The Obama campaign has written radio stations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, pressing them to refuse to air an ad from the National Rifle Association.
"This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama's position on the Second Amendment," says the letter from Obama general counsel Bob Bauer. "For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement."
The ad targets hunters:
Note that Factcheck.org did an analysis of the ad and claimed that it falsely portrayed Obama's positions on some issues. The Independence Institute's Dave Kopel, however, in a long and thorough analysis of his own, takes issue with Factcheck's analysis:
FactCheck’s September 22, 2008, report on the National Rifle Association’s advertising critical claims that the NRA “distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.” FactCheck itself, though, has overstated its claims, and made several errors.
The NRA’s advertising points to various positions which Obama has taken over the years. Not one of these positions (with a single very dubious exception, discussed below) has been subsequently repudiated by Obama.
Much of FactCheck’s critique of the NRA is the mere recitation of vague platitudes by Obama claiming that he supports of the Second Amendment.
[much detail omitted]
Well, that Obama has "always believed" in the individual Second Amendment right did not prevent him from proposing a national ban on concealed carry, a ban on 90% of gun stores, a 500% tax increase on firearms and ammunition--as the FactCheck article itself reports. If a candidate proposed banning 90% of bookstores and a huge tax increase on books, it might be justifiable to predict that he would be "the most anti-book president in American history"--notwithstanding his proclaimed belief in the individual First Amendment right.
FactCheck calls the NRA prediction, "a pretty tall statement. We don't know how George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson might have felt about armor-piercing ammunition or assault weapons."
Fortunately, there haven't been many anti-gun Presidents, in U.S. history; and only the Clinton administration invested a large portion of its political capital in gun control. So President Obama would not have much competition in the "most anti-gun" contest.
We know that Washington and Jefferson were avid gun collectors, and that Jefferson recommended daily hunting as the best form of exercise. We also know that Jefferson instituted a government program to supply guns, at federal expense, to people who couldn’t own one. We know that neither Washington, nor Adams, nor Jefferson ever proposed banning a type of gun simply because it was useful on “battlefields.”
As far as we know, Obama has never fired a gun, or even held a gun in his hands. We do know that no President in American history has, in his pre-presidential career, endorsed so many sweeping prohibitions and other severe controls on American gun ownership.
The September 22, 2008, FactCheck on the NRA criticism of Obama is marred by the omission of crucial facts, one-sided and misleading presentations of issues, and thinly-concealed political advocacy. According to FactCheck, the NRA refused to answer FactCheck's request for explanations of its claims. If so, the refusal provides a partial explanation of why so many crucial facts were missing. Whatever the reasons behind the problems in the September 22 report, FactCheck should publish a substantially revised edition.