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Joseph Farah
Joseph Farah
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Why Does Obama Fear Armed Citizenry?


Barack Obama recently made some extraordinary statements about gun ownership that need a thorough refutation.

Not only did Obama misrepresent the very reason the Bill of Rights includes a specific protection of the unalienable right to bear arms, he also misrepresented his own personal position, which is clearly for the ban of most firearms currently owned by Americans.

Here's what he said in Colorado last week: "The opponents of some of these common-sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what's being proposed, nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government. You hear some of these quotes:

—"I need a gun to protect myself from the government."

—"We can't do background checks because the government's going to come take my guns away."

"The government's us," Obama continued. "These officials are elected by you. They are elected by you; I am elected by you. I am constrained as they are constrained by a system that our founders put in place. This is a government of and by and for the people. So surely we can have a debate that's not based on the notion somehow that your elected representatives are trying to do something to you other than potentially prevent another group of families from grieving the way the families of Aurora or Newtown or Columbine have grieved. We've got to get past some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion. And it's important for all of us when we hear that talk to say "hold on a second." If there are any folks out there right now who are gun owners and you've been hearing that someone is taking away your guns, get the facts! We're not proposing a gun registration system. We're proposing background checks for criminals. Don't just listen to what some advocates or folks who have an interest in this are saying. Look at the actual legislation. That's what happened here in Colorado. And if we know the facts and we're listening to each other, then we may actually move forward."

—Obama makes light of the argument that free citizens have a right and duty to be armed and vigilant to protect their liberty — including from government. But it's not some crazy idea. It is exactly what the men who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment believed.

—James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers: "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed — unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

—Thomas Jefferson wrote in a proposal for the Virginia Constitution: "No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

—Again, James Madison wrote in support of the Second Amendment: "The right of the people to keep and bear ... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country. ..."

—George Mason said: "... to disarm the people — that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

—Noah Webster wrote: "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States."

—Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers: "... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights. ..."

—Samuel Adams said: "The Constitution shall never be construed ... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."

—Richard Henry Lee, the initiator of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Senate that passed the Bill of Rights, wrote: "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them."

—Again, Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

—Again, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter quoted frequently by leftists of the 1960s and 1970s: "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.

... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

—Patrick Henry said: "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."

-The intent of the founders couldn't be clearer. In fact, I defy any proponent of further federal firearms restrictions to find even a single quote from a single founder to support their attacks on the Constitution. They can't do it. Yet the record of support for the protection of firearms ownership by these men would fill volumes.

Obama argues that he is opposed to gun bans. But the record is equally clear he is — and always has been.

In 1996, while still in Chicago, Obama supported a ban on handguns. In 1998, he supported a ban on all semiautomatic guns, which represent the vast majority of firearms currently owned by citizens in the U.S. In 2004, he advocated banning gun sales within five miles of a school or park (essentially a ban on virtually all gun stores). He served on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation, the largest private funder of research seeking ways to ban gun ownership in the U.S.

When Obama ran for the Illinois state Senate, he was asked by Independent Voters of Illinois if he supported a "ban (on) the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns." He responded, "Yes." Later, when he ran for president, he flatly denied making the statement and attributed it to a staffer from his Senate race. The problem for Obama is that the questionnaire includes his own handwritten notes to at least one answer. Another questionnaire provided by Illinois State Legislative National Political Awareness Test in 1998 found that Obama wanted to "ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons."

He is also on record in opposition to current laws in 48 states permitting citizens to carry concealed handguns for protection. About concealed carry laws, Obama said, "I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations." Of course, the statistics prove just the opposite.

But the Obama record gets worse.

In March 2004, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2165, a law with provisions designed to assert a right of citizens to protect themselves against home invasions so that self-defense requirements would take precedence over local ordinances against handgun possession. The measure passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 38-20. Barack Obama was one of the 20 state senators voting against the measure.

Then Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed the bill. On Nov. 9, 2004, the Illinois Senate voted 40-18 to override Blagojevich's veto. Again, Obama acted against the override.

It's fair to conclude, with Obama in January issuing 23 executive actions with gun-control provisions, that he not only hates private ownership of most, if not all, firearms, but he is obsessed with imposing restrictions.

More to the point, just do a reality check for a moment: Does anyone genuinely have any doubt that Obama would like to impose draconian gun control regulations on Americans? Will anyone seriously try to defend such a claim?

Again, Obama has a historical pattern of taking strong anti-gun positions, only to attempt later to obscure them. His website once said there were only two reasons for private gun ownership: "Hunting and target shooting." Later the website was scrubbed when it became an embarrassment and a politically inexpedient and indefensible position.

Why does Obama speak out of both sides of his mouth on the gun issue? In 2008, Democrat pollster Mark Penn explained the doublespeak: "The formula for Democrats is to say that they support the Second Amendment, but that they want tough laws that close loopholes. This is something (Democrats) can run on and win on."

In other words, don't pay attention so much to what Obama says; watch what he does. What he says changes with the political winds. What he does has not changed through his political life.

To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... The right to bear arms is not in trouble, and those people who believe they can put up any sort of defense of their rights with force of arms are nuts...
It is because their government is not effective, and does not defend their rights, and does not represent them to any great degree that they are in the bunker mentality thinking about their last stand... It is not that the government should be afraid of the people because they should very much be the people representing themselves; but that deal was queered long ago... We are supposed to have a high proportion of reprentatives to the represented, and instead we have few, and this is something the parties have done for themselves... We have great districts with many people, and usually gerrymandered to deliver an election to one party or the other, and since this partocracy does not deliver good government the people are forced into greater and greater radicalism... Why wouldn't such a government fear the people???
Abraham Lincoln did not fear the people...Many of our presidents did not fear the people enough, did not fear the madness among us enough to take proper precautions... But generally speaking, we have now a great fear of the people, and a madness in government that parlyzes it when it most needs to be nimble, and it finds itself broke and only able to inflate ever greater amounts of currancy with air... Where is the trust???
We have vertually a tax revolt among those who can still pay taxes, and it was not just inspired to protect the rich, which it well does, but because the middle class has been bled physically and financially for pointless wars at the ends of the earth...
If the people want to hunker down and plan for their last stand, then God Bless, and call the nut house... This is no time for defense, and the very time they should be working on offense, at bringing the whole government down in tatters... All they need to do is resist...Don't co-operate... Be an impediment...
The idea that freedom is electing the ones who will enslave you is daffy, but it is the only choice the people are given... Vote for me because I will be polite in taking your assault rifle... I'm not going to take it at all because it is dead weight... Instead; I would say that the people have a right to government free of religion as the price of religion being free of government... I would say the list of rights is not written by government, but by the people who as soon injure another in the exercise of their rights find them limited.. I would say that government that cannot tax and through taxes return the commonwealth to the common people is finished, and then, those people with guns and commonwealth must be on their own in the defense of them...
And here the gun carrying republican wants it both ways... He wants the government to protect him from the majority of the people, and he wants the government to protect him from foreign powers, but he wants to pay nothing for the privilages of religion and property, so he must defend these privilages with force of arms...
I will say that the people do not have enough rights, and the right to bear arms is not so much a right historically as a social obligation... No democracy can protect itself without the willingness and ability of the people to defend themselves... But as a practical matter, there is no specific protection from violent madness, and gun nuts on the verge of parania themselves are in no position to judge sanity...
If it were possible to buy and hold thermonuclear weapons we would see some of our gun nuts demanding the right and raising the money...Why should anyone need what they cannot conceive the use of, and if they cannot conceive of the use of it; why have it... And if they can conceive of the situation where they might need an assault weapon, is it not possible they are in the wrong???
We all know it is wrong to kill, but it is also politically expedient to kill when to make a point might take too much talk, energy, and intelligence...If we only try to remember who we are, that we want to be a nation, and if a nation should love and care for one another, then violence and murder is totally contrary to what we should be about...
We find when people have had to slave for the little they own- that their affection for it is dear... What is their darling affection all about but desparation???... When we have we can exclude, and when we have when others have not, we can feel superior; but what that superiority often is, is a licence for others to exploit us to the hilt, and our desire to possess can make us complete mad men in the process of working us to death...
Where is the American Farmer??? He is extinct, or mad from working against the machine, used up by the tax man and the middle man, and never seeing but a fraction of the value that comes out of his hands... You do not hear of such people dwelling on the deaths by violence of their middle men, their bankers, their landlords in fact...
Instead they wish us all dead because we too have been ruined, and driven from the land, and they are forced to support us in one fashion or another... But their blindness as to who is responsible for their condition is not my concern... Yes; they have my sympathy; but so long as they support their churches, and demand government protection of their property when these privilages are their ruination, and they want the opportunity to defend their ruin and blindness with violence, -they will not have my support...
I cannot pick between those injustices I will defend my self against, and those I will let go... Those who arm themselves against this people have made that choice, and have done so at their peril... They should arm themselves against their economy, against their parties, and against their religions which oppress them...They see us as their enemy, even if we only want what common sense demands...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:09 AM
Sir;... You might consider the necessity of forming a militia, which is what gun ownership is all about... You might have to regiment yourselves, hold regular meetings, train on weapons specific to the military, and learn something about responsibility and discipline... You might have to drill; but best of all, you could have a chance to be judged as worthy, sane, and ready to be a member of your community, and they would get to judge you as well... Think of all the nuts who would never have gotten a weapon if people had had to spend ten minutes with them and hear what came out of their heads...How cool it would be even to create a militia of the paranoid if they all had to tolerate each others conspiracy theories to have their own heard out... Seriously; this gun ownership as an expression of individualism and individual liberty is not what it is about, and it never was... What does the language of the amendment say: A well armed militia... I trust that even the nuttiest of nut roll gun nuts has the sense to see when folks are one step over the edge... Some where, some one should be responsible for making sure the nuts are kept out of the ordnance...
I grant that your government is more afraid of militias than of individuals armed, even if borderline... Tough!!! If the government wants restrictions, they can have a few restrictions too... Allow militias as a means of applying social controls at the community level... The chances of some poop butt insurrection are not as great as the outrageous carnage of a mad individual...Sure; have your assault weapons, but train for an assault... See what people die doing, and you may not want to do it any more...
Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:24 PM
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