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

McCain applauds Supreme Court ruling, criticizes Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.sc.ap.jpg caption="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. Joe Utha

    Mccain go home your too old for us. obama 08!!!!!!!! MccBush stop the flip floping

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter in CALI


    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Philly Guy

    LaShanda, read the Senator's voting record. He has been running away from it all year. He was in favor of the DC gun ban, and consistently votes at the farthest left on gun issues.

    When his questionnaires surfaced, he blamed the liberal answers on an aide. Yet it came out later that he had answered (and signed) the questionnaires.

    Make no mistake: Obama will make gun control a federal priority, and make self defense itself illegal (just as it was in the District)

    Phillyguy, Esq.

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. john

    this sentence doesnt make any sense:

    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."

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Brian

    Uh, McCain... that "bitterness" remark is old news by several months. What's the matter, this election cycle moving too fast for you, old timer?

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Hispanic For McCain

    whaaa! whaaa! whaaa!

    seriously, let's move on and get McCAIN nominated!!!

    As we see all those Liberals Morons crying once again.

    Face it McCain is going to win!!! Big Time

    CRY CRY CRY all you want the Hispnaic people are for McCain not OBAMA

    That is why Black and Hispanic people can't get along because of Racist all over this country.

    Let the people vote who they want to vote and stop playing the race card!!! Don't say the whites that don't vote for OBAMA is a recist because he Black. The American People will decide on who can protect the American people here in the Good USA. McCain is the stronger leader!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Mike Kaplan

    John McCain and the Republican party are going down this time, in a big way. It's time to clean house- the Republicans have made a mess of just about everything, and this is obvious to just about everyone.

    I look forward to reading the bitter, pathetic ravings of frustrated and angry Republicans over the coming two Democratic terms. You people have done immeasurable damage to our country- soon you will feel even more angry and frustrated than I have felt for the last eight years of Bush and his cronies ruining our country and making themselves rich.

    June 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Watermann

    I`m trying again, but CNN will not post it.
    Why are you mourning about the 4000+ victims in Iraq and Afghanistan and not about the 10000 victims of private owned guns?

    June 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Get Real

    Lets see libs are good with terrorists having rights but are against the 2nd ammendment for US citizens........Wow you sheep are scary. Dont worry Nancy is working on freedom of speech as we speak that should be gone soon "Fairness Doctrine".

    Give me a break

    June 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. CW4Barak

    There goes the neighborhood...with this gun ruling everyone and their mother will now be able to get a gun...legally....this may not be a problem for John McBush in the upscale neighborhoods where he has his many homes, but it is a problem in the innercity communities, which will further burden the overworked, understaffed, underfunded lawmakers of those cities....so like Obama, I agree with the 2nd ammendment to bear arms, but there needs to be parameters set. But as long as its the black people killing off each other its not a problem right McBush....cus we know the "good" white people only use guns for hunting and recreation!

    Isn't it funny how the Supreme Court is suddenly making all these big rulings....its really an election year!

    June 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. BIGH

    The old man does not know what inner city crime does to families. Who's out of touch!?

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

    this is a no brainer however for him to sign off on the the biref allowing this case to move foward seems to go counter to the whole states rights dicussion of the REP party. Why sign off on something that was to norrow of a foucs .

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

    I can't believe that people think that we should ban handguns. You do realize that the criminals who still want to get them will right? After the public has had legal access to something and the government takes it away all it does is create more organized crime and violence than before. Look at the Prohibition and the "war on drugs". People still drank and it is still incredibly easy to obtain drugs in this country. In both instances it simply moved business into the hands of organized crime. If you look at the murders in Washington before the gun ban and as of today, you will see that they are actually up slighly today.

    June 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. randy

    Obama is not against the second amendment which our citizen the civil right to bear arms as long as the dont have crimnial record.but his point is to control how guns flow inthe inner cities of this great country of ours. For john macain who wanna start 3 term bush presidency will try to twist obama,s view on this issue.but we the american people already know who is lieing to us.

    June 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Just Because

    I guess this a little Viagra for your campaign, John. I wouldn't suggest you use it too much, you know it's linked to heart attacks.

    June 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. burghman04

    This was an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution. The "right to bear arms" was granted to states, not to individuals. Similarly, the "right to a free press" and "right to free speech" were granted to states. Each state has the right to have a state controlled newspaper, and to decide what speech is permitted within its borders. The Founding Fathers never envisioned speech and press articles that would be spread in an instant to several hundred million Americans via the internet. The free speech and free press mentioned in the Bill of Rights refered to antiquated printing presses and distribution systems that allowed a newspaper to reach a few thousand people, at most, once or twice a week, and for people standing on a soapbox in the town square, not posting blogs on the internet.

    June 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Jeff Brown

    As I read all this I just have to laugh. You Obama supoporters are literally just too dumb to argue with. It's like trying to explain physics to a dog!

    June 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Linda1234

    Thank you Mr. McCain. I am no fan of Obama's, but every day you make it a little easier for me to vote for him and against you!

    June 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    McCain flip-flops again. What a shocker.

    June 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. carolflowery

    If you havent figured it out yet, thugs are gonna get guns anyway like they do drugs, knives, and anything else they can get their hands on, the gangs are what needs to be focus point here and freaks, as for me
    i would love to own a gun, i used to, but i guess you would have to understand how it feels to be a victim of crime before you would get your heads out of the sand. Thanks John McCain for having a brain

    June 26, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Obama Supporter from FL

    Did the people saying that Obama got it wrong READ the article? Obama said he believed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms – exactly what the court decided. The opinion says that reasonable regulation in the form of licensing is fine, but that a complete handgun ban is unacceptable.

    You people need to learn to READ!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Scott, Charlotte

    Of Course McCain is anti-gun control.
    He needs us to practice for his 100 year war.
    No chance, Old Man. Obama 08.

    June 26, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. atypical

    I long for the days when the likes of McCain and the rest who believe we need guns, lay them down.

    YOu don't have to be an "elitist" by the way to disagree with tradition and the ways and norms of society ,McCain. Go back and retake Logic 101.

    To be fair, I don't agree with Obama either on the matter of executing child rapists.

    If killing someone is a crime, then killing anyone for any reason is a crime across the board.

    June 26, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Barack Uda

    I hope McDrain doesn't own a gun, especially with that temper. As We The People evolve, so should our laws. Common sense gun laws are just that!

    June 26, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. independent

    obama has it right,again.

    June 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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