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Second Amendment Stance of 2016 Presidential Candidates

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Bartholomew Roberts, Sep 10, 2015.

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  1. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    My intention with this thread is not to start a political debate; and I hope the Mods and members will keep that in mind. I would just like to provide a handy, easily reference factual resource where we can check candidate statements and actions on Second Amendment related issues.

    DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT:
    ======================================
    Hillary Clinton
    Voted for Kennedy Ammo Ban in 2004 - which was designed to ban centerfire rifle ammo (Sen. Kennedy specifically called out .30-30 as "armor-piercing" when introducing it)
    Voted for AWB in 2004
    Supports assault weapons bans, magazine bans and gun control generally
    Long, long, long history of support for gun control including support for gun owner licensing, registration, bans, 25% tax on ammo and firearms, and other restrictive measures

    Bernie Sanders
    Voted to ban and confiscate semi-auto firearms in 2013
    Voted to ban normal capacity magazines in 2013
    Voted for registration/UBCs in 2013
    Mixed long-term record on gun control as Governor of Vermont, solidly anti-gun as Senator
    Worked with NRA to get elected as Governor of Vermont

    Martin O'Malley
    Favors registration and ban on semi-auto firearms
    Long anti-gun record
    Supports more restrictions on firearms, including mandatory smart gun technology

    James Webb
    Only Dem Presidential candidate with a remotely pro-2A record
    NRA "A" grade as Senate candidate in 2006

    REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT (Top 7 only)
    =============================================
    Donald Trump
    Supported mandatory waiting periods and bans on semi-auto firearms as Reform Party Candidate in 2000
    Adopts more pro-2A stance in 2015
    Roanoke shooting a mental health problem, not a gun problem

    Jeb Bush
    Consistently supported NRA legislation as Governor of Florida
    NRA member since 1986
    Showed poor understanding of Second Amendment, 10th Amendment, Constitution, and gave vague platitudes of support for gun control in Colbert show appearance (clip was later cut from Colbert show but made it to Youtube

    Carly Fiorina
    Says all the right things for pro-2A supporters (and articulately); but has no voting record to back it up.

    Ben Carson
    Mixed record of statements both supporting and opposing Second Amendment - weak on semi-auto weapons

    Ted Cruz
    Takes on Tavis Smiley after Charleston shooting supporting 2A
    NRA meeting interview with Cruz
    Lead author of the Amicus Brief for States in support of pro-2A Heller decision

    Marc Rubio
    Rated B+ by NRA, generally pro-2A

    Scott Walker
    Generally opposes gun control


    ================================
    With 17 major Republican candidates who have extensive records, I can't possibly cover all of the candidates well. Just giving a blow-by-blow account of Hillary's decades long support of gun control measures that would turn your hair white would keep me busy for days. If you have factual references to the candidates view on the Second Amendment (statements to the press or public, or even better - actual votes on these issues) please share them in this thread so that we can all be better informed.

    At the same time, please refrain from making this a thread about political opinion rather than political fact. There is a ton of factual information that describes the candidates intentions towards the Second Amendment quite well. We don't need to guess at it or give opinions on what might happen when we have plenty of examples of how they did behave to look at.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  2. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Thanks, Bart. It's going to take some work to review it, but I appreciate your putting it all in one spot.
     
  3. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    Ted Cruz is not on the fence with regard to gun rights or practically any other issue. He tells it like he thinks it is, flat out.

    Here is Cruz On the Issues.

     
  4. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    We Don't Discuss Politics​


    I really want to leave this thread open to provide factual information regarding positions on Second Amendment and RKBA issues taken by the various candidates for President. It's important for us all to have that information. But we need to steer clear of politics or political posturing.

    And we'll have no snarky comments. This needs to stay High Road.

    Some posts have already disappeared. You don't want your post to be the next one to disappear. So please limit your comments to factual information about candidates' Second Amendment and RKBA positions.
     
  5. jlr1962

    jlr1962 Member

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    Thanks Mr.Roberts. It looks like you put lots of effort into this.
     
  6. gbran

    gbran Member

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    This sort of thread gives good info. Thanks.
     
  7. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Many of the GOP Presidential candidates (including Trump, Bush, Walker, Carson, Cruz and more) addressed the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting. You can find their speeches at that event here: http://www.nranews.com/home/list/2015-nra-annual-meetings

    None of the Dem Presidential candidates addressed that meeting though several other Democratic politicians did, you can find their speeches there as well.
     
  8. skeptical_in_Ohio

    skeptical_in_Ohio Member

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    A comment on Trump's RKBA record, and some stuff on Kasich

    Hi all-

    There have been more than a few examples of less than consistent positions over the years; one of the dangers (to a candidate) of being around a bit is that they generally have a record. Hence, some salt should be taken with everything I put here.

    In The Economist this week, in an article about Mr. Trump:

    "On guns, he has said “Look, there’s nothing I like better than nobody has them” and “ fully support and back up the Second Amendment” (which guarantees the right to bear arms)."

    Since I hadn't seen anything on Ohio Governor Kasich, here's what I have so far...

    NRA Grade in 2014 Gubernatorial election cycle - A- (his running mate, Mary Taylor, had an A).

    He was also endorsed by the NRA that year.

    However, he also has a past, wherein he apparently voted in favor of the AWB, but in 2013 recanted that position.

    That particular article mentions that his opponent in 2010 (Ted Strickland) was endorsed by the NRA.

    Ohio has generally been moving in a more pro-RKBA direction lately, IMHO, so that's what I think I know so far...

    YMMV
     
  9. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    A little more about Kasich....During his time as congressman, his NRA rating was B -C most of the time, and pretty wishy washy on that issue. When he ran for governor he ran a against a solid pro-gun democrat Ted Stricland who had a long record of progun votes in the state assembly, as well as first term as governor. His opponent is 2014 was rabidly anti-gun. Kasich has been pretty pro gun as governor, but more of the go long with pro gun issues in front of him rather than actively leading on them. His actions are pretty pro-gun, but I never got the impression he had any passion for it. I thnk Bush, Rubio, and Walker are in a similar camp.

    I pretty much see Trump the same way. I don't know his personal feelings on the issue, but he knows what the people really want, and its a matter of whether you believe he would cross his supporters, and the congress if his personal feelings are in a different place than what he thinks his public wants.

    Ben Carson simply doesn't seem to know a lot about guns or the gun issue. I expect his stance to become clearer during his candidacy as he is forced to become better informed. I put Carly Fiorina in this camp as well.

    If you want a passionate proactive fighter for gun rights, you can't do better than Ted Cruz. Rand Paul, and even Lindsay Graham have a great record in this area as well.



    On the democrat side, other than Webb, who I don't think has even announced, every one has a rabid anti-gun record. Sanders might look a little more tame, but thats only because he is in a pro gun state where he needs to get elected. I have no doubt that in the Whitehouse he could and would match the best of the antis.
     
  10. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Does she have any voting record to the contrary?
     
  11. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    No, when he says she has no voting record to back it up, he means she has no voting record. She's never been elected to any public office.
     
  12. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    If you look hard enough you can find unfavorable and favorable information/statements WRT the RTKBA on just about anyone, especially if you are willing to quote out of context.

    We had a guy running for senate here in IL a few decades ago that said unequivocally that he was in favor of private citizens being able to own machine guns in the primary and then wanted to ban "assault rifles" in the general election when that statement came back to haunt him.

    The bottom line to me is a long voting record, and even then it is hard to know just what to make of a vote in a specific case.

    Harry Reid is one of those guys who looks really wishy-washy on the 2A, but he never seemed to be able to get any serious anti-gun legislation thru the Senate. Maybe he did not want to get it passed. Maybe he was unable to. I think he was probably as good a D as we were going to get during those years to run the Senate, and we came out OK.
     
  13. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    I think you are absolutely correct about Harry Reid, as we see from this article.

    Down deep in his soul, the ex-boxer from Searchlight, Nevada, really likes guns.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  14. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    ...not that it matters. He simply won't take punches for the issue, is all. He has no qualms dishing them out when he thinks he has an opening, though. The man lived through the '94 AWB and was probably more aware than we think of the elastic reaction the nation was having to his 'esteemed' tenure as majority leader, which is why he realized forcing the post-Sandy Hook bills like he did Obamacare would be simply falling on his sword.

    That's a simple fact that no one realized after Sandy Hook when there was so much fear of legislation; it would have been the democrats' perfect opportunity for blank-check Dunblane-style gun control...but they'd already used their powder in the knock-down, drag out fight to pass Obamacare. The consequences were already rolling in big time by mid-2013, so there was very little real-world enthusiasm for another epic battle to end all battles.

    I see no one's mentioned that only one candidate has been seen having light hearted fun/entertainment with firearms during the campaign, specifically those most in the anti's cross hairs. A lot of folks mocked Cruz for his little "Bacon" youtube video, but it basically proved he has the right outlook on evil black rifles, whether or not he's an expert or enthusiast. Seems like we're doing a lot of reaching and pondering to determine if any of the other candidates even like shooting.

    I'd also hardly say Fiorina is 'saying all the right things.' From what I can tell, she answered a questionnaire for the NRA properly (and I suspect said questionnaire isn't nearly as aggressively pro-rights as we here would expect) and doesn't think an arbitrary list should be used to debar Americans their rights (which is a moot opinion because A) it would never hold up in court, B) she clearly wants the list disbanded entirely), which I think is a more generic civil rights opinion than one specific to firearms. Though it does dovetail nicely. Given her Californian background, I feel it is much more important that we lack any sort of voting record to gage her by. I could trust her words if she hailed from Arkansas or even Colorado (still hardly a guarantee), but she's from California. Much like Christie and his extremely selective record on pardoning prisoners of gun control injustice, I just can't trust people who have been able to stand living in these dens of statism their whole lives. Being raised and living under different/incompatible belief systems with ours was the reason the presidency was restricted to natural born Americans in the first place, and we all know how frequently the gun control city-states are seen as far-off foreign lands.

    Honestly? No one is saying the right things. Haven't heard these guys calling for the disemboweling of the ATF organization, nor for meaningful reforms of the NFA/GCA status quo, nor even plain denouncements of the purely oppressive state of affairs in places like NYC, NJ, and CA where they won't win electors anyway. Just a declaration they won't make anything worse. And considering how bad things have gotten over the last century for gun owners, that's pretty weak tea, even if we are finally starting to turn the tide back (with absolutely no help whatsoever from any elected president, mind you).
     
  15. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    A decent essay, barnbwt. I believe Cruz, more than any of the now 16 GOP candidates (Perry is gone),is the man to uphold the 2nd Amendment.

    As for Carly and Cali, it is still to a degree 2 states ideologically, as we see from these 2012 Presidential election results. The state that gave us Hoover, Nixon and Reagan has still got a bit of the 2A in its soul, although Marcus Welby should perhaps be on call! :D

    I believe there can still be hope for the future in this vast, ever changing landscape.

    335px-California_presidential_election_results_2012.svg.png

    Blue, Obama over 50%
    Red, Romney over 50%
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  16. dekibg

    dekibg Member

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    most of voters

    including average gun owners, will not vote for a presidential candidate based primarily on their stance on 2A. People will vote on overall impression of the candidate, and almost always what they think how the new presidency will affect their families' lives and/or business. It boils down to (mostly) a standard of living.
    While this is good info to know, outside of our ( gun enthusiast) word, it is really irrelevant to the most voters and that includes good portions of regular gun owners. For example, if there is a presidential candidate who is all pro-2A, but seems like somebody who will bankrupt the country, who wants to vote for that guy ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  17. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Saw this article on his current "promise" on gun control.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/14/opinions/omalley-guns-nra/index.html

    A taste
     
  18. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    O'Malley just wants someone to pay attention to him :rolleyes:. Between O'Malley going full-Australian on gun control and Sanders going full zealot on revisionist American history, that party's sure got their pick of the litter this go around. :scrutiny:

    This topic made me wonder about something; more so than congress or especially the supreme court, exactly how long has it been since we had a pro-gun president? Every one has had very serious negative impacts on gun owners going back to at least Reagan, banner of open carry & machineguns.

    Much like police chiefs, it seems like the office of president is somewhat intrinsically set against the idea of an armed citizenry (which isn't that big of a stretch when you look at how executive-heavy power structures everywhere treat firearms.) Not sure if it's out of fear of uprising/assassination, or out of jealousy that their subjects might grow out of the need for their beneficent protection. :confused:

    TCB
     
  19. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    Ironically, I beleve JFK was the last pro gun President. The only Democratic POTUS to belong to the NRA.
     
  20. manithree

    manithree Member

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    Has that every happened? Bernie Sanders having once been (briefly, sorta, but not any more) an exception to my rule, I find that a candidate's understanding of the 2nd Amendment is generally a good indicator of their respect for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I think that holds true in this Republican field, also. Rand and Ted seem to be the most respectful of the Constitution and inalienable rights.
     
  21. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    "Ironically, I beleve JFK was the last pro gun President. The only Democratic POTUS to belong to the NRA."

    Yeah, JFK was into guns about as much he was Marilyn Monroe, as they say... Also, not that it's his fault or anything, but his assassination (due largely to him/his being careless & cavalier) directly led to the greatest trial of American gun ownership since 1934 (or I would argue, the run-up to the Civil War or even War of 1812, coming so dangerously close to an existential defeat before being turned back)

    LBJ was probably a fan of guns himself (he shot JFK, after all ;))...but took great pleasure in seeing the 2nd destroyed with the 68 GCA (which was a heck of a lot worse then than it is now).

    Nixon... "Guns are an Abomination," wanted handguns made illegal (probably cigarettes, too). Also a possible contender for most ironic anti-gun statement ever: "Unless we adopt and enforce strict gun control laws--ones much tougher than the Brady Bill--we will never succeed in stemming the violence spawned by the drug trade." (Nixon was one of if not the first 'pro drug war' guys, indirectly responsible for today's barbarity in Mexico/etc.)

    Ford was (unsurprisingly) the target of a couple assassination attempts, universally loathed by the entire nation, so his opposition is understandable on a personal level. He was one of the "Saturday night special" guys who wanted the jack boot stamped on the urban poors.

    Jimmah Carter is well, Jimmah... Fudd to the extreme from what I can gather. He favors all sorts of bans and restrictions, including those with inferior mental faculties (also a contender for ironic statement)

    ..and I've already described how Reagan and those after him weren't exactly friends as much as their biographers would claim. Like I said, it's pretty disheartening to look back at how the presidency has failed American gun owners over the last, what, fifty years or more? Makes me think we're probably bucking up the wrong tree in expecting that office to be our shield or spear in this fight (which I think is rather the courts and congress, respectively). It'd be nice to break that pattern, though :)

    "Bernie Sanders having once been (briefly, sorta, but not any more) an exception to my rule"
    He was never an exception to the rule. Just because the "anti-meter" wasn't quite pegged like it is for most of his ilk when he spoke that one time doesn't make his views on the 2nd coherent in any way whatsoever. They sure never fit within his larger political vision. From what I've been able to discern, he's been all over the road his entire career, saying whatever was 'outrageous' at the time (including some stuff that would straight up end any Republican running for dog-catcher, full stop)

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  22. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    Wow! I was just sittin' on the front porch, sippin' a Bourbon and threw out JFK on a whim, and got back a real cool anti gun POTUS dissertation of the last 52 years! :cool: :D
     
  23. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    I'm glad I bothered to put it together; I think I'll find it a useful factoid in the coming months for dummies who claim "So-and-so is the last hope for RKBA" and I can tell them there appears to be no such thing as a pro-gun president, at least not in modern times and then some. It's actually making me rethink my perception of some candidates; that even if they are pro-gun, the office they seek may be intrinsically opposed to that motivation. At least several of the candidates I would rather see placed in prominent cabinet, congressional, or court positions than the Chief Executive, since there they would be much more free to direct policy despite its optics/consequences (since all that buck stops at the Big Chair in a properly-run administration)

    TCB
     
  24. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Found this nice link describing Sander's major votes on guns. I've listed some of the more concerning ones; but as before it is mixed until he gets the Senate:

    Sanders voted for the 1994 AWB
    Sanders voted against the repeal of the AWB in 1996
    Sanders voted against an amendment to make McCain-Lieberman's Gun Show Background Check Bill less burdensome
    Sanders voted for a 3-day waiting period for sales of firearms at gun shows
    Sanders voted against a bill allowing concealed carry across state lines (2009)
    Sanders voted for the UN Arms Trade Treaty
    Sanders voted against a bill allowing concealed carry across state lines but allowing an exception for states that prohibited the practice entirely
     
  25. manithree

    manithree Member

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    My parenthetical comments were intended to indicate that even though the NRA fell for it, I don't think I would have, if I had been watching Vermont politics in 1990 (which I wasn't).
     
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