In his new book, At the Brink, economist and author John R. Lott Jr., assesses the presidency of Barack Obama and recalls conversations regarding gun laws they had while working at the University of Chicago.
In Chapter Three, Mr. Lott discusses gun-control and takes the reader back to his time at the University of Chicago, where he and then-professor Barack Obama spoke on numerous occasions about guns in America.
"I don't believe people should be able to own guns," Obama told Lott one day at the University of Chicago Law School.
Lott explains that he first met Obama shortly after completing his research on concealed handgun laws and crime.
"He did not come across as a moderate who wanted to bring people together," Lott writes.
After he introduced himself to Obama, Lott suggested that they have lunch one day to discuss their views on guns. According to Lott, Obama "grimaced and turned away." That was the way many conversations with Obama ended, Lott says.
Although the Law School was famous for the openness of its faculty and friendly engagement, Lott says, "Obama...preferred silent, scowling disdain to collegiality."
President Barack Obama describes his views on guns much differently now that he is on the national stage, Lott believes, pointing to an interview on Fox News in which Obama states, "I have said consistently that I believe that the Second Amendment is an individual right."
But, Lott isn't convinced:
"Despite his assurance to Fox News that he understands the Second Amendment, it's a good bet that the positions Obama took on guns during his time at Chicago reveal his true convictions."
The chapter documents the actions that Obama has taken on guns, citing the following:
- In 1996, Obama supported a ban on handguns
- In 1998, he supported a ban on the sale of all semi-automatic guns
- In 2004, he advocated banning gun sales within five miles of a school or park, which would have shut down nearly all gun stores
Mr. Lott concludes the chapter, titled, "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," writing, "Barack Obama is the most anti-gun president ever. That claim is based not on my own interactions with him back in the 1990's but on his own public record over many years."
He ends with a warning:
"The greatest threat is in his [Obama's] power to reshape the federal courts...Each appointment to the Supreme Court could determine whether the people are allowed to keep their guns."