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. Raoul

    Amendment II:

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Seems like some people only like to read the second half of that Amendment, while giving no context to the first.

    June 26, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    June 26th, 2008 12:55 pm ET

    Once again, McBush has it wrong. Sen. Obama supports the right to own guns, but not the rights of convicted felons to own guns.

    Obama endorsed the IL handgun ban.He can say what ever he wants but his endorsement says it all

    June 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Wisconsin

    I thought McWar wanted us to care about Elitist this month?

    People need to read and do some research Obama is IN FAVOR of the 2nd amendment.

    June 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Loose Rational

    Who told this dope that simply labelling his opponent was going to get him better traction in the polls. "Arrogant", "Elitist", "Dr. No" just to name a few.
    THEY'RE NOT CATCHING ON, STICK TO THE ISSUES. Urgh, this is tough to watch.

    June 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Generation X

    Would the paid Republican trolls please raise their hands....LOL

    June 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Peggy - Tx

    RE: Typical White Person – So you are stating that you think that senior politicians should to try influence Supreme Court decisions.

    As long as the Court has all the important facts in a matter it seems to me that out of respect for the SEPERATION OF POWERS established by our founding fathers, the Court should be allowed to make decisions based on legal principles rather then on political pressure.

    June 26, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Not fooled by distractions.

    You know, every time John McCain opens his mouth I find another reason why I can't and won't support him.

    June 26, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Rj

    AIN'T NO STOPPIN' US NOW!!!!!!!!!! GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. David from Ohio

    The Supreme Court decision was correct. The right to bear arms is an individual, not a collective right.

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. william

    Hey McSame. Should I sell my guns so I can buy some gas?

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. I Hate Obama

    Why is it that the only thing that comes out of Osama, oops I mean Obama, is "change". What is this mysterious "change" that's coming? Is it that Islamic militants that have already killed thousands of our civilians are going to lay down their arms without a fight? Are they going to write us all a love note & declare peace? You liberal elitists are going to get the rest of us killed. For the love of god, wake up and snap into reality!

    June 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Ambria

    Loving McCain's desperateness here.... At 71 I think we all know two things:
    A) He doesn't REALLY wanna be President; he'd rather be golfing.
    B) He's on the edge of becoming senile,
    C) He's grasping and confused... probably needs aides to tie his shoes. If they aren't velcro.
    D) He's becoming more of a RIGHT WING party member here every day. He used to be a nice bi partisan republican I liked. Now he's just being a mean, dirty politician uninterested in everything but hell bent on destroying the reputation of a great man and a great momentum so he can make money for his friends and keep the rich rich. At the end of the day, that's all this is.

    June 26, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Patsy

    As a non-American, I would be glad if someone would explain to me why nobody ever mentions (or belongs to) the "well-regulated militia" mentioned in the amendment.

    June 26, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Talksalot

    I find it interesting that many posters would rather criminals only have the guns. The Court ruling allows law abiding citizens to have a fire arm to protect themselves in their own homes. What in God's name is wrong with that decision?

    Obama hasn't said anything about todays SCOTUS decision so the only words we can draw from is what he has said and backed in the past. He has been a strong anti-gun politican. Let's see if he flips.

    June 26, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Eric So Dak

    Most of the problems with hand guns come from those obtained illegally. Banning them leaves law abiding citizens without defense.
    Loss of a second amendment right puts our failing police forces as our only defense. Our constitution would then be left to anyones skewed interpretation. It is obvious where Obama stands – Those wanting their gun rights protected don't wait for the supreme court decision to back them they just simply read the second amendment. As an Obama supporter this is one place he is too soft.

    June 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. dashiel

    does anyone find it ironic when a guy who married in to a fortune that earns more in interest every year than obama has made in his life calls barack elitist?

    on a related note, why do people in this country want elite when it comes to cars, televisions, food, computers, defense systems, athletes, etc... but when it comes a represented leader all of a sudden elite is a bad thing.

    electing the lowest common denominator because you have self esteem issues is a bad thing. despite what your little league coach told you some people are better than others.

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Nick

    The gun issue is totally miscontrued. There is no democrat that wants to "take away our guns". They simply are in favor of laws that are tailored for different parts of the country. The D.C. hand gun ban went into effect because handguns are used for street crimes. There is not a significant number of gun hobbiest, hunters, etc in the District. Those who are should either live with only rifles and shotguns (which are used for hunting). Hand Guns in DC are used to commit crimes. If you argue that handguns are needed to defend oneslef on the street, think about how that senario would play out. I see gun fights in the streets to save your wallet. Those making the self defense argument seem to be ignorant of the dynamics of an inner city. If you are mugged in a city, you give them your money to avoid something worse happening and you stay out of bad neighborhoods. Americans have the RIGHT to bear arms, they don't HAVE to bear arms to protect themselves.

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Patrick Henry, Ft. Myers

    Obama's stance on guns...which is buried in his agenda only addresses hunting and target shooting–and appears to only include rifles and shotguns.

    Americans–mostly purchase small arms for personal protection and defense of their property. While many of those do target shoot and hunt–most hope they will never have to use their guns–but desire the opportunity to use lethal force in the case of home invasion or violence against them.

    Most states allow legal citizens without criminal backgrounds–and reasonable training to not only own but to carry concealed side arms for personal defense.

    Obama is against personal concealed weapons.
    He is against hand-guns.
    He will move to restrict states from creating their own laws regarding concealed weapons–and restrict purchase of all guns that can't be sold in a Wal-Mart.

    June 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Kick Hillary to the Curb

    TONY you are wrong! Obama is committed and does fight for pulling our troops out of Iraq before your beloved Mccain.

    June 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Low

    I bet if MCCain or one of his relatives lived in the any urban community, he would think otherwise. You can bet on it.

    June 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Truth Be Told

    McSame has NO game...

    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Schalaine Ellisor

    McCain! McCain! McCain! Your views are so out of touch. I've never owned a gun. I've never wanted to own a gun. Guns kill!! The internet will allow all kinds of people to own guns. Criminals, children, and mentally unstable people. Well I can see the murder rate going up! Of course that won't matter to you because your wealth puts you in a very safe little world. For the rest of us, I guess we better start ducking.

    By the way Obama is right on. When times are hard, I call on God. Who will you be calling come November?

    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Low

    Hey "Typical White Person". Now I know what Obama was referring to.

    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Mike

    Isn't is funny how Obama's statements today contradict what he had to say on the subject earlier this year!!!!! FLIP-FLOP

    June 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. NotALemming

    Obama is a typical liberal who thinks gov't regulations banning guns will fix the problems. How many were killed by guns in DC this year? Obviously the criminals will get guns nomatter what the laws are. Violent criminals are the killers; the guns are just a tool. Obama and his Dem liberal cronies would be better off fixing the REAL problem causing all of the violence - the apathy and sense of entitlement surrounding (mostly innercity) neighborhoods and communities because of their dependance on gov't welfare programs and general lack of personal responsibility.

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