20 Apr 2008

Obama’s Gun Control Record


Kenneth P. Vogel notes that Obama was actively involved in liberal efforts to restrict the rights of gun owners even before he held elective office.

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has worked to assure uneasy gun owners that he believes the Constitution protects their rights and that he doesn’t want to take away their guns.

But before he became a national political figure, he sat on the board of a Chicago-based foundation that doled out at least nine grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to groups that advocated the opposite positions.

The foundation funded legal scholarship advancing the theory that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun owners’ rights, as well as two groups that advocated handgun bans. And it paid to support a book called “Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.”

Obama’s eight years on the board of the Joyce Foundation, which paid him more than $70,000 in directors fees, do not in any way conflict with his campaign-trail support for the rights of gun owners, Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Obama’s presidential campaign, asserted in a statement issued to Politico this week.

LaBolt stressed that the foundation, which has assets of about $935 million, doesn’t take “detailed policy positions,” but rather uses its grants to “fuel a dialogue about how to address public policy issues like reducing gun violence.”

As with most foundations, Joyce did not record how individual board members voted on grants, but former Joyce officials told Politico that funding was typically approved unanimously.

LaBolt said Obama, an Illinois senator, “does not remember each of the over 1,500 individual grant requests and his assessment of their merits, but he considered all requests in light of the foundation’s goal of developing a robust public dialogue around reducing gun violence.”

Obama joined the board in the summer of 1994 as a 32-year-old lawyer who had yet to run for public office, but he already had a reputation in Chicago as an up-and-comer, particularly on issues related to low-income communities — a key foundation focus.

By the time he left the board in the winter of 2002, as he was gearing up for his 2004 U.S. Senate bid, Obama had served six years in the Illinois state Senate and had also considered leaving politics to become the group’s full-time president, by his own acknowledgment.

Obama’s service on the board of the Joyce Foundation and a few other Chicago-based nonprofits including the Woods Fund of Chicago remains one of the least scrutinized parts of his career. But it’s one that could hamper his efforts to woo populations of rural pro-gun voters in Pennsylvania, which votes April 22, and in a general election match-up with the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Read the whole thing.

One Feedback on "Obama’s Gun Control Record"

Obama » Obama’s Gun Control Record

[…] For Personal Responsibility by alanrph wrote an interesting post today on Obama’s Gun Control RecordHere’s a quick excerptKenneth P. Vogel notes that Obama was actively involved in liberal efforts to restrict the rights of gun owners even before he held elective office. […]


Please Leave a Comment!

Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark