Ken Blackwell

Senator Barack Obama recently gave us a disturbing foretaste of the contradictory doublespeak we could expect under an Obama presidency.

Last week, a deeply disturbed young man went on a criminal rampage at Northern Illinois University, murdering several innocent people before taking his own life.

Mr. Obama spoke out last Friday on the tragic event, and exposed the crucial disconnect between his rhetoric and his politics.

Speaking of his determination to do “whatever it takes” to end gun violence, Mr. Obama nonetheless acknowledged that the Second Amendment secures a right to individual citizens to keep and bear arms.

Noting that some argue the Second Amendment only grants state governments the power to arm National Guard units, Mr. Obama said he rejected that view in favor of the widely held belief that the Second Amendment—like the rest of the Bill of Rights—involves rights held by American citizens.

The Drudge Report last week even carried the story with the title, “Obama Supports Individual Gun Rights.”

But that title was wrong.

Because later in that same story it says that in the same news conference where he spoke of an individual right in the Second Amendment, Mr. Obama also said he supports the DC gun ban. This is the absolute ban on handguns and readily usable firearms in the city of DC that is at issue in the case District of Columbia v. Heller, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

I’ve written about that case before, as have others. The DC gun ban is a complete ban on having any sort of readily usable gun in your own home. You cannot have a gun at the ready in your house in DC to protect yourself or your family.

Yet while Mr. Obama says he supports your Second Amendment rights, he also says he supports that gun ban. He went on to say that local governments should be able to enact any gun control laws they consider necessary to end gun violence, and that any such measures are constitutional.

What kind of gun rights does he supposedly support? What kind of “right” do you have, when the government can completely rob you of 100% of the exercise of that right, anytime they decide they have a good reason?

That’s like saying you have the right to worship as you choose, but the government has the power to ban attending church. Or that you have the right to free speech, but that government has the power to stop you from speaking about any subject it wants. Or that you have the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, but that anything the government wants to search at your house is automatically reasonable.

A right that the government can completely take away at any time is no right at all.

So to say that the Second Amendment means you can own guns, but that the city where you live can ban all gun ownership, then you have no Second Amendment rights at all.

Last week I wrote that I have never in my lifetime seen a major presidential candidate whose rhetoric is so far removed from his policy record. Little did I know that he would give me a perfect illustration of that point the very next day.

This is what Americans could expect from a President Obama. He’ll wax eloquent about your rights, but then say government can take away whatever part of them—or all of them—that it wants.

It’s the disturbing pattern that’s starting to emerge of Mr. Obama announcing a principle or a goal, then endorsing policies that are the exact opposite of what would promote that principle or goal. It’s political-doublespeak. It’s Orwellian. In fact, it’s Clintonian.

Look for this pattern across the board. This is how he’ll empower private markets, by increasing government control. He’ll preserve our private-market healthcare system, by having government take it over. He’ll lower taxes, by raising them. He’ll cut government, by increasing government spending. He’ll create jobs, by raising taxes and fees on business. He’ll protect our results in Iraq, by abandoning that country. He’ll defeat the terrorists, by stopping attacking them and sitting down to negotiate. He’ll support our allies in Pakistan, by invading them with military force. He’ll do whatever it takes to stop threats to our nation, by immediately announcing that he’ll never use our ultimate weapons and by stopping our government from listening in on terrorists’ phone calls.

I hope nine months is enough time for the Americans to catch on to his rhetorical sleight of hand. Mr. Obama has shown what he thinks of your Second Amendment rights by endorsing the DC gun ban last week.

I wonder what he’ll say next week. It’s a long time until November.


Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at Townhall.com, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
 
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