Conservative leader David Barton told "The Glenn Beck Show" Tuesday night that citizens have "the biblical right of self-defense." His comments run contrary to President Obama who on Wednesday created a gun task force designed to review existing gun laws in light of recent shootings, including the one in Newtown, Conn., last week.
"In the case of the Second Amendment, the founding fathers didn't call it the right to keep and bear arms the way it is written, they called it the biblical right of self-defense," said Barton. "So the ultimate goal of the Second Amendment is to make sure you can defend yourself against any kind of illegal force that comes against you, whether that is from a neighbor, whether that is from an outsider or whether that is from your own government."
This is not the first time Barton, who leads the group WallBuilders, will collide with liberals. He maintains a strict view of the U.S. Constitution and feels strongly that the Founding Fathers intended the nation be based on Judeo-Christian principles and that liberals and the courts often misunderstand the separation of church and state. Nonetheless, he is a popular and sought-after speaker.
"In the case of the American Revolution, if the Founding Fathers had not been able to take on that illegal British government coming … so for them, it is not a matter of you have too many bullets in your magazine, it's not whatever the government has, that's we have got to have the same thing," he said. "If they have an AK-47 and we only have a bb gun, then that is not a deterrent. The whole purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that you have equal power with whatever comes against you illegally. At that point, this is what has to control the gun debate."
Obama made his announcement on his gun control task force during at late Wednesday morning press conference and appointed Vice President Joe Biden to chair the group.
The president said the task force would not focus strictly on access to firearms – particularly semiautomatic weapons – and high-capacity ammunition magazines, but also on mental health care, school safety, and law enforcement improvements. He has also been criticized for not acting soon enough by making gun control an issue in his first term.
"This is not some Washington commission," Obama said, speaking from the White House briefing room. "This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now."
However, opponents of gun control are arguing that no laws being discussed now would have prevented the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and that more should have been done to prevent people with severe mental conditions from obtaining firearms in the first place.
The nation's largest pro-gun organization, the National Rifle Association, will hold a press conference on Friday to address the recent shootings and the president's proposals.