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jca's avatar

What do you think Obama's latest comments on gun control will do to his campaign? Help it or hurt it?

Asked by jca (35976points) July 26th, 2012

Most recently, Obama spoke out in favor of tighter gun control laws. He said “I think a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47’s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals.” Do you think this will help him or hurt him in his campaign? It is an issue that divides the country, it seems.

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23 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I am glad that he was at last honest. I don’t think it will hurt him with his core supporters. Whether it might tip some independents the other way, only time will tell.

ragingloli's avatar

He obviously only meant AK47s. All the colonial assault rifles are fine. Just another act of colonial protectionism to boost sales of domestic assault weapons.

rojo's avatar

I think it will depend on whether he can keep the topic on crime and crime prevention or whether the NRA can highjack it and re-focus it into a 2nd amendment issue. If it is, then it will not matter at all because minds will not be changed either way. If he can keep focused on what it is, a crime issue, he might be able to get some of the more rational people in the country to get together and discuss it without the normal accusations and recriminations.

athenasgriffin's avatar

Hmm. . . I don’t think it is going to help him. It might not hurt him, but really he should focus on something a little more safe. I am mostly liberal, and have never fired a gun, but I don’t believe in more extreme gun control. And I believe that there are a lot of people like me who might not be vocal against gun control, but would still quietly swing their vote to the dark side for an issue like this.

Nullo's avatar

Probably a net help. He has thrown away the pro-gun vote, but he didn’t have much of that in the first place. And this cements his standing with the anti-gun people.
@ragingloli Naturally.~

Honestly, I don’t think that there’s very much that he could do that would have anything approaching a real impact that wouldn’t be horribly unconstitutional. not that that bothers him.

Few Americans have ever owned a real AK-47. They’re pretty expensive, thanks to the machine gun ban, while the semi-automatic versions are not.

zenvelo's avatar

Obama and Romney are so conflict intolerant about guns, that it will be neutral.

The gun lovers decided against Obama four years ago, the gun opponents don’t find it enough to decide one way or another.

josie's avatar


The second ammendment says the government can not prevent you from owning a gun, but it says nothing about particular restrictions and it says nothing one way or the other as to which type of gun might be restricted. The Supreme Court has already said that felons and people with mental illness can not have them. And that they can be restricted as to where they may be carried. The court has upheld laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of guns. So it is not as if the Court does not understand that certain circumstances might merit regulation.

I am no fan of the president, but I really do not think he said anything at all to which most reasonable people would not at least give a hearing. And I do not think most reasonable people would hold it against him for saying it. And anyway, he can’t do anything about it. Any legislation about the issue would originate in the Congress, not the White House. He can talk all he wants.

To those who would argue that we need AK-47s in order to protect ourselves against a tyrannical government, I would say our days of believing that we will be able to fend off Uncle Sam from our back yard or the hill crest on the local golf course have long past. If they want to come and get you, they will and you really cannot stop them. You can try I suppose, but you won’t live to see victory. So that leaves issues of sport and self defense. Neither of these require an AK or an M4 or such. I own some guns, including a couple of AR15s. I don’t like to hunt, but I shoot targets with them. I would never be foolish enough to point one of them at an armed servent of the government if they came for me. I served with such people and I have had their training and used their weapons. They are scary, and I know it.

So, I don’t think it is a big deal. The problem in the US is the ice cold economy and the fact that we each owe tens of thousands of dollars to bond holders for as far into the future as you can imagine. Everybody knows it.

Ron_C's avatar

I think it is time to stop talking about gun control and time to begin the discussion of the second amendment, When the 2nd amendment was written it was physically possible to defeat the local colonial army with weapons owned by ordinary citizens. The day that mechanized howitzers and rifle propelled grenade came into existence that amendment became obsolete. The only way to fight an occupying army is the way it it done in Afghanistan and Iraq. Small well placed mines and a consistent opposition to the colonial power is necessary. Of course many on both sides will die and the goal is to make sure the other side dies more than your side. You don’t need a 2nd amendment for that type of war. only guts and tenacity.

tedd's avatar

It’s an issue he doesn’t want to talk about. I dunno what the president feels about gun control. He has said many times before that he has no plans to move on guns or gun control, and I take him at that word. Whether he personally agrees with the more left or right views on the matter, I think he understands it’s a bag of worms he doesn’t need to open right now. There are far bigger issues with the economy and taxes.

I suspect he only commented on it at all thanks to the fervor after the shooting in Colorado. But the bottom line is it’s a losing issue for him. While some liberals are vocal advocates about more gun control, and most people can see the positives in smarter gun regulation…. most on the left are indifferent at best about the issue, and many are like myself (believers in the second amendment). All this would turn into is an issue that would rile up the right’s base, bringing out donations and party line voters en-mass, whilst exciting a small portion of the left’s base, and netting virtually no donations.

It’s a losing issue for the left, Obama knows it, and I doubt he tries to bring it up during the rest of the campaign.

Jaxk's avatar

As long as he doesn’t try to outlaw my BB gun, I’m fine.

Nullo's avatar

@Ron_C It’s a leg up, though, and keeps the mindset alive, if not actually in good health.

@tedd He has said many times before that he has no plans to move on guns or gun control
And when he ran in 2008 he said that his Christian faith would not let him approve of gay marriage.

woodcutter's avatar

He’s already seen what happens when there is an AWB. Back in “94. And the pro -gunners have dug in even more. He’s just posturing in an election year. I don’t think he wants to loose the senate also. Four more years of lame duck won’t help any of us.

tedd's avatar

@Nullo Hey I never said politicians don’t change their opinions on things. But to date he’s given no indication that he has any other plans on his gun stance.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Although I’m not a big fan of Obama, I am a fan of constitutional rights and a member of the NRA, and I feel limiting access to AK’s is a step in the right direction with all the psychotics out there. I’m in Missouri, red-neck central, no one needs an AK to hunt, no one needs an AK to defend themselves unless they’re taking on a mass of ppl.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Im fine with the restriction of machine guns and the laws against people that are either mentally ill or convicted felons from owning guns, but when you get into banning whole DESIGNS of guns, then that gets me worried. That was how the gun control laws of the UK got so Draconian. Slowly, bit by bit. If we were to pass a law requiring a mental health check once a year to buy guns, I would have no real problem with it. It would just keep us safe from those people who are mentally unstable. Anyways if want my opinion on gun control read my little treatise.

woodcutter's avatar

@KNOWITALL 2A doesn’t have much at all to do with hunting or any sporting purpose for that matter. I looked and it’s just not there. Just a happy coincidence. There may be a comment made by a statesman of the period about it but it really deals with the need for defense using appropriate weapons of the time period. If we can get that word “need” out of the gun debate lexicon, it would greatly clear up a lot of misunderstandings. I mean really…how can anyone aligned with the gun control lobby dictate what an individual need really is? Most of them don’t even know what gun terminology is, ie“that shoulder thingy that folds up” Sen. Carolyn Macarthy or something to that effect. The double standard these body guard equipped politicians portray is amazing. Here’s what they are conveying when they want to deny for other’s what they want for themselves: Their lives are more important than yours and mine and everyone else’s will ever be. Talk about elitism!! I think AK’s have earned a bad rap due to the cold war with the Soviets, after all they were the “enemy’s” guns so by extension they are evil, or more evil than the Stoner design of the M-16. Pretty much the same capabilities, different country of origin.
If we cave in to cosmetic features of one class of gun, to justify bans,then the authors of those bills that succeeded will no doubt feel empowered to go after other less evil types, after all if the same logic worked for the first success why not try it with more? This is how incremental reductions of freedom work because, an outright ban is too much to even hope for but doing it little by little they can win, just like in Great Briton.

AK-47’s with a 5 round mag can ,and do make excellent hunting weapons. So much so the Russians have made a hunting version called a SAIGA , Same internal parts as an AK sold with only a 5 round mag ( which will also accept 30 rounders,btw) People use them all the time especially if that happens to be what they have. The bullets are dumb and have no idea which gun barrel they came out of. Nobody is going to be chided out in the woods by any Elmer Fudd who happens to have a Winchester that day. A gun is a gun, so the need argument dies right there. And who’s to decide what weapon an individual needs to defend themselves with? Certainly no one with a security detail 24/7 who believes they are better than the average person(who has no bodyguards, ever.)

ETpro's avatar

I doubt it will change much. The NRA has been on an anti-Obama rant since he took office. He has enacted exactly one piece of gun legislation, and that was pro-gun. He signed the legislation allowing weapons in certain national parks. But the NRA has constantly claimed he is the most anti-gun president in US history not because of what he has done but because they somehow know of secret plans he has to take everybody’s guns tomorrow. In an environment as devoid of rational discourse as that, what position he takes is utterly irrelevant to those who already know they hate him. But 70% of NRA members think bans on high capacity magazines and background checks for firearm purchases are a good idea. So supporting simple common sense is probably a net positive.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro But 70% of NRA members think bans on high capacity magazines and background checks for firearm purchases are a good idea. So supporting simple common sense is probably a net positive.

Really? I think I’m going to challenge that comment right there.Link? You might hand my ass to me on this and that’s fine. If so I guess I’ll be content to be among the 30%. who want the govt to leave my Hi Caps alone. I’ve never not seen a background check when I make a purchase.

Nullo's avatar

@KNOWITALL My first hunting trip was with a friend’s AK, with the small mag.

KNOWITALL's avatar

All I’m saying is that sometimes it only takes one shot…..we don’t hunt with an AK nor do we need it. Power to ya!

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro I know what you are going to think when i say that by looking at the source of that Stat blog that I “consider the source”. Mike Bloomberg is sort of a liar with the resources to get others to back them up. The samples he used were no doubt cherry picked to get those figures. This, from a guy who illegally sends secret goon squads all over the country to try to entrap gun dealers in other states. He’s sneaky and You and I both do not trust that type.

Of course we both know the NRA is not the only influential pro gun group who has clout in Washington. There is the GOA, JPFO, and others that are neck deep in involvement they just aren’t on the radar of most people, because the NRA is the easiest boogieman to despise.

ETpro's avatar

@KNOWITALL You can definitely use an AK style weapon for hunting, but there are much better choices available for hunting things other than other men.

@woodcutter Yes, I am aware there are a bunch of K-Street firms competing for the $3.5 billion that gets spent on lobbying in Washington DC every year. I’m pretty much an equal opportunity hater.

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