Candidates Duel Over Gun Ruling

Obama steps back from support of ban; McCain smells red meat, slams rival
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2008 4:17 PM CDT
Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., center.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama and John McCain were firing away even before the Supreme Court's Second Amendment salvo today, Talking Points Memo notes. The Democrat backed away from a year-old comment (by an aide) that he thought Washington’s handgun ban was constitutional; the Republican smacked his opponent for flip-flopping—even using a reference to Obama's much-publicized remarks about "bitter" Americans and guns.

Obama praised the part of the decision he found most favorable—saying the opinion had “identified with the need for crime-ravaged communities" to protect themselves “through common-sense, effective safety measures”—and merely noted that the DC statute had gone too far. McCain, meanwhile, said the Court debunked “the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness.”