Shotgun News, July 1, 2008, pp. 22-23

back to


Are You Clinging To Your Guns?


“[I]t’s not surprising, then, that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Barack Hussein Obama, April 6, 2008[1]

Obama’s words at a San Francisco fundraiser continue to haunt his campaign, more than a month later.  They show that Obama doesn’t understand most of America—because he grew up in a home that hates what America stands for, and because Obama was educated in institutions that hate America.

Americans “cling” to guns (in order of importance) because:

1. They hunt.

2. They are concerned about their personal safety.

3. They are aware that if tyranny becomes a problem, this is the only tool that most of them have with which to fight back.

Americans cling to their religion (in spite of an enormous amount of media efforts to insult Christianity) for the following reasons:

  1. They believe it to be true.
  2. It provides solace in times of extraordinary personal suffering.

Americans didn't start "clinging" to guns and religion because of the economic downturn.  Guns and religion has been a fundamental part of American culture from the very beginning of settlement here. 

Now, I agree that some anti-immigrant sentiment may indeed be related to job losses. But there's nothing irrational about that; when jobs are in short supply, anyone new to a community looking for work is going to be regarded as a problem.  It is certainly the case that illegal immigrants, by driving down wage rates, aggravate existing job problems. 

These remarks show that Obama doesn’t understand the need to keep his elitist beliefs under wraps, so that the peasants don't see what contempt the elitists of the Democratic Party have for them.  But Obama also revealed a fundamental lack of understanding of American history, world history, and human nature.  Why should someone that ignorant be president?

You can count on Senator McCain to use Obama’s remarks against him in the general election—but amusingly enough, so is Senator Clinton, who has suddenly recast herself as a friend of gun owners, sending out campaign flyers emphasizing Obama’s flip-flopping about gun control.[2]

I mentioned earlier that Obama grew up in a home that hates America.  Obama has spent quite a bit of time in the last several years painting a grossly false picture of his father and mother, in the hopes that you won’t realize how peculiar his parents were.  Obama described his mother as, "the dominant figure in my formative years. . . . The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics."[3]  Obama describes her as a Midwestern girl of faith. But a recent Chicago Sun-Times articles presents a very different picture—a girl who spent 8th grade through 12th grade growing up radical and atheist on Mercer Island near Seattle.[4]  Obama has tried repeatedly to sell himself as a Christian.  Perhaps he is; but his mother pretty clearly wasn’t, and his attempts at presenting a false portrait of his mother raise serious questions about his honesty.

Obama’s father is another sad story.  Obama’s autobiography Dreams from my Father, published last year, paints an utterly false portrait of his father.  Barack Obama, Sr. was a Kenyan attending college in Hawaii when he met and married Obama’s mother.  Obama’s father married Obama’s mother when he was still married to a Kenyan woman back home.  Obama’s father moved on to Harvard, where he married yet a third woman without bothering to divorce the first two.  Back in Kenya, Obama was an abusive alcoholic lecher.

More importantly, Obama Junior’s portrayal of growing up in a culture of racist oppression doesn’t match the evidence.  Classmates at the private prep school he attended in Hawaii and at Columbia are mystified by his depictions of a fiercely racist society.  As an article last year in the British newspaper The Daily Mail suggests, Obama’s misleading and inaccurate portrayal of himself and his father may be an attempt to deal with “the discovery that his father was far from the romantic figure that his mother tried to portray.”[5]

Obama has an honesty problem—and this is something rather important to gun owners, because he keeps saying different things to different groups about his stand on gun control.  Obama claims to support an individual rights view of the Second Amendment—and yet he was on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation,[6] which has become the primary funder of restrictive gun control efforts in America.  He has waffled on whether D.C.’s ban on handgun ownership—and prohibition on having a loaded gun in your home—is Constitutional or not.  He also claims that we should keep guns out of “inner cities”[7]—which is a liberal euphemism for, “blacks can’t be trusted with guns.”

Perhaps most telling about both Obama’s honesty and his position about gun control is a questionnaire that his campaign filled out in 1996, when he was running for state legislature in Illinois.  The questionnaire asked if he supported state laws to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns”?  The answer was “Yes.”  Now the Obama campaign insists that an overeager staff member filled in this questionnaire, and Obama did not support such an extreme position.  There’s only one problem—Obama’s handwriting appears on the first page of the questionnaire.  It’s hard to believe that Obama read through part of this questionnaire, but not all of it.[8]

There’s a joke that goes, “How can you tell when a politician is lying?”  “His lips are moving.”  This is not particularly fair.  There are honest politicians out there—although they are seldom successful at the national level.  But Obama seems to be remarkably incompetent at papering over his lies.  I would prefer honest politicians running for President, but I think that’s about as likely as electing the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.  If I can’t have an honest politician as President (and our choices this year aren’t terribly encouraging in that area), at least I want someone competent in charge of our national security.

Clayton E. Cramer is a software engineer and historian. His sixth book, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (Nelson Current, 2007), is available in bookstores.  His web site is

[1] Mike Allen, “12 reasons 'bitter' is bad for Obama,” The Politico, April 12, 2008, available at, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[2] Ben Smith, “Clinton mailing attacks Obama on guns,” The Politco, May 4, 2008, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[3] Tim Jones, “Obama’s mom: Not just a girl from Kansas: Part 2,” Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2008,,0,5157609.story?page=2, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[4] Tim Jones, “Obama’s mom: Not just a girl from Kansas: Part 2,” Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2008,,0,5157609.story?page=1, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[5] Sharon Churcher, “A drunk and a bigot - what the US Presidental hopeful HASN'T said about his father...” Daily Mail¸January 27, 2007,, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[6] Barack Obama, Washington Post,, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[7] “Barack Obama on Gun Control,” On The Issues,, last accessed May 25, 2008.

[8] Brian Faughnan, “Did Obama Lie About Guns?” The Weekly Standard, The Blog,  April 27, 2008,, last accessed May 25, 2008.