The Obama campaign talks a lot about new ideas and expanding the political map, but in the swing state of Pennsylvania, which the campaign has focused on almost exclusively since the Democratic convention, old-school issues still rise to the fore.
The latest example came Friday during a small political event at SCHOTT North America Inc., a glass factory in Duryea, Pa., where even a hand-picked crowd threw Barack Obama a curve ball.
A woman in the crowd told Obama she had “heard a rumor” that he might be planning some sort of gun ban upon being elected president. Obama trotted out his standard policy stance, that he had a deep respect for the “traditions of gun ownership” but favored measures in big cities to keep guns out of the hands of “gang bangers and drug dealers’’ in big cities “who already have them and are shooting people.”
“If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.
So he tried again. “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ he said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’’