"When somebody just drives up into your driveway and you’re not home, you don’t know who these people are, you don’t know how long it’s going to take for the sheriffs to respond, I can see why you’d want some guns for protection."
Obama, quoting Michelle (or purporting to quote Michelle), showing some understanding of principles of federalism related to the way people have different needs and different policy perspectives in different parts of the country.
Rereading the quote, I said: Why Iowa — of all places where people might have a preference for guns? Why Iowa and not, say, Idaho? Vocalizing the question made me instantly see the answer: They had to go to Iowa to campaign. Iowa's the big early caucus state. They know Iowa, but they don't know Idaho. Why would they?
By the way, how long does it take the police to respond in Chicago? They know Chicago....
I assume Obama likes to graciously acknowledge that there are some parts of the country — unsophisticated places — where people cling to their guns because that's all they've been able to figure out so far in their limited little lives. Show a little respect for these rubes before you proceed further, to school them on the need for gun control. But drag in Chicago, and it gets complicated. Chicago is the very place where he thinks the gun control is needed, the very point that must be explained to the blinkered farmers.
If you concede that you might want a gun when somebody comes up to your door in Chicago, it's no longer clear what the sophisticated people are supposed to think.