Disarming the Obama Administration

Gun owners need not apply.

Every president-elect vets his incoming staff and usually that vetting begins with a lengthy questionnaire. But one question asked on Barack Obama’s questionnaire is raising hackles among gun owners and fans of the Second Amendment. Question No. 59 begins: “Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun?”

[Jim DeMint]

The questionnaire goes on to insist that a gun-owning jobseeker “provide complete ownership and registration information,” and asks: “Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint believes the incoming administration is biased against gun owners in its hiring. “The questionnaire already seeks information about illegal activity so there is no reason to ask this question unless the Obama Administration plans to use it to discriminate based on lawful activity,” he wrote in an email blasted out to supporters recently. The senator plans to follow up by introducing federal legislation making it illegal to discriminate against someone for the simple fact that they lawfully own a firearm.

Mr. Obama is skating dangerously close to reigniting the political wars over gun control. Bill Clinton blamed the gun issue for helping cost Democrats their House majority in 1994, and Al Gore supporters believe it was pivotal in his 2000 presidential defeat. Nor did Mr. Obama help himself with his famous quip about “bitter” rural voters “clinging” to God and guns. His questionnaire not only shows a certain disdain for gun owners but a typical ignorance of how gun ownership works in America. The vast majority of guns are not “registered” per se. Most long guns can be purchased by filling out a form and passing an instant background check. That creates a paper trail that can later be used to track a gun. But it’s not a registration that can lapse and doesn’t typically follow a private sale of a gun.

Then again, maybe Team Obama is just checking for recent receipts so it won’t be embarrassed by the discovery that one of its appointees is among the hordes of shoppers who have lately rushed to Wal-Mart to scoop up guns since Mr. Obama was elected.

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