Paul Ryan: "I Don't Even Think President Obama is Proposing More Gun Laws."

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 10 2012 2:01 PM

Paul Ryan: "I Don't Even Think President Obama is Proposing More Gun Laws."

Rep. Paul Ryan's interview with local TV in Flint, Mich. ended poorly. Reporter Terry Camp ended the conversation with some leading questions about guns and taxes; traveling press wrangler Mike Steel ended the interview, and Ryan snapped at the reporter for "trying to put answers to questions."

If you take a look at the gun laws we have, I don't even think President Obama is proposing more gun laws. We have good, strong gun laws. We have to make sure we enforce our laws.
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That was on October 8. But three days earlier, Ryan had shared a stage with the NRA's political leadership, who told their audience that Barack Obama was literally going to take away their guns. "In this election, there is no debate," said the NRA's Wayne LaPierre. "There is only one choice – only one hope – to save our firearms freedom and our way of life." The NRA's full statement listed two actual Obama threats to conservative interpretation of the Second Amendment -- his Supreme Court appointments. And then, this.

Obama’s administration worked on a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that would undermine our Second Amendment rights, and he has helped cover-up the deadly Operation Fast and Furious scandal, arming Mexican drug cartels that continue to kill countless innocent American and Mexican citizens. He has also said that the ability of lawful citizens to carry a firearm for personal protection should be banned nationwide. As a state legislator, he opposed a law to protect people who use guns in their own homes for self-defense; endorsed a total ban on the manufacturing, sale and possession of all handguns; and supported a 500 percent increase in federal taxes on guns and ammunition.

Left unmentioned: The NRA's theory that Fast and Furious was approved by Eric Holder (not true) to make Americans scared of guns. Ryan's accurate assessment of the Obama gun policy is fine; the third party groups are responsible for the rube-bait.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.