July 16th, 2009
04:44 PM ET
12 years ago

NRA, RNC target Sotomayor over gun rights

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee and Second Amendment advocates came down hard on Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday for not directly answering a question on whether or not Americans have a right to bear arms.

More than seven weeks after President Obama named her as his Supreme Court pick, and nearly a week into her confirmation hearings, the National Rifle Association issued an official statement Thursday opposing her nomination.

The announcement came the same day the RNC released a new Web video showing an exchange between Sotomayor and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn over the "right to self-defense." Sotomayor told the Oklahoma senator that she didn't know if "that legal question has been ever presented" and called it an "abstract question."

"Judge Sotomayor, The Right To Bear Arms Isn't An Abstract Question," reads the screen in the video. "Do You Believe That Americans Have A Right To Bear Arms? Stop Evading, And Start Answering The Question."

Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association said Sotomayor has a "hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense."

"Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people," LaPierre and Cox said in a statement. "We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land."

But Sotomayor got a nod from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which called her answers related to the Second Amendment "clear and responsible."

"The NRAs statement opposing Judge Sotomayor represents a shameful misrepresentation of her testimony as well as the law," Paul Helmke, the organization's president, said in a statement.

Filed under: NRA • RNC • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. DaBird

    @Moderate Democrat What a stupid comment to say that the NRA and the Republicans kill people. Do you have any common sense? Take away knives and cars since they kill people too.

    July 16, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Leslie

    Many lives have been saved because a person has a gun. During LA Riot (Rodney King), people who hated guns called Charlton Heston asking him if they could lend him a gun so they can protect themselves. These are hollywood people who oppose guns.

    Those who are against the second ammendment have forgotten something, Without the second ammendment, you do not have the first ammendment. The second ammendment reinforce the first. Learn your own US constitution for goodness sake. Don't be so ignorant and stupid.

    July 16, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Leslie

    Darth Vadik, CA July 16th, 2009 5:56 pm ET

    2nd Amendment – the worst Law ever.

    the NRA are a bunch of yellow bellied little men, who think a gun makes up for a lack of their manhood. Fools, there is way greater chance that you'll probably end up shooting one of your family members than somebody trying to break into your trailer to steal your TV with a typewriter on it.

    …or you'll probably end up shooting your neighbors wife because you mistook her for a bear.

    Fools, all of you


    If the second ammendment is not there, you won't have the FIRST ammendment which all of you love so much! Read why the right to bear arms is the second ammendment and not 9 or 10.

    July 16, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. Wobblyone

    C'mon now you guys... Let's get serious about guns.
    The idiots in this country (Australia) used the actions of one bloody fruitcake who flipped his lid, to ban guns in this country.
    Do you think the crooks around the place went up and handed in their guns? Not bloody likely. But they now know that good old "john citizen" doesn't have a gun in his home. So they act with impunity and with great violence. They are the only ones with guns.
    I think this is about "control" of the populace, more than anything else. How the hell are we able to protect our property and loved ones when we are disarmed? It's just plain ridiculous.
    Hang in there you Yanks. If they get your guns off you, they'll be able to run over the top of you. That's what this little push is about.

    July 16, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Buddy Gilmour

    Don't care at all what the NRA wants. Don't care what the cigarette industry wants either.

    July 16, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. manny

    americans will never learn.
    the guns suppliers will always make case for more guns to be sold.
    NRA doesn't care about your safety morons, they sell to every psycho without any background check.
    americans should please tell me the sense in no background checks before you get a gun.
    one day this country will be the most dangerous place to live in and all thanks to the almighty NRA.
    what do cops say about gun ownership. to me, the police should be the only ones to sell guns and please guns should not be inherited.
    the kid might be crazier than the father. americans think!

    July 16, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. Say what???

    I would love to see Sotomayor's and her band of Silly Dimwit Liberals' faces if their houses ever got broken into by robbers carrying weapons. A lot of good your water pistol and "green peace" tactics will do you then!

    July 16, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Alan

    Let's hear it for plastic ammunition (that cannot be seen by radar detectors), the right to carry concealed weapons in national parks, and every man's right to his very own machinegun. GO NRA!

    July 16, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. manny

    NRA using rumours to scare people to buy more arms and gullible americans are falling for the scare tactics. typical of the NRA .

    now we can't even go to the parks, clubs, streetwalking, etc without fearing some loon sold a gun by the NRA is hanging around.

    cops are killing for the slightest provocation because they think we all have guns like them.
    way to go americans, we are going down everyday. where are the smart americans leaders who haven't sold his soul away to corperate america!?

    July 16, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Bill


    Unfortunately if you support gun ownership, the NRA is the ONLY group that is speaking for you. They may be radical but they have been operating under the "ask for a pound, get an ounce" strategy for so long that the have not choice but to keep asking for the moon and looking like loons.

    July 16, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. 60's survivor

    I wish I could say "poof" and every gun every weapon would disappear "poof" gone . I wonder how many would just wet their pants ?? what a bunch of cry babies. "oh They want to take my guns away. wah wahhh wah. you betcha

    July 16, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  12. Tatianna

    Janet, Are you implying our constitution is not withstanding or live governing document at present time (2009) and consider it of dark ages? Educate yourself with Obamas campaign statement: I want my Justice to understand that part of the role of the court is to look out for the people who dont have political power. Obama is wrong, the courts should be blind to the political power of the plaintiffs and should RULE BASED ON THE LAW. The word LAW implies something SOLID and essentially NOT SUBJECT TO OPINION. If Obama thinks that the SC should rule based on public opinion, then he is against the Constitution.

    July 17, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
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