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. GG

    This is also great news for the revolution that is sure to come if McCain is elected and our dollar continues to fall below the peso. Americans will start to use thier guns to kill each other for food and supplies. 2012 is going to be the best Armageddon ever.

    June 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. independent

    mccain!stop attacking our next president!lame!

    June 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. The Truth

    McCain and his inbred Hillbilly supporters need to move out of the sticks and into cities. Maybe when they see teen murders and reckless useage of guns for criminal purposes, they just might change their minds.....

    On second thoughts, one has to have a mind first in order to change it.

    June 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. ANGIE

    mccain is a dangerous nut you know what scares me about him if hes president and wakes up one day and thinks were in vietenam no telling what he might do people his age is subjected to deminta as well as althimzers and people that end up with that live in the past im not trying to disrespect elderly people and the disease is really sad but its a fact and i think thats something we have to think about

    June 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. June Ankenney

    Obama is wrong from the inside out. His ideas about religion, morality, ethics, putting America down, not supporting old friends, taxation, environmentals, energy, and on and on. Why would any American vote for such a man? (Because he calls himself a democrat –which he is not, he is a socialist or communist!!!).

    June 26, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Theresa in Georgia

    Hey Republicans, here's a "mud-slinger" for you!! I heard that Obama flipped-flopped on deciding not to work for the big corporations and decided to go work in the inner city of Chicago!! And... I also heard that when he was a baby, he soiled his pants!!!

    ....and to "Nostradamus June 26th, 2008 12:00 pm ET
    Beware the arrogant one, the one who would make himself king."

    ..no one can get any ARROGANT than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Because of their ARROGANCE over 4000 women and men have lost their LIVES! You REPUBS are sickening.

    June 26, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. CW in DC

    I am a DC resident and I am flabbergasted that the DC mayor insists that the ban should not be lifted siting that it would increase handgun crime in DC. Why is this so appalling? Because DC already is one of the highest handgun/murder rate cities in America. Seems like handguns are already in the hands of the wrong people.

    June 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |

    PUMA = Pre-menstruals Under McCains Anarchy

    June 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Casey in CA.

    Of course McWAR is for handguns. Guns and battle and military and bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

    June 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Don in Florida

    I just don't understand why we can't agree on common sense measures such as closing gun show loopholes. Our kids are dying in the streets daily while we fiddle. Everyone in congress should be limited to two terms, not just the president.

    June 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    Guns dont kill people.....REPUBLICAN POLICIES AND VALUES DO.

    June 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. John


    How is Obama going to channel the flow of guns to the inner city? Wasn't Chicago where he was doing all of his great work cleaning up areas? If you haven't noticed halfway through this year the city is in a bloodbath. I continue by saying that his plan is good in theory and i agree with it, but it is simply not realistic. If people want to obtain a gun they will find someone who will give it to them, or they will steal it (as many do now) so that there are not records of the purchase.

    June 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Demosthenes

    You know, for free thinking, liberal people, Democrats are sure quick to adopt the full range of their party's politics, such as taking away our guns. Don't get me wrong, I will vote for Obama. But what can you possible hope to accomplish by de-clawing the nation? Our track record has shown us that we cannot win a war on an ideal. Think about it. If you still cannot figure out what I mean, then you shouldn't own a gun, vote nor have children. Don't abandon your ability to conceptualize for the sake of being accepted.

    Free-thinkers in 2008!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. nathan

    Oh! Purleeze change the record McCain.

    By the way, how'd the meeting go with the "Log Cabin Republicans" .. the Gay Republican Group.

    I can expect the main stream media not to report on it!

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Democrat

    Did McSame listen to Obama's press conference yesterday... Obama said it exactly the way it came down from the Supreme Courts today. What is he talking about Obama not commenting.

    As long as guns are kept out of felons, gangs,children, isn't that what the good people of PA are about? Sometimes I just don't understand what he is talking about,,, Does anyone really understand what McSame is about... now there is the Flip Flop of the decade... who is he talking to that does not know that his positions keep changing?

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Philly Guy

    Obama supports the right to own a gun, provided you don't take it off your property, and provided you never use it.

    This is called 'inverse condemnation'

    It is like saying, yes, you can own land, but you can't ever use it, build on it, park cars on it, or cut down the trees on it. (oh, wait, there are already places that say exactly that. And they are run by democrats).

    Make no Mistake. Comrade Obama will eviscerate the right to own by prohibiting the ability to use. Democratic states like New Jersey already do this (and New Jersey is just so safe, isn't it??)

    June 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Annette

    Every one is entitled to their own opinion. However, McCain will seize any and I mean any opportunity to make himself look like the better man. A sign of a weak leader is a person who stands for nothing and falls for anything.

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Ok...

    Guns don't kill people, but it makes it easier to.

    June 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Just Politics

    Don't really see what this has to do with the nominees, but since their opinions are out there I'd like to say that it's kinda sad that the "experienced" candidate just throws out the party line as an excuse to make a vaguely related jab at his opponent while the "inexperienced" candidate spoke thoughtfully and honestly about the issue.

    McCain should take a page from the current Bush playbook and speak much less, because lately he just seems to be completely out of touch with the people he hopes to lead.

    June 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Independent Fred

    I have no problem with regular citizens owning hand guns esspecially for protection of their homes and families.

    However no regular citizen needs an semi or fully automatic weapon.
    and that's what the true gun nuts propose.

    June 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Hispanic For McCain

    whaaa! whaaa! whaaa!

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


    Hispanic for McCAIN

    whaaa! whaaa! whaaa

    McCain all the way!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Typical White Person

    "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.”

    Was ANYONE surprised that he refused to give his opinion before a decision was made? That would involve having a principle that you believe in and are not afraid to defend...

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    Do not criticize his lack of response Mr. McCain.

    I'm sure as soon as he talks it over with everybody–down to his minister–he'll make his own statement and opinion on the decision.

    And it will likely be a flip-flop from his previous statements.

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. obamacrat

    This is a big country with very different community situations. What might be a good gun law in a small community in Montana may not be so good for an inner-city neighborhood in Harlem. To use the constitution to make one blanket gun policy for every individual, in every community in America is foolish. Local communities have the pulse of what their area needs in terms of gun control. To have this decision made for them at the Federal level is a mistake IMO.

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Matt In Cleveland

    LOL with the elitist and bitter comments this guy (mccain) is so pathetic

    that comment was months ago and it didnt matter then and it didnt matter now

    you really think and "elitist" tag will stick to a guy who was rasied by a sigle mother and lived off of food stamps...not to mention afforded college on an academic scholarship

    mccain is already old news....

    June 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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