Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jeff Merkley on 2nd Amendment Rights

The campaign for Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democratic Candidate for Senate, has sent out the following statement on Merkley's views on gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment. It is published here without edits.

For more information, please visit www.jeffmerkley.com.

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Jeff Merkley on the 2nd Amendment

Jeff Merkley believes in increasing personal freedom by keeping government out of people's bedrooms and out of their gun cabinets.

Merkley believes government works best when it is promoting personal freedom and responsibility, not trying to impede by getting involved in people's personal lives.

Merkley is a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment and as Oregon's next US Senator he will work to protect the right of individuals to own guns.

He believes we need to focus our efforts on enforcing the laws we already have on the books. And we need to close loopholes that allow guns to get into the hands of criminals. This is why he strongly supports a national law requiring back ground checks at gun shows.


(End of Statement)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Steve Novick for Senate - Statement on Firearms and the 2nd Amendment

Oregon Democratic Senate Candidate, Steve Novick, sends us the following statement regarding his views on the 2nd Amendment. It is printed here without editing.

For more information, please view Novick for U.S. Senate.

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NOVICK FOR SENATE - Statement on Firearms and the 2nd Amendment

"Growing up in rural Oregon, I have a deep appreciation of the importance of firearm ownership for many Americans. It is my pledge as Oregon’s next senator to support sensible gun safety measures, while preserving the rights of lawful Americans to possess and use firearms. In addition, it is my pledge to always provide an open door for Oregonians to register their concerns and priorities and that pledge extends to all firearm owners.

Generally, I think that Clinton-era federal laws struck the right balance between the constitutional rights of firearm owners and concerns about public safety regarding the dangerous or illegal use of firearms. I believe that the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights guarantees the right of individuals to own and use firearms. As I have said frequently on the campaign trail, progressives can’t pick and choose what part of the Constitution they support. If you stand up for the First, Fourth or Fifth Amendments, you need to stand up for the Second too.

My campaign is founded on upholding consistent principles and being honest with voters about the issues and choices we face as a nation. I know from personal experience that the vast majority of firearm owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens who pose no threat to others and regard guns as an important part of their daily life – either for protection or recreation. In my mind, it is also basic common sense to recognize that the realities of firearm ownership are very different for those living in rural communities to those living in our urban areas – yet absolutists on both sides of the issue fail to recognize this distinction. It is my commitment to offer sensible, fair representation of Oregonians when it comes to gun safety and gun rights issues in the Senate."

(End of Statement)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Obama, Clinton Positions on Firearms - In their own words

I've been cruising YouTube and found a couple interesting videos showing the two remaining Democratic presidential candidate's positions on gun control.

First, here's Obama, in his own words:


And here's Clinton, Obama, and Edwards (what the heck) answering a gun rights question at a pre-Nevada joint interview:


These videos are both worth watching in full.

Unfortunately, I didn't hear much about holding criminals responsible for breaking gun laws, unless the oft-mentioned "rogue gun dealers" are included. A recent post on this blog (see "Lock em up!") quoted a Portland shooting suspect as saying guns on the street are coming from break-ins, not "rogue dealers" or the so-called "gun show loophole." I think that's probably the case. If you see one of the candidates, try to mention that. My feeling is simply that neither of our candidates knows much about guns (none seem to know the difference between semi- and full-auto fire), and the best thing that can happen for the party is a strong decision from the Supreme Court in D.C. vs. Heller--a ruling strong enough to make political attacks on gun rights a hopeless waste of political capital by anyone.

Keeping my fingers crossed at this point, but if you do get a candidate's ear, please try to educate. Health care reform, a balanced budget, a way out of Iraq and restoration of our national standing and reputation, equal rights, economic justice, and all the rest of the main Democratic agenda are too important to lose over a lack of understanding or appreciation of basic constitutional rights.

Molon labe.