About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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July 09, 2008

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Nothing to Worry About?

     Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss politics between now and November, but a recent statement by presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama made it seem like a good time to kick off some general election chatter.
     According to this Standard State Bureau story, while campaigning in Butte, Montana last week, Mr. Obama told reporters, "There is not a sportsman or hunter in Montana who is a legal possessor of firearms that has anything to worry about from me."
     So I checked out the Obama campaign website, which includes a 2-page position statement on the "Rights and Traditions of Sportsmen." While it points out in the first sentence that Mr. Obama did not grow up hunting and fishing, (a straight-up admission that I frankly appreciate), it goes on to outline his views on issues such as gun rights, access, conservation (including saltwater, wetlands, national forest, and climate change concerns) and youth hunter outreach.
     Have you had time to read the positions of both Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain on their respective sites? And what do you make of them? Sincere expressions of opinion or say-what-they-want-to-hear politics? And does a person have to be a hunter to appreciate views near and dear to sportsmen?


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Harry Hohenstein

Then why did Obama side against the right to have a fire arm in the latest Supreme Court fight in DC? He is a hypocrite

Concerned Sport

I was originally concerned about a black man with a foreign sounding name running for president. I guess I still am concerned a little bit.

But as time goes by two things are becoming very very clear:
1) John McCain is very very confused about a LOT of issues that concern the citizens of this nation. Not that I disagree with him on his stances... just that his stances seem very confused and uncertain.

2) Barack Obama is clearly NOT Hillary Clinton.

The Supreme Court has ruled. I feel as though our gun rights are very secure for some time to come. I think it's safe for us to pay some attention to other issues as well.

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman

After some research, it's not totally clear that HE said last fall that he was against the right to have a firearm in DC - one of his aides said that. But even setting that aside, in his time as an Illinois politician he DID have a clear anti-gun voting history. But I say, so what if he's now softening that stance?

We're hiring him to represent the entire United States - of course his views are going to shift slightly from when he represented a slice of one state. It's hardly hypocritical - it's actually rational. In order to sucessfully represent ALL the people, he was going to have to change his views slightly. Otherwise we'd accuse him of catering to the minority (the anti-gun people). He's obviously listening to pressure from someone (NRA? the people?), which means that now that he is saying ON THE RECORD that he supports the 2nd amendment, special interest groups (NRA) will have even more leverage with him when he's in office.

I like him because I don't vote solely on gun rights issues. He's better on women's issues and environmental issues - both of which are also important to me as an outdoors-woman. I agree with Concerned Sport that gun rights do seem fairly safe for now, and other issues deserve attention. It's time for the political pendulum to go back the other way.


He's a POLITICIAN...ofcourse it's a case of "say what they want to hear politics"....Check out his voting record in the Senate.

Whatever it takes to get elected.

Jackson Landers

To the commentor, Harry Hohenstein:

What you are saying is patently false. Barack Obama supported the Court's ruling on Heller both before and after the ruling. He stated last year that in his opinion as a former professor of Constitutional law, the 2nd Amendment protects an INDIVIDUAL right to bear arms.

Then after the ruling was announced, he released a statement supporting it. Read it here: http://tiny.cc/guAxy

If you want to get technical, Obama is to the right of George W. Bush on guns, as Bush instructed the Justice Department to assist DC in their case against Heller. Obama supported the individual right to bear arms while Bush literally opposed it.

Nobody is touching any gun legislation in the next 4 years regardless of who wins in November. Mainstream Democrats have abandoned the issue. Witness that despite the fact that Bush has promised he would sign a renewal of the so-called 'assault weapons' ban, in 2 years of Democratic Party control of both the House and Senate the Democrats have not attempted to pass such a bill. The big bad boogeyman of Democratic majorities failed to become the 2nd Amendment assault that everyone said it would be.

We won. Rejoice. Gun-owners rights are now a bi-partisan issue.


Jackson - you're wrong.

BO only supports the individual right "to purchase, own, transport and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting. He also believes that right is subject to reasonable and common sense regulation." That is his official position statement.

If you are not using a firearm for hunting or target shooting, BO believes it should be unloaded, disassembled and locked away, separate from ammunition. Until Heller, BO did not support the ownership or use of a firearm in the home for self-defense. He has to do so now - quite reluctantly I assure you - because it is the law.

He also believes that banning certain firearms in certain communities is "common sense". He believed it in Chicago, he continues to believe it today.

He deftly shrouded his comments about banning guns by saying what works for Cheyenne may not work for DC. Meaning: I support bans in the city - but you country folk can keep yours.