Aiming for Gun Owner Votes, McCain Takes More Shots at Obama

(CBS)

From CBS News' John Bentley:

If Barack Obama is elected president, "the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk" John McCain told members of the National Rifle Association. "The Second Amendment isn't some archaic custom that matters only to rural Americans, who find solace in firearms out of frustration with their economic circumstances," McCain said, referencing Obama's comment that some Pennsylvanians "cling to guns and religion" out of bitterness. "The Second Amendment is unique in the world. It guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. To argue anything else is to reject the clear meaning of our Founding Fathers."

Obama responded by describing the NRA's position as being worried about the "smallest concession" resulting in guns being taken away from everyone. "I think people have the right to lawfully bear arms," Obama said. "I do believe that there is nothing inconsistent with also saying we can institute some common sense gun laws."

McCain admitted that he hasn't always agreed with the NRA, either. The group opposed his campaign finance bill because they believed it would restrict their ability to run advertisements during political campaigns, and he has advocated for background checks at gun shows. "I recognize that gun shows are enjoyed by millions of law-abiding Americans," McCain said. "But I believe an accurate, fair and instant background check at guns shows is a reasonable requirement."

Gun rights weren't the only issue McCain hit Obama on today. He continued to criticize his probable Democratic opponent for his willingness to meet with leaders of rogue nations. "Sen. Obama would meet unconditionally with some of the world's worst dictators and state sponsors of terrorists," McCain said. "The American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep us safe."

Obama countered that McCain's attacks were both divisive and dishonest. "The real shift in policy is John McCain, who has been attacking me and implying that somehow I want to negotiate with Hamas when it turns out that he is quoted saying that we have to deal with them" Obama said, referring to a Washington Post editorial that implied McCain thought the U.S. should meet with Hamas in 2006. "He has been the one who has been inconsistent."