But gun-rights advocates are undeterred. At the NRA’s special website GunBaNObama.com, there is a message the 4-million-member NRA has been promoting since before Obama took office: “Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history.”
The evidence all comes from his record pre-presidency, including a statement chiding then-President George W. Bush for not pushing to renew a ban on assault weapons and another opposing the carrying of concealed weapons.
During the 2008 campaign, there was perhaps no greater gaffe by Obama than his secretly recorded comment at a San Francisco fundraiser in which he said that people in small-town Pennsylvania, wracked by job losses, “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion.”
Now the argument by gun-rights advocates is this: If Obama is reelected, he will have no more elections to worry about, and then he will show his true colors on guns. This was the message promoted by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at the Conservative Political Action Conference last February.
“All that first-term lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in his second term,” Mr. LaPierre said to thunderous applause.
In political terms, the timing of the Colorado massacre could hardly have been worse for Obama, says Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist and president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association.