In a clear sign the 2012 presidential election campaign is in full swing, the Obama campaign launched a new website this week: AttackWatch.com.
The purpose of the site is to give Obama supporters a way to report "attacks" on the president, implying that any criticism is based on lies or misinformation.
Let`s leave aside for the moment the disturbing notion of a president of the United States setting up a web site so that his supporters can "report" on the statements and activities of his opponents. When it comes to firearms issues, it`s this site that is misrepresenting President Obama`s record on guns.
The site says "Public figures have made outlandish claims that President Obama is planning to use a United Nations treaty to take away legal firearms from gun owners in the US."
It goes on to claim that "The Obama Administration supports a UN treaty that would help stop the worldwide illegal arms trade, while opposing any treaty that would interfere with US gun laws. While an arms treaty is currently being drafted, it has not yet been ratified."
What`s left out is that many of the treaty`s strongest proponents are demanding provisions would directly threaten American gun rights if it were ratified. Also omitted is that the position of the U.S. has changed since Obama took office: from strong unwavering opposition to the treaty, to support for the treaty if is passed by "consensus."
The NRA has kept close watch on UN gun control efforts for more than 15 years. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre testified last month at the UN, making it clear that any treaty that includes civilian arms in its scope is a threat to the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
But the misrepresentation of Obama`s position on the UN treaty is not the only misinformation on the AttackWatch site. The site also repeats claims from the 2008 campaign that Obama "supports" the Second Amendment and quotes the president as saying "There`s nothing that I will do as president of the United States that will in any way encroach on the ability of sportsmen to continue that tradition."
But that statement is inaccurate in many ways
First, the primary function of the Second Amendment is not to protect "sportsmen," but to protect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and for the defense of our homes, families, communities and country. And this lip service to the Second Amendment is dwarfed by Obama`s lifetime Supreme Court appointments of two Supreme Court justices with clear records of antagonism toward the fundamental right to keep and bear arms: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
These nominations alone are proof of Obama`s true stance on the Second Amendment, but there is much more.
Obama has appointed dozens of high officials with long records of opposition to gun owners` rights. From Vice President Joe Biden to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama has surrounded himself with anti-gun extremists. With people like these at the top level, it`s no surprise the administration has launched initiatives such as the effort to ban the importation of popular sporting and defensive shotguns, or the illegal use of "demand letters" to force southwest border state gun dealers to report multiple sales of certain rifles.
And it should not be forgotten that "Operation Fast and Furious" not only happened under Obama`s watch, but has been covered up for ten months and counting, while growing evidence suggests the operation`s goal was to create support for more gun laws.
Finally, while Obama did sign legislation allowing firearms possession in national parks, he only did so when the provision was added as an amendment to a credit card reform bill that was one of his top priorities. In fact, Obama opposed the parks provision and accepted it only because he had no choice.
The bottom line is this: The NRA has been incredibly successful over the past 20 years, not only in the legislatures and the courts but in changing the debate on the Second Amendment. This success has forced Obama to try and hide his life-long opposition to guns and gun ownership. Repeating a campaign sound bite that he "supports the Second Amendment" will not make it true. Nor does including that lie on the AttackWatch site make the claim any less preposterous. That`s not an attack; it`s the truth.