But where does he stand on the Second Amendment?
According to a new Zogby poll this week, Herman Cain has soared into the lead and now sits atop the Republican field. Here are the latest results:
- Herman Cain (28%)
- Rick Perry (18%)
- Mitt Romney (17%)
- Ron Paul (11%)\
- Newt Gingrich (6%)
- Jon Huntsman, Jr. (5%)
- Michele Bachmann (4%)
- Rick Santorum (2%)
- Gary Johnson (1%)
Cain is one of a few Republican hopefuls who have taken a strong stand on issues that are important to political conservatives. But where does he stand on the Second Amendment?
Some of the top contenders (such as Rick Perry and Ron Paul) have pro-gun records to run on. Others (such as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich) have very mixed or anti-gun records in their haunted past. But Cain has no legislative record. We have no history in public office by which to judge him — which is why it’s so important that GOA gets an answer back from him on GOA’s Presidential Survey.
Otherwise, we only have bits and pieces of speeches and interviews that Cain has engaged in. And while those statements help somewhat, they also raise more questions than they answer.
For example, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer earlier this year, Cain expressed strong support for gun rights: “I support, strongly support, the Second Amendment. I don’t support onerous legislation that’s going to restrict people’s rights in order to be able to protect themselves as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”
But in answer to a follow-up question asking whether states or local governments should be allowed to impose gun control restrictions, Cain said, “Yes. The answer is yes, that should be a state’s decision.”
That’s an answer that needs further explanation, especially given the fact that almost one year earlier to the day, the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that states and localities were limited with respect to interfering with a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.
Now, to be fair, it could be that Cain is thinking: As President, it’s none of my business what the states do on guns or any other issue. A true constitutionalist (unlike the current President) would understand that the federal government has limited powers and is restricted to exercising the 17 or 18 powers that are spelled out in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Moreover, a true constitutionalist would understand that the states — as James Madison said — have “plenary powers” to try different approaches. As goes the cliché: the states are separate “laboratories” for public policy experiments.
Cain’s statement about state gun control does raise some important questions though:
- Is he aware that the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment wanted to impose the Bill of Rights — and specifically the Second Amendment — upon the states?
- What does he think about the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald? Does he agree that states and localities — subsequent to the Fourteenth Amendment — are constitutionally barred from banning guns?
- And what about concealed carry outside of one’s home state? As President, would Herman Cain sign or veto a bill like H.R. 2900, which provides for concealed carry recognition amongst the states?
We don’t have answers to these questions, and that’s why GOA’s Presidential Survey is so important. It asks about concealed carry recognition, the renewal of the semi-auto ban and repealing gun restrictions (like the Brady law and various import bans). Plus it gets the candidates’ views on issues such as UN gun control, undoing existing anti-gun Executive Orders and reining in the BATFE.
GOA has sent a survey to Herman Cain, but so far, he has not returned a completed questionnaire. And here’s where you can help.
ACTION: Please contact the Cain campaign and urge him to return GOA’s Presidential Survey. You can contact Herman Cain by cutting-and-pasting the message below after going to his contact page here: http://www.hermancain.com/contact-us
—– Pre-written letter to Herman Cain —–
Dear Mr. Cain:
Congratulations on your rise to the top of the Republican field. According to Zogby, you now lead in the polls.
I know that you have taken some strong constitutional stands in general. However, I would like to know where you stand on the Second Amendment in particular. I know that you have made some positive statements on firearms, but there have been other comments which have caused concern.
Gun Owners of America tells me they have sent you a Presidential Survey, but that you have not yet returned it. Their survey asks about issues that are very important to me including concealed carry recognition, the renewal of the semi-auto ban and repealing gun restrictions (like the Brady law and various import bans).
Would you please return GOA’s Presidential Survey? I look forward to hearing from them that they have your questionnaire in hand.