It has been almost three months since Barack Obama spoke words at a San Francisco fundraiser, to a group of his wealthier Golden State backers, with no cameras, but still his words were caught on audio, and the firestorm of criticism over those words is still being thought of today, by members of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The National Rifle Association is planning to spend $40 million during this year’s general election campaign, $15 million to be used on portraying Barack Obama as a threat to the Second Amendment .
"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Today it is reported that Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s political arm, SAID, "We look forward to showing him 'bitter'", referring to that speech.
The plan on doing this with a $40 million campaign geared to show their members and all gun owners that they believe that Barack Obama being elected will be a threat to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court declaring the right to bear arms as an individual right. (Columbia v. Heller)
The NRA plans on using automated phone calls, mail pieces and pre-election editions of their group’s three magazines making that case against Obama. They will also be using TV, radio and newspaper ads in the battleground states in the Mid and Mountain west.
“Our members understand that if Barack Obama is elected president, and he has support in the Senate to confirm anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, [the District of Columbia v. Heller decision] could be taken away from us in the future,” Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s political arm, told Politico.
When the Supreme Court rendered it's ruling, Barack Obama came out in support of the ruling by saying, "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country. "
Critics of Obama's instantly began pointing out his previous statements about the constitutionality of bans against handguns inside of homes, including the John McCain campaign who accused Obama of "flip flopping" on his gun rights stance.
Conservative bloggers point to Obama's own words previously, via YouTube, to make basically the same point, showing his most recent interviews after the Supreme Court ruled to his previous interviews.
Cox believes the Supreme Court ruling is "the first salvo in a step-by-step restoration of this right", and saying it is "only the end of the beginning.”
Last Friday the NRA filed suit in Chicago where Obama is an Illinois Senator, to which some believe will be politically awkward for the Democratic presumptive nominee.
The NRA will be targeting battleground states, specifically ones with a large number of NRA members, such as Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri, who all, according to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, sell the most amount of hunting related goods.
As The original Politico article points out, the NRA has not officially endorsed John McCain and has had their own clashes with the Republican presumptive nominee, such as McCain's backing of campaign finance reform and background checks at gun shows.
McCain also told CNN in the year 2000, that the NRA , in his opinion, doesn't "help the Republican Party at all, but I don’t think they should in any way play a major role in the Republican Party’s policy making".
Cox admits to previous disagreements with John McCain but then notes that signed the amicus brief in support of Heller while Obama had not, saying, "Our members understand how bad Barack Obama is on the Second Amendment."
The NRA ads will be geared to remind middle America, pro-gun states and members of the NRA about Obama's "bitter" remarks back in April as well as his past support for strict gun-control measures.
Cox concludes by saying, "Apparently, he thinks gun owners are either fools or have short memories. I can assure him he’s wrong on both.”
The NRA touts over 4 million members and in 2004 it is reported that their total assets at the end of 2004 were $222,841,128.
George Stephanopoulos, who is a former Clinton spokesperson once said, "Let me make one small vote for the NRA. They're good citizens. They call their Congressmen. They write. They vote. They contribute. And they get what they want over time."
That remains to be seen. If Stephanopoulos was right, then Barack Obama is in for a very bumpy next few months.