2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas: on Gun Control


Barack Obama: Provide some common-sense enforcement on gun licensing

Q: When you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners. Would you do that as president?

A: I donít think that we can get that done. But what we can do is to provide just some common-sense enforcement. The efforts by law enforcement to obtain the information required to trace back guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers. As president, I intend to make it happen. We essentially have two realities, when it comes to guns, in this country. Youíve got the tradition of lawful gun ownership. It is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot. Then youíve got the reality of 34 Chicago public school students who get shot down on the streets of Chicago. We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Against illegal guns, crack down on illegal gun dealers

I am against illegal guns, and illegal guns are the cause of so much death and injury in our country. I also am a political realist and I understand that the political winds are very powerful against doing enough to try to get guns off the street, get them out of the hands of young people. I donít want the federal government preempting states and cities like New York that have very specific problems. We need to have a registry that really works with good information about people who are felons, people who have been committed to mental institutions. We need to make sure that that information is in a timely manner, both collected and presented. We do need to crack down on illegal gun dealers. This is something that I would like to see more of. We need to enforce the laws that we have on the books. I would also work to reinstate the assault weapons ban. We now have, once again, police deaths going up around the country, and in large measure because bad guys now have assault weapons again.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Backed off a national licensing registration plan on guns

I believe in the Second Amendment. People have a right to bear arms. But I also believe that we can common-sensically approach this, and backed off a national licensing registration plan.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

John Edwards: Against gun licensing but support the assault weapons ban

Q: It now appears that itís hard to win a national election with that position on gun licensing. Is that fair?

A: Thatís fair, but I havenít changed my position on this. Iím against it. It is enormously important to protect peopleís Second Amendment rights. The assault weapons ban, as president Iíll do everything in my power to reinstate it. But we need a president who understands the sportsmen, hunters who use their guns for lawful purposes have a right to have their Second Amendment rights.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

  • The above quotations are from 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Jan. 15, 2008, last debate prior to the Nevada primaryDennis Kucinich sued the TV network to appear, and won; the TV network appealed and excluded Kucinich..
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Candidates and political leaders on Gun Control:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.:Sen.Barack Obama
V.P.:Sen.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
Treas.:Tim Geithner
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoC:Bill Richardson
Outgoing Bush Administration:
Pres.:George Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
A.G.:John Ashcroft(2005)
DEA:Asa Hutchinson(2005)
USDA:Mike Johanns(2007)
EPA:Mike Leavitt
HUD:Mel Martinez(2003)
State:Colin Powell(2005)
State:Condoleezza Rice
HHS:Tommy Thompson(2005)
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
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