Obama and America: "Doing The Gun Dance"

Robert Novak has an interesting piece in today's Washington Post about Sen. Barack Obama and the Second Amendment case from DC.

If Senator Obama is "doing the gun dance," then he's in step with most of the American people. A recent poll by the Washington Post indicated that while 72% felt the Second Amendment provided an "individual right," 59% also supported gun restrictions as strong as those in the District of Columbia. The crucial issue to be faced after the Supreme Court announces its decision in the D.C. v. Heller case is what reasonable restrictions will meet Constitutional muster in the future.

It says something about the current state of the politics of gun control that all three remaining presidential candidates favor reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. Senator Obama, for example, supports banning assault weapons, opposes the Tiahrt restrictions against sharing crime gun trace data, supports limiting handgun purchases to one per month, and supports closing the gun show loophole. (Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain also supports requiring criminal background checks by unlicensed dealers at gun shows).

As for the next primary state, Pennsylvania, the state with supposedly the highest per capita NRA membership, gun control supporters regularly win there statewide: Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore (against strong NRA opposition) in 2000, and John Kerry in 2004.

Even more telling, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell -- someone who just two years ago said, "I believe with all my heart that we need more gun control" -- has won two gubernatorial elections against NRA-endorsed opponents, beating Mike Fisher in 2002 by nine points and Lynn Swann in 2006 by 20 points.

Support for common sense gun control should be a vote-winning issue for most candidates.

(Note to readers: This entry, along with past entries, has been co-posted on bradycampaign.org/blog and the Huffington Post.)