Days before the National Rifle Association endorsed the Republican presidential ticket, Paul Ryan echoed the gun lobby’s speculation of what an unleashed President Obama would do on gun control in a second term.
NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre has argued Obama never pushed for new gun regulation as “part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions.” Ryan came to a similar conclusion that Obama would take away gun rights despite the fact that he “hasn’t done much” on this issue in his first term. Ryan told Outdoor Life:
RYAN: What I worry about as a hunter, as a person who believes in the Second Amendment, as a gun owner, is knowing that President Obama – in his earlier career, prior to his presidency – was an advocate for gun control.
I worry about what his attitude will be once he never has to face voters again. And that to me is a concern just as a gun owner, that this is somebody who has a history of being hostile to the Second Amendment. He hasn’t, for political reasons I believe, done much to go after the Second Amendment, but his history, his party, lead me to be concerned about what he would be like in a second term.
It is true Obama has done little on gun regulation as president, except to weaken gun regulation by allowing loaded guns in national parks. His strongest comments in the wake of recent shootings argued common sense gun policy, such as, “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals.”
Yet if Ryan is worried that Obama’s past positions on gun regulation indicates a willingness to ban guns, he should look much closer to home. Mitt Romney signed a permanent ban on assault rifles when he was governor of Massachusetts.