in violence in our otherwise peaceful streets and the dubious distinction that our country has the largest inmate population in the world, is because of the way we treat our poor people.  In our society we do not value our poor people.  A full 20% of the children in our country live in homes where the income earned is below the poverty level   We as the richest country that ever existed on the surface of this planet, and do not even provide health care, consistent high quality education, or safe communities for the poor people to live.  I bring this up because it must be understood that any (every) group of individuals who are not valued in a society will respond with force (this is know as revolution in some circles).  The French learned the hard way of the concept of noblesse oblige.  

Please understand that the problem of our children dying in our communities due to violence, needs to be addressed in many ways.   I believe Hillary Clinton brings a full compliment of fully developed plans for developing and building up all levels of our community.

http://www.ontheissues.org/Takes_A_Villa ge.htm

Her emphasis has always included caring for the community.  Her book, "It Takes a Village" is a thoughtful look at how important a community is to raising our children.   In her role as Senator, she has worked diligently to prepare a comprehensive health care plan, and with regards to Gun control her record is posted below.

Anti-gun Bills Hillary Clinton Cosponsored:

S. 368: Massively expand federal funding and control of local law enforcement.    
S. 456: Treat firearms offenses as though they were Mafia or gang-related crimes.    

S. 527: Redefine more handgun ammunition as "armor piercing".   
S. 578: FBI to maintain gun sales records of persons on "watch lists" for 10 years.    
S. 620: Reinstate the expired ban on semi-automatic firearms and magazines.   
S. 645: Semi-auto ban plus a ban on some youth sportshooting competitions.   
S. 935: Fifty-caliber ban.    
S. 22: Omnibus gun control: gun show ban, lifetime juvenile offender ban, FBI record-keeping, much more.   
S. 448: Huge bill including a magazine ban, gun show ban, mandatory trigger locks, one-handgun-a-month, etc.   
S. 1034: Semi-auto ban reauthorization.   
S. 1431: Vastly expanded semi-auto ban reauthorization (more guns banned plus other anti-gun provisions).   
S. 1774: Permanently ban polymer-framed (so-called "plastic") firearms.   
S. 1807: Gun show ban.   
S. 1882: FBI to maintain gun sales records of persons on "watch lists".   
S. 1983: National ballistic registry of all new fireams, plus increased BATF power and funding.   
S. 2109: Ten-year extension of the semi-auto ban then in effect.    
S. 16: "Crime bill" including: gun show ban, lifetime juvenile offender ban, FBI record-keeping, much more.   
S. 767: Gun show ban.   
S. 924: Expand federal police power, specifically the federal government's role in "firearms-related incidents."   
S. 940: Gun show ban included in a large education bill.   
S. 1253: Register lawful gun buyers for a minimum of 90 days.   
S. 1788: Audit background check information; make it available for both criminal and civil inquiries.   
http://www.gunowners.org/pres08/clinton. htm

Thank you.

by dianeCrn 2008-03-24 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: HRC's record

Thanks so much for this information.  I'm copying it to my own file for future reference.  Good job!

by moevaughn 2008-03-24 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

Since Obama has explicitly said that he thinks the DC gun ban is constitutional, I really don't know what you're talking about.  

Here's a discussion about his statements on individual rights and how such a right can nonetheless be abrogated through reasonable regulations:

http://www.buckeyestateblog.com/obama_su pports_individual_gun_rights_wait_what

by HSTruman 2008-03-24 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack and Jamiel

It looks like they're both staying away from this issue:

http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/2008/03 17/district-of-columbia-vs-heller-build ing-excitement

This diary seems an eensy bit disingenuous to not mention that Hillary appears to have a very similar stance on this issue.  I don't mean that we shouldn't expect more from the two of them, but we need to hold both candidates to the same standards if we want this sort of diary to mean anything.

Please give some sort of evidence that Hillary has done anything differently on this issue, because I haven't found any.  That would really lend a lot of credence to your argument.

by minnesotaryan 2008-03-24 07:59AM | 0 recs

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