John McCain, wrestling for days with Barack Obama over national security, also went after the Democratic front-runner on guns today.
McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, told the National Rifle Association's conference today that if Obama, or Hillary Clinton, gets to the White House, "the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk."
The Republican National Committee launched a web video that criticizes what it calls Obama's anti-gun record and cites his remark about economically distressed voters who "cling to guns or religion" to argue that he is "out of touch" with American values.
But Obama said lawful gun owners have "nothing to worry about from me."
He said he expects Republicans to try to use the gun issue against him.
"All I can do is describe to the voters what I believe and what I think," Obama told reporters in Watertown, S.D. "And what I believe is that there is a Second Amendment right. I think it is an individual right. I think people have the right to lawfully bear arms.
"I do believe that there is nothing inconsistent with also saying that we can institute some common-sense gun laws so that we don't have kids being shot on the streets of cities like Chicago, that we can institute strong background checks, that we can trace guns back to potential unscrupulous gun dealers who have pedaled them to people that shouldn't be getting them. You know, those are laws that I think the majority of Americans believe in."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.