Obama says gun ownership ‘shouldn’t be’ a partisan issue

·1 min read

Former President Obama argued in a new interview that gun ownership shouldn’t be a partisan or ideological issue, amid renewed discussions of gun safety legislation in the wake of several recent mass shootings.

“I think somehow — and there are a lot of historical reasons for this — gun ownership in this country became an ideological and a partisan issue in ways that it shouldn’t be,” Obama said in an interview with “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson set to air next Tuesday.

Rather, the former president suggested that arguments over gun ownership have become a “proxy” for arguments about “culture wars.”

“Instead of thinking about it in a very pragmatic way, we end up really arguing about identity and emotion and all kinds of stuff that does not have to with keeping our children safe,” he added.

Several recent mass shootings have led to renewed calls for gun reform legislation. Eight people, including three children, were killed in a shooting at an outlet mall outside of Dallas, Texas, last weekend.

Five people were killed last month in Louisville, Ky., when a former employee opened fire in a bank. Six people, including another three children, were killed at a Nashville elementary school in late March.

However, even as some states have moved to implement stricter gun laws, they face an uphill battle in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen last year.

The ruling, which found that gun restrictions must be based in the country’s historical traditions, was central to a federal judge’s decision on Wednesday to strike down a Virginia gun law that barred 18- to 20-year-olds from buying handguns.

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