McCain: Obama's gun position 'elitist'

June 26, 2008 at 8:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nomine John McCain criticized his Democratic rival Thursday, accusing Barack Obama of having "elitist" gun views.

The comments came after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns and ruled that Americans have the right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, The Financial Times reported.

McCain hailed the ruling as a "landmark victory" for gun rights. Referring to remarks Obama made during the primary campaign, McCain said Obama is out of touch with Americans on gun rights.

"Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly," the Arizona senator said.

In the court's majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, a gun control advocacy group, said the court had ruled against the extremes on both sides of the argument by striking down an outright gun ban but affirming the ability of local officials to impose "common sense" restrictions on gun ownership.

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