June 26th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain applauds Supreme Court ruling, criticizes Obama

McCain and Obama have reacted to the Supreme Court ruling.
McCain and Obama have reacted to the Supreme Court ruling.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Thursday he was “very pleased” with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Washington’s ban on handguns.

“Today's decision is a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States. For this first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers,” he said in a statement.

“I applaud this decision as well as the overturning of the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and limitations on the ability to use firearms for self-defense.”

In focus: America's relationship with guns

In his statement, McCain criticized Barack Obama for not joining him signing a “friend of the court” amicus brief against the law.

“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right - sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly,” the statement said.

Polls: Americans' opinions of gun laws

McCain was referring to remarks Obama made in April when he said that some small-town Pennsylvanians as "bitter" people who "cling to guns and religion." Obama said he worded the comments poorly and said he was referring to how some voters focus on social issues instead of economic ones because they don't believe any politician will help them financially.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, Obama said, “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 DC 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,” he said in a statement.

Obama on Wednesday declined to give his opinion on the ban, telling reporters, “Why don't I wait until the decision comes out and then I'll comment on it, as opposed to trying to prognosticate what the Supreme Court is going to decide tomorrow.”


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soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Gun ownership is a "sacred" right?

    ...Sacred?

    ....Sacred?

    All hail the holy hand grenade!

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Talk about Flip-Flopping

    I just realized that John McCain reminds me of Randall from Monster's Inc. you know the lizard with the ability to change his color from purple and blue to blend into his surroundings at will, much like a chameleon, making him invisible.

    He worked as a Scarer for the power company (Hmmm… what party is in power now?), and was working on a way to eventually rise to the leader of that company.

    Funny how art imitates life.

    I can see through all the smoke and mirrors just like I did Bush's second term.

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. HOLD UP MCWAR!!!

    HOLD UP McWar .........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,” he said in a statement..........CHECK it out OLD HOG JAW.......(.this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe) Don't start TRYing to Slam and going back to (APRIL BITTERNESS) and I will bring in 100 years ?

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Bearing The Right Does Not Make It Right

    In a commentary I have once said to all people who owns a gun or many, I left that in this day in age, the only use for a gun is in the home for safety. While others say it is the right to bear arms so we can hunt, gather our own food, and use it for sport. All of these things are just "rights" to having a gun.

    You have the right to drive, but there are laws behind this right based on the crazy drivers that drive like 20 miles over the speed limit to get a rush in speed, where most lose control and crash...

    The Constitutional Laws are just RIGHTS to what citizens can have, but they are not TRUE laws binding the citizens and what they can and cannot do...hence why the Courts can ban things that people have a right to for a "period" of time. Why do you think the courts gave the right back to drinking again and lifted that ban...Now we have laws against drunk driving, driving under age, etc...why can't we have the same laws against people who use guns for the wrong reasons?

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Mark

    The Supreme Court's decision is predictable, given its conservative majority, and shortsighted. The second amendment was not written with modern weapons in mind (nor with an expectation of the hysterical violence and fear of violence with which we live today).

    Of course Mr. McCain is on board with the opinion: He needs votes. Votes are more important to him than the escalation of violence and fear in our cities which will be a by-product of the decision. Like some (but not all) privileged, wealthy Americans, Mr. McCain enjoys the untroubled views from his gated mansion.

    June 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. DANIELLE

    First a broken promise on public financing of his own mega-campaign, then Barack Obama takes the same position on FISA (spy courts) as President George W. Bush, now Obama wants to have a more identical stance on Americans 2nd Amendment Rights as Bush.

    But it hasn't always been that way.

    In 2007, his campaign told the Chicago Tribune he believed the Washington, D.C. gun ban was constitutional. Now they say that was an "inartful" explanation. Now, the public is supposed to be believe the message of the day from the Obama campaign, which is that of course he knew the gun ban was unconstitutional.

    Obama seems to be working hard to make John Kerry look like a straight-shooter.

    Now plenty of people oppose gun rights (I am not one of them), and if Obama really is one of these, why play politics with such a fundamental issue?

    Oh wait, playing politics with issues is what Barack Obama does.

    After Al Gore lost in 2000, Bill Clinton was reported to have ascribed his loss to his extreme position against gun owner's rights. On this issue, Clinton was probably right. And this may explain why Obama would like to obscure his political record opposing the 2ND Amendment.

    - Obama wants to reimpose a federal gun ban.
    - Obama voted against the sale of almost all ammunition used regularly for sport shooting and hunting.
    - Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.
    - Obama supports a complete ban on hand-gun ownership.

    The debate over gun ownership is not new. It's an area of public policy with very developed and mature arguments. It is reasonable for voters to expect a straight-forward position and consistent messaging, even from such an inexperienced candidate as Barack Obama.

    So why does Obama's obfuscation continue?

    June 26, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Andy J, NY

    Gosh, you liberals really hate the Constitution. Please, read what Jefferson and the FoundingFathers wrote about gun ownership... not just the 2nd amendment, but their actual writings on the subject.

    Their intent was clear. If you don't want to own a gun, thats fine. But where do you get off thinking that YOU have the right to tell me how i can or cannot protect myself?
    Oh, thats right.. you socialist liberal elitists know so much better than i do about whats good for me.

    I'd like to see you try to take my guns from me. Id love to see you try.

    June 26, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Jaime

    Hey kids guns are cool but you have to wait until mommy and daddy are gone....

    June 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. MD

    Typical childish McCane 9th -grade-level mishmash of pandering.

    Someone, please step forward and write for McCane! I would, except I am not a Republican any more, thanks to the RNC's lack of sense in bringing the Party up to the needs of ALL Republicans, and not just the gun-slinging Christians.

    June 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. cara

    The words "gun ownership" and "sacred" do not belong in the same sentence. Something is wrong when a nation believes that guns can be held and equate it with some sort of religious experience.

    June 26, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Mark

    Yup, what Washington D. C. needs is more handguns. No doubt, only law-abiding, well-balanced, non-violent folks will buy them.

    John McCain and the conservative majority on the SC have a lot to answer for. (If only they answered to the Constitution!) This is a travesty.

    June 26, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Hillary Clinton

    Avoid the trauma, stop Obama!

    June 26, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. Chanda-Cincinnati

    Beth-Florida

    Does your comment have some ignorant racial undertones, or am I reading too much into it? You will hear from Obama supporters in November, we will be the ones dancing in the streets celebrating his victory!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Brad

    How long do we have to go on clinging to every word of a nearly 250 year old document? Yes, the general principles from our country's founders should stand, but we need to bring these principles up to date to deal with today's issues. This isn't the 1700's. I believe Obama has the proper frame of mind in regards to this issue.

    “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.”

    June 26, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. House Cleaning II

    Ringgggggggggggggggggggg

    Hi John, it's Hillary. I just wanted to let you know that I called maintenance and they're shampooing your office carpet. I told them, you'd be back soon.

    Thanks Hillary, glad you're looking out for me.

    June 26, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Shawn - GA

    Please for the love of God people... do research before you start spouting off. I am not going to comment on either man at this moment. I am simply going to ask that you folks do your research, more than 90% of the posts here make no sense if you have more information. It is like people are commenting on a world other than the one we live in.

    You have time to post dozens of times a day, and then please take the time to know what you are talking about. My reason for this plea is not simply because these posts are hard to read through, I am asking this of you because I fear you will go to the voting booth with this same uninformed, one sided, not based in reality opinions

    June 26, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Jennifer T., Des Plaines, IL

    I find it astounding that you hype McCain's response, when Obama's response was far more nuanced and cut to the heart of the matter, whereas McCain's was trivial and carried nothing but a typical right-wing ultimatum.

    CNN: Television for idiots.

    June 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. DC is Waiting for Obama!

    As a lifelong resident of DC, the overturning of this law brings fear into my heart. I remember when DC was the "Murder Capital" and have experienced first-hand what it feels like to lose a family member to gun violence. With the ban, I didn't have to fear for my cousin, who proudly serves as an officer in the D.C. Police Department. Now, those fears have returned.

    John McCain, is this what you think is "a victory"?

    A "victory" is securing statehood for citizens who pay taxes but aren't represented with voting rights in the Senate. A "victory" is improving our school system so that our children aren't years behind the rest of the world. A "victory" is reducing the staggering number of HIV/AIDS cases in DC with improved services.

    Find something else to be happy about...this isn't one of them.

    June 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. larry buchas

    Obama makes more sense when you take in consideration urban areas. Public Safety must have priority in high-violent areas. It's a grey area when the argument for self protection is heard. We have reverted back to the wild west. Our goals should reach a level of civility. Unfortunately, some areas will not.

    The second amendment will never be overturned. Most Americans can understand that. About 99% of gun owners are responsible citizens and reserve the right to bear arms. It's the other 1% that needs to be dealt with.

    June 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. MD

    I think it is elitist of McCane to say that he is "very pleased" with the Court's ruling. Who the hell does he think he is? Why does he think people in this country care that he is "very pleased" with the Court's pandering to NRA?

    Some of the Supreme Court judges are so old and out of touch with today's society that a ruling such as this is not at all surprising.

    One of the problems with the Constitution is that the Supreme Court appointments are for LIFE. It is time for an amendment to limit their term, and also impose an age limit! I doubt the mental prowess of someone at age 85. That just doesn't make sense that these judges can literally die on the bench.

    June 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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