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.”

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. cj Clearwater, FL

    Personally, I am sick and tired of MCall things evil. All he ever does is criticize – he never talks about the issues!! Probably because he doesn't know what to say.
    Don't care whether he was a war hero or not; he has no experience in DECISIONS having to do with ANYTHING!!
    He has flip-flopped so badly regarding FL, it is pathetic and everything he says he will do is either for the rich or big business! Everything he says he will do for the average American, funny.....he never explains how he's going to pay for it!
    He makes me only want to puke!!!!!!!!! I feel sorry for my children and grandchildren (and their children) if MCWAR is elected.
    OBAMA '08

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Tammy

    I'm glad to see that the Supreme Court is upholding the 2nd Amendment. Guns don't kill – it's the person who pull's the trigger that kills.

    June 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    To: Le Shanda....
    Before you make such lame statements–you need to really read Mr. Obama's agenda and his comments and plans on gun ownership.

    What a bunch of dufus's.

    They stating policy that isn't even his policy to defend him!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. marty from Indiana

    It is time for the Republicans to select a new candidate. McCain can't win.

    June 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. John McCain-McFlip-Flop-McBush is no "maverick"

    McSham: Spouse of a millionaire beer heiress and owner of 7 homes calling someone elitist because of their view on gun ownership. Now that is "rich"!

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Edwin Portland

    I am bitter, I own guns, I am religious. Guess what, when nothing in your life is of your own control, you cling to what you can control, your faith and your rights. I fail to see what is elitist with having an understanding of human psyche.

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. The Lady

    In the United States, about 30,000 people die from gun wounds every year. The USA Today reported on December 5,2007 that gun killings have climbed 13 percent overall since 2002. An estimated 25 percent of all violent crime incidents committed by an armed offender.

    This information is from gov.cn

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. BryanSTLMO

    I'd just like to address any and all comments pertaining to Obama or anyone in government being called an "elitist" with a negative connotation. In a nutshell, elite means the best. Why wouldn't you want your government officials and commander-in-chief to be elite (the best)? We are proud of our ELITE group in the military called the Navy Seals. We voted non-elite the last two times (well one for real) and no one can dispute that our country is hurting because of it. I'll take competence over incompetence any day.

    And I agree with Obama and even Scalia:Individual hand gun rights with regulation is constitutional.

    June 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. NoMcSame

    PUMA PAC people I hope that you are happy with your choise in this election. Hillary will not be voting with you this time. You all look so stupid in the eyes of all the world that I miss you guys on here sometimes. Your leader was on tv and he sounded about as stupid as you all do. Vote Mcsame what a shame. Give up and stop kicking against that stone and come on back home people. Help save our kids from McWAR. He loves the sound of body counts on the news every day. Don't be like him. Stand up to him. It's time to move on and put our house back in order. We must ALL stand behind Obama and change what is going on in Washington.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. JIM...TX

    BIGH...inner city crime is mostly caused by families or the lack of. Unwed mothers, fathers leaving the family, parents not being responsible for their kids upbringing or education, not working and depending on welfare programs to get by, drug use an the list goes on and on. Guns didn't bring any of this to bear. People need to take responsibility for their own destruction.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. SD

    "need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures.”

    Yes, arming our communities. What a brilliant safety measure... Next, why don't we arm our students in schools so they can protect themselves too. And if you can't tell that I'm being sarcastic, you need to go find your brain.

    June 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Dilly

    Obama was not agaisnt gun ownership and McCain is fully aware of this. He will use any excuse to bring up that stupid 'bitter comment". He has said far far worse, including "I was never pround of my country..." and "It is hard to be proud of this county..". no one beleives he meant it the way is sounds-but either did Obama . McMillionaire is out of touch. Mc Corporate Republic of America has no room to call anyone an elitist-unless it is himself and his wife.

    June 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Jason

    The tide has turned in the race. Obama is on the losing side of s many wedge issues. Guns, Foreign Policy, Energy, Experience.

    Democrats threw away the slam dunk nominee, Clinton. One that will haunt the party for a long itme. No way she would lose the general election. The Republicans had zero chance to get elected this year and now due to poor selection the Republicans have a very real chance to keep the Executive branch.

    June 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. ErikS.

    Of course he is going to bring up the "bitter" thing, it's relevant and it wasn't that long ago. Obama's peeps will bring up the fact that he now wants to drill offshore when he said a year ago that he wouldn't. It's politics people, grow up.

    June 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Steve

    Why is this country so gun obsessed? Seems the NRA went from hobbyists to lobbyists.

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Andy J, NY

    Read the article on this where it says in 1976 when the ban was enacted, there were 135 gun related murders, and how last year there were 143 gun related murders... gosh, looks like that handgun ban did a whole lot of good.

    All it does is keep guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, meanwhile criminals obviously still get their hands on guns and use them to commit crimes. Wake up, people. Stop picking apart the Bill of Rights, and stop shoving your elitist views down our throats.... Do you really believe you know better than the Founding Fathers? Ever read what Jefferson, or any of the other Founders, wrote about the right to bear arms? Not just in the Bill of Rights, but some of their articulated thoughts? Do you know the historical context, and also understand that governments ALWAYS pose a threat to citizens.. Take the patriot act, for example.. Im sure you liberals will rail against that, as you should. Its a violation of our rights, as stated by the Founders in the Constitution. Well, the 2nd amendment is in there too and its not going anywhere. I have guns because i rely on myself for my immediate protections, and the police as a reactionary force. I don't have police by my side 24/7 to protect me. I can protect myself, i have the means to do so. Try to take my guns, or take the guns from the millions of people like me.

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Brian from Texas

    Handgun rights is a double edged sword.
    Obama's reaction was very sensible and right on in my opinion. Like Obama, I myself dont know where I stand on this issue.
    McCain reaction of celebration and happiness of the decision is kind of sick. The purpose of handguns is for concealment and to kill people. What's to celebrate about that?

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Arizona Alvin

    Guns don't kill people. Bullets kill people. Guns just make bullets go real fast. I'm for bullet control.

    June 26, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Nicole in NE

    Obama supporter from Florida – you are right on!

    It's easier to just post something without even thinking about what the article said or meant.

    Yes Obama is for the 2nd amendment.
    Read it again if you didn't get it the first time people!

    Obama 08'

    June 26, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Ernesto

    Gee, I wish the high court would be as enthusiastic about the complete erosion of our individual rights such as wiretapping, etc. Owning a gun doesn't do much against being monitored 24/7.

    June 26, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. MLG

    McCain you have my vote. Obama flip flops more than you do and I don't trust him what so ever. McCain 08!!! Thank you Supreme Court!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. M from philly

    yeah, tammy, and I don't trust the people! if you do, god bless you. i live in north philadelphia, and i know better.

    June 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA






    June 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Bitter Elitist

    John, the "bitter" meme was two months ago-

    we've moved on to not caring about "arrogance" in June

    Please try to keep up

    June 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Andy J, NY

    Obama is trying to come up with how he is going to spin his disgusting opposition to gun ownership.

    This guy is as liberal as it gets.

    Read the article on the Supreme Court case where it says in 1976 when the ban was enacted, there were 135 gun related murders, and last year there were 143 gun related murders… gosh, looks like that handgun ban did a whole lot of good.

    June 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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