Obama backpedals on DC gun ban

Last November, the Obama campaign said the DC gun ban was constitutional and should be upheld:

The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ‘…believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.’

Since then, he has backed off that position, and refused to express an opinion:

Asked by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson if he considers the D.C. law to be consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms at ABC’s April 16, 2008, debate in Philadelphia, Obama said, “Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven’t listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence.”

Now the campaign has explicitly disavowed its earlier statement, but as usual, he cannot admit he has changed his position:

The Obama campaign is disavowing what it calls an “inartful” statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as believing that the DC ban was constitutional.

“That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator’s consistent position,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.

“Inartful” means “too clear”, I guess. In contrast, his position now is quite “artful”, because he won’t say what it is. (Whatever it is, it’s definitely consistent, though.)

By the way, as Ed Morrissey points out, Obama was a constitutional law professor! Isn’t this the sort of subject on which he actually ought to be able to give an informed opinion? John McCain, on the other hand, despite not being a law professor of any kind, is on record with a clear and consistent position. He even went so far as to sign an amicus brief.

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