DURYEA, PA, Sep 6 : Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama suggested that people cling to guns because they are bitter, but he is still plagued by questions about his position on gun control.
"There are rumors going around that . . . you're going to take away our guns," said Joan O'Neil, a resident of tiny Susquehanna in northeastern Pennsylvania, a big-time area for hunting.
This gun issue that Obama has tried to deftly navigate throughout this long campaign and one that damaged him here in his primary fight with Hillary Clinton.
And it's one that could do even him even further harm in the general election, as he is matched against a pro-gun ticket that includes a vice-presidential nominee who has been photographed firing an assault rifle.
And indeed, several of the dozens of plant workers invited to Obama's economic "town hall" here in this town outside of Scranton, Pa. nodded as the question was asked. Pennsylvania has the highest per capita rate of National Rifle Association members in the nation.
"I believe in the Second Amendment, and if you are a law-abiding gun owner you have nothing to fear from an Obama administration," Obama said.
"This has been peddled again and again. Here's what I believe: The Second Amendment is an indvidual right. . . people have the right to bear arms. But I also believe there is nothing wrong with some common-sense gun safety measures."
GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, now likely the most famous moose-hunter in the country, mocked Obama's stance on guns during her nomination speech Wednesday, when she accused him of talking "one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco," -- a reference to Obama's now infamous comment about some people in America who "cling to guns or religion."