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. The Surly Scholar

    Wow, he actually pulled out the "bitter" line again? That's really a little sad.

    Anyone with a lick of sense knows exactly what Obama meant by that remark. If you become convinced that the government doesn't care about your struggle, then you'll become bitter, give up on the bureaucracy, and instead focus on the value of the traditions that you can still hold onto, like your faith and your right to arm yourself.

    A lot of small town people probably feel exactly that way, so if McCain is going to keep trying to distort Obama's comment this far after the fact, it's really an insult to the intelligence of his voters.

    June 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Dexter

    I suppose you have to let John "babykiller" McCain talk so eveyone can pretend this is a contest... But, jeeze, November can't come fast enough.

    June 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hey it’s ok with me I live out here in the Wild, Wild West this means we all can arm ourselves to the “T”..

    June 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. John in Ohio

    So it's absolutely required now for politicians to loudly proclaim whether they agree or disagree with a Court decision? Personally I think the Supreme Court has become way more politicized then it should be.

    Additionally, the gun issue is not a uniform one across the country. Different people from different places with different backgrounds and personal histories are going to have very different views. Obama is from Chicago, where illegal gun crime is killing kids on a daily basis. If your only exposure to guns is negative, then yeah, you're not going to have a lot of sympathy for a hunter or a target shooter.

    Thing is, Obama is not an idiot. He realizes that the ideal gun laws for one area may not be the ideal gun laws for another area. Odds are that an Obama administration will leave gun control up to the city and state levels of government, which is the way it should be.

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. bitter republican gun owner

    I am fed up with Washington, Obama is right.

    Obama / Hagel '08

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Jamaal Kansas

    I also see Mcshame getting Very Desperate lately he Must be Scared of Obama The General Elect have not even started wait until they debate that is going to be Televison and believe Mccain is Scared to debate Obama because he will lose all the time with his republican policies

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. susie

    What's new....Obama always misspeaks, or uses words poorly in his comments. Or just lies. Or flip-flops Before he was going to debate McCain anytime, anywhere, now Obama won't.
    Obama/Carter

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. McShame is McLame

    McShame doesn't have any money, so he has to put out these attack messages everyday to stay relevant in the news. Desperate? Yes, but what else can he do? These attacks won't work either.

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. dave

    OBAMA GOT IT WRONG -AGAIN!

    NOBAMA 08

    June 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Dave in Houston

    John McCain grew up in the military elite and married into the beer elite (making him part of the financial and power elite). Being married to a woman who is worth at least $100 million makes Mr. McCain's charges that a guy raised by a single mother is an elitist sound hollow and desperate.

    Senator McCain, between your laughable campaign promises (gas tax holiday?! The oil companies have driven up the price of gas several times the amount of the federal gas tax since you first mentioned it) and your ham-fisted attempts at negativity against Barack Obama, your campaign is already in a lot of trouble. You'd better switch gears or prepare for a good, ol'-fashioned, Texas butt-whuppin' in November. It's not going to be pretty for you, my man.

    June 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Yeah, Obama's an elitist. Not like the son of an admiral that went to the Naval Academy and married into a multi-million-dollar beer distributor fortune. Just like me.

    June 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain needs to go to Wal-Mart and apply for a job as a greeter, they do hire 71 year old people. I am a 65 year old retiree and that's what I will probably do to fill in part of my day and trust me I look much younger than 65 and in excellent health. But trust me I don't try making a fool of myself pretending that age is not a factor, it is.

    June 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Once again, everything is taken out of context. Obama's "bitterness" comment was about being disenchanted with the economy and the arguments we lose – so we cling to the things that are important to us (like 2nd amendment rights, religion).

    I'm not a fan of the 2nd Amendment, but I think it's good to have something clear-cut from the highest court. It's sensible to establish parameters – we can fight the parameters themselves later, if they need to be fixed.

    June 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Tyrone

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease,

    Sen. McINSAIN, (sorry folks, first name calling)

    Please, do NOT utter the word SACRED in the same statement as
    GUN OWNERSHIP IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT!

    June 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Nom Deplume

    Eric and the rest of the gun-grabbers have been rebuffed for now. But don't think that an Obama Justice (?) Department won't make it Priority Number One to disarm all of the "bitter" gun owners.

    Yes, Obama, we are afraid of you. We have good reason. We read your record.

    June 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    McCain was hopeing for a lift on the ban on Napalm so he could strat bombing again.

    June 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Wisconsin

    McWar need to STOP crying about every little thing.

    Does anyone buy his crap? What Obama is an elitist because he will not sign McWars meaningless paper???

    McWars campaign is already down to nothing.

    June 26, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. NoMcSame

    Can't wait to se McSame have one of his town hall meetings in the hood. Oh that's right he doesn't go there. Well maybe we can get Mr. POW to take a walk through there sometime.
    Obama08

    June 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Sadie

    Owning a gun is a sacred right now? The ignorance of this country never ceases to amaze me.

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Nicole in NE

    I love how "elitist" is being thrown around so much

    McCain does use his wife's private jet for campaigning and she is worth millions.

    McCain also supports Bush's tax cuts for those making more than 250,000 a year.

    Obama's plan gives Average Americans $1000 tax cut.
    Who is tax and spend again? Who is the elitist I cannot relate to?

    Obama 08'

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Obama

    OH STOP ALL THE DRAMA and VOTE for OBAMA....

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Raymond Duke

    I guess according to all you left winger liberals being against guns you had better than God for the gun people . Who else would be able to defend you against all them criminal gangs that you breed and allow to run your cities. You know all concerned about their rights. Send them to texas. When they kill someone here we got the solution. It is called the death penalty with a big needle.

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. E. POWELL I MD, E POWELL MD II & ER. POWELL MD

    JOHN MCCAIN REALLY IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT IS GOING ON IN MAIN STREET. IF NO ONE HAS TAKEN NOTICE, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS NOT OUT GUNNED BUT THE MINDSET OF THOSE THAT HAVE THE GUNS IS WHAT WE SHOULD BE AFRIAD OF. THE NEWS MEDIA AND OUR POLITICANS DON'T KNOW THAT FOR 50 DOLLARS A LIFE CAN BE BROUGHT IN MOST LARGE CITIES. THE ROOT OF OUR PROBLEMS ARE NOT GUNS. IT REMAINS THE LIVING CONDITIONS AND DRUGS. REMOVE THE DRUGS AND THE GUNS PROBLEM WILL GO AWAY.

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. William, from Cali!

    What's wrong with owning guns, for protection? It's my right to be able to protect myself and my family, against those, who wish to hurt us. Remember, the "bad guys;" hope, that you are not packing, when they "jack" you...................

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. JC

    Angela –

    Kind of tough for either one of these to claim experience when NEITHER HAS BEEN PRESIDENT. The position is too unique to claim that experience as a no nothing like John McCain is the experience we need in the WH. Get serious.

    June 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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