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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama’s Efforts to Fund the Self-Described ‘Most Aggressive Group in the Gun Control Movement’



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Yesterday I wrote that despite Barack Obama’s claims that he believes in the Second Amendment, is a friend to gun owners, never supported a complete ban on handguns (despite a questionnaire from early in his career stating he did), etc., those claims are hard to balance with his approval of Chicago’s effective ban on handguns. In Obama’s entire time in the city, there’s no record of him ever objecting to it.

Obama’s audacity on this issue goes even further.

Obama was named a director of the Joyce Foundation in late 1994, and remained in that position until late 2002.

During Obama’s tenure with the Joyce Foundation, donations to anti-gun groups increased dramatically. For example, in 1997 and 1998 the Violence Policy Center received $221,000 and $360,000 from the Foundation; those grants and donations increased to $1 million in 2000 and $800,000 in 2002. In all, during Obama’s tenure, the group received $15 million from the Joyce Foundation.

The Violence Policy Center, despite its name, never seems all that concerned with beatings, stabbings, immolations or explosions. No, they’re completely focused on gun violence, and they can effectively be called an anti-gun or pro-gun control organization.

Lest anyone think I’m mischaracterizing their objective analysis, note that their web site touts themselves as “the most aggressive group in the gun control movement.” Also note studies like their one from 2000 entitled, “Unsafe in Any Hands: Why America Needs to Ban Handguns,” which declared the idea that the Constitution would forbid a national handgun ban a “pure myth.” Also note the organization’s subtly-titled book, Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.)

It’s not just the VPC. The Joyce Foundation also provided several large grants to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, which can also be safely described as an anti-gun or pro-gun control organization. Besides their role in “litigation designed to change the way guns are designed, marketed, distributed, and sold,” the center perpetually argued that guns in the home were more dangerous than protective.

In 1996, the foundation Obama directed approved $662,525 in grants to the Johns Hopkins Center, and by 2001, they gave another $600,000.

In the wake of today’s ruling, you’re going to hear Barack Obama claim passionately that he believes in the Second Amendment and that he is a friend to gun owners. It will be interesting to see how he can rectify that with his efforts to fund books like Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns.


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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