Tuesday, July 01, 2008

McCain's positions on gun control

Here is a sampling of John McCain's positions on gun control according to www.ontheissues.org:

On gun control in general:
- McCain is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.
- He wants to punish violent offenders for abusing that right.
- He voted for increasing punishment on gun violations.
- He doesn't want to punish citizens for owning any type of gun.
- He supports repealing existing federal gun restrictions on non-offending citizens.
- He voted against the well known "Brady Bill" which required a 5-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns.

On assault weapons:
- McCain voted against any ban on assault riffles
- He voted against a ban on armor piercing ammunitions
- He said he would be open to voting for a ban on assault riffles depending on the details.
- He fears most bans againt assault riffles are backdoor attempts at taking away the Second Amendment right.

Kids and guns:
- McCain introduced a bill that would prevent juvenile access to guns and would punish junvenile gun offenders as adults

Background checks at gun shows:
- McCain voted against requiring background checks for all purchases at gun shows
- He voted to loosen regulations regarding background checks at gun shows

Gun Manufacturers:
- McCain acted to maintain the laws that allow dealers to sell guns without a trigger lock by tabling a bill that would require them.
- He voted consistently not to allow lawsuits that would hold gun manufacturers liable for the misuse of their product/gun.

While I appreciate McCain's support of our Second Amendment right and his desire to increase penalties for gun crimes, I think McCain is not strong enough when it comes to regulation.

I want people to have the right to bear arms. I also want people to have the freedom to enjoy hunting and the freedom to protect themselves in their own home. But I don't think people besides law enforcement and military should have the right to own assault riffles and armor piercing rounds. I also think McCain was wrong to vote against the Brady Bill.

Government needs to act to reduce the chance of guns getting into the hands of children. And it needs to make it near impossible to get assault weapons. McCain's bill (the Youth Violence Prevention Act) to address kids with guns is a step in the right direction, but McCain should desire more background checks and more regulation than he does. Obama's stance is definitely more in line with what I view as a balanced approach to gun control.


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