2008 President candidates and the Second Amendment

Dave Kopel is giving a run down of 2008 Presidential contenders from both parties and their stance on the Second Amendment. Most of the results aren’t surprising:

Top tier. Nearly perfect pro-Second Amendment records: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-Vir.). Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.).

Very good. Not a perfect record, but still a very positive one overall. Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.). Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-Wisc.). Former Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

Mixed: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)(mostly positive record, except for lead sponsorship of two terrible bills: McCain-Lieberman, a terribly-written bill which would have given the BATFE the authority to administratively eliminate any or all gun shows, and McCain-Feingold, the campaign speech restriction law which significantly affects right-to-arms groups).

Poor: Former Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.). Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.). As noted by, inter alia, the Boston Globe, Romney’s flip-flops on guns are part of a larger record of inconsistency.

Almost perfect anti-Second Amendment record: Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Former Vice-President Al Gore (in Congress, a nearly perfect pro-gun record until 1989, when he switched sides). Al Sharpton (D-N.Y.).

Record of anti-Second Amendment leadership: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)(very effective in pushing gun control during his tenure as Judiciary Committee chairman). Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa). Former Mayor Rudy Guliani (R-N.Y.)(even worse than his predecessor, Democrat David Dinkins; indeed, based on his record, arguably worse than Sen. Clinton).

Romney seems to be inconsistent on almost every issue. I’m a little surprised to see Huckabee’s name so far at the top. Not surprised to see Guiliani at the bottom. I would have though McCain would be given a worse rating, especially given his “F” from Gun Owners of America.

  • http://www.mikehuckabeepresident2008.blogspot.com BSR

    Gov. Mike Huckabee is a Southerner and a lifelong hunter. He is also the only Governor with his own CWP and supports the Castle Doctrine. Huckabee understands that the second ammendment is vitally important and has been an ardent opponent of gun control. Check this link:

  • http://jasonpye.com/ Jason Pye

    I’ll pass on Huckabee. His economic policies are enough to drive me away from him.

  • Nick M.

    Doesn’t Huckabee also want to regulate all food that goes into peoples’ bodies? It’s great that he made it into Mens Health’s Belly Off Club, but he can go screw himself.


  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    These comments clearly illustrate why single plank voters get screwed. Second Amendment and abortion enthusiasts tend to get screwed because they focus solely on that single plank within the candidate’s platform and lose site of the bigger picture.

    I also have a single plank I care about: less government.

  • Joe Waldron

    Not a presidential candidate, but Mike Foster, former governor of LA, was quoted in the NY Times as saying he was armed and prepared to protect his own life. A likely CCW holder. Didn’t Rick Perry from TX also have a CCW?

  • Nhgop

    Romney is horrible on guns. His assault weapon ban was “not going to be popular with the NRA,” he said at the time. He was right.

    Huckabee would be a disaster on other issues, like immigration.

    John Cox, a longshot candidate on the GOP side, is a Lifetime member of the NRA, and is a solid conservative alternative some should look at for those who want to cut government, and end the IRS by going with the FairTax.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Not a presidential candidate, but Mike Foster, former governor of LA, was quoted in the NY Times as saying he was armed and prepared to protect his own life.

    Guns was about the only thing Mike Foster was good on as Governor of Louisiana. He signed Louisiana’s CCW bill.