The Obama transition team is requiring that all potential hires for high-ranking positions fill out a seven-page questionnaire with questions about the applicant’s financial history, affiliations, professional background, legal history, and domestic help. Question #59 deals with gun ownership:
This question has raised the ire of gun-rights groups and their allies, who are charging that Obama plans to revoke the second amendment and has a “distaste for firearm owners”:
National Rifle Association: This week, it became clear that the new administration’s anti-gun agenda even infects the process of staffing the administration. … One thing is for sure: If the Obama team thinks these are good questions to ask job applicants, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll want to ask the rest of us, too.
Illinois State Rifle Association: “Question 59 provides clear insight into how Obama and his people perceive firearm owners,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. The questionnaire poses a number of questions asking the applicant to reveal any unethical activities, or embarrassing Internet chats, then wraps up by asking if anyone in the applicant’s family owns a firearm. Obviously, Obama feels that owning a firearm is akin to talking dirty in Internet chat rooms.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): “Millions of law-abiding Americans own firearms and they should not be discriminated against. The questionnaire already seeks information about illegal activity so there is no reason to ask this question unless the Obama Administration plans to use it to discriminate based on lawful activity. For this reason, I will seek to enact legislation to prohibit this type of discrimination.”
The point of the question was not to weed out gun owners, but rather “to ensure proper registration,” as transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter has explained. ABC’s Jake Tapper further notes that “the question is not meant to be any different in scope than the one about whether the Obama Administration candidate has run afoul of any law or regulation, ever gotten a traffic ticket of more than $50 in fines, and so on.”
The NRA is doing all it can to profit off its fearmongering about the Obama administration. Nationwide, gun stores are holding “Obama Sale” events to take advantage of their customers’ misinformed fears. A gun show ad in yesterday’s Washington Post also warned that the “new administration will attempt to make changes to firearms regulations! GET YOUR GUNS WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!” Naturally, people who signed up or renewed their NRA membership were promised free admission to the show.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden, by the way, is also a gun owner. He has called the NRA’s fearmongering “malarkey.”