Debate Completely Ignores Gun Control. Again.

There were many topics discussed at the Vice Presidential debate tonight. Abortion, taxes, the wars in Afghanistan and Syria… There was much to talk about. But the one notable topic missing from the discussion, and the one that we here care about the most, was the candidate’s views on firearms policy in the United States.

The Vice Presidential debate is, in my opinion, more important than the presidential debate. In the “main event,” the competitors deliver answers to questions that are vetted through focus groups (if not always fact checkers) and designed for maximum benefit to the candidate. They have to be very careful about what they say and how they say it, and going off-script is something not seen on TV since Nixon’s flop-sweat.

The VP debate, on the other hand, is seen as the arena where the real opinions of the candidates come out. Compared to the top of the ticket, the bottom generally isn’t payed as much attention and anything they say can easily be brushed off as the VP presenting their opinion and not that of the ticket (thankfully for Biden). So when it comes to the VP debate, its generally believed that the statements and opinions presented are closer to the candidate’s true beliefs than their own statements. Which is kinda crazy if you think about it. But, then again, this is American politics.

So imagine my disappointment when I listened to the whole thing, bladder full the entire time and not wanting to take a break lest I miss something, and not a word was spoken about gun politics. Again. The original third rail of politics (medicare) was discussed at length, but guns were off the table. Its like both parties know that there’s no ground to be gained by opening that can of worms, since their base already knows where they sit (supposedly) and reminding the independents doesn’t earn them any points.

Personally, I would love to see an all-out moderated gun control debate. Heck, I’ve been poking RF to get something to that effect lined up for the site. But instead, for the second debate in a row, the economy was the star of the show.

Not that I’m necessarily complaining. The economy is in the toilet for everything except ammo and MREs, and I’m interested to see how the candidates would fix it. But I was disappointed that they completely glossed over the topic of guns.

There is one debate left that discusses domestic policy, coming up on October 16th. Personally, I’d love to see the candidates get some questions about gun control so we can see their positions debated on the national stage. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that we’ll be going to the ballot box without that particular discussion having taken place.

It feels strange — I actually agree with the Brady campaign about something. I want a conversation. And we’re not getting it.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

64 Responses to Debate Completely Ignores Gun Control. Again.

  1. avatarMichael B. says:

    You abstained from pissing just so you could watch this pointless little dog and pony show?!

    You know what the cool kids were doing, right?

    Watching the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead.

    Frank Reynolds for VP.

    • avatarready,fire,aim says:

      don’t worry about gun control ……let’s work on getting this tyrant out of office 1st …. we can always put romney’s feet to the fire later..besides they are going to be soooo busy fixing obama’s f**k up’s i’m sure that will be last on the republicans list….

    • avatarAl Cohol says:

      I was right there with you. Who could miss the season premier of Its Always Sunny to watch this pointless “debate” ?

      Frank Reynolds for VP.
      Charlie for President.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      I would have liked to watch the debates, but MLB divisional playoffs are going on, much more important than what Joe Biden has or hasn’t got on his mind.

  2. avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

    I will again repeat that gun issues are so far down the list of what is important to the American people today that it’s not even on the list. The debate reflects that. What exactly is so critical on a Federal level regarding guns that it should have been included in a 90 minute VP debate?

    • avatarBob says:

      Fast and Furious.

      • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

        Vast majority of the American people are oblivious to Fast and Furious and wish to remain oblivious. Biden would have simply said, The President and I had no idea.

        • avatarBob says:

          Then Ryan should respond, “Well since the President invoked Executive Privilege to prevent the Senate from getting to truth about this scandal, and he also prevented the Inspector General from questioning the top people in his administration, we may never know whether that is true or not. It sure looks like he is trying to prevent the American people from learning the truth about this national scandal.”

  3. avatarST says:

    There’s nothing to discuss.Obama will not openly declare support for gun control before being re-elected ,and Romney’s stance is the status quo.

    I did see something interesting happen though.Biden used the idea of conservative Supreme Court nominations as a threat to Roe vs Wade.Based on my informal sampling of friends abortion is a right most women cherish more than everything else,including guns.Even politically ignorant women know about Roe vs Wade and may toss their hat in for Obama based on the SCOTUS nominations.

    I need not explain what a disaster that outcome would be for our gun rights.

  4. avatarPascal says:

    I believe Biden said it all, the next president make 1 or maybe 2 SCOTUS which hopes to use for abortion right which he called “open minded” – if you follow that tact, they will use the courts for whatever is on their agenda including gun control.

    Obama wants the US to be socialist and want wealth distribution and ultimately more government control. When Obama wins gun control will be on the agenda, but their is no way they will play that card right now which could take away many independent voters.

  5. avatarg says:

    I’m kind of glad that it didn’t come up. Debates kind of getting reduced to one-liners and zingers at a certain point… I think us TTAG folks want a reasoned discussion, rather than a political pissing match.

    • avatarJoshinGA says:

      You cant have a reasoned discussion with antis about gun control. Its all about emotion with them. Reason plays no part in their decisions.

      • avatarGA_Koenig says:

        To play devil’s advocate; you can’t have a reasoned debate with our side (collectively).

        For example: essentially everyone agrees that folks with a history of violent felonies, domestic abuse and mental health issues should not possess firearms. The femtosecond *anyone* suggests strengthening background checks, making gun owners responsible for the security of their weapons or any sort of licensing/registration scheme – gun owners turn to weapons grade righteous indignation and start putting on tri-fold hats and blathering on about the constitution.

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          I’m pretty sure the majority of those issues have been discussed to death on this site by various writers without solely relying on constitutional arguments against them.

        • avatarJoshinGA says:

          The Constitution and FACTS back up our side collectively. So there would be no “reasoned” debate. It would turn into facts vs emotion.

        • avatarGreg Camp says:

          We’re in a battle with the control freaks. We know that if we give them any ground, they’ll just demand more. Until they’re willing to come our direction, we have no reason to offer them anything.

  6. avatarjwm says:

    We know which side has difi and her permanent AWB waiting in the wings and which side has hillary hanging with the UN. And yes for most Americans the economy is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

    I know 2 +50 yo people that have registered to vote for the first time in their lives and it ain’t guns they’re voting against barry for. But any vote against barry is a vote in the right direction regardless of motive.

  7. avatarGun Rabbi says:

    All I could take from that debate was that when I get dentures, I’m gonna ask for the “Biden.”

  8. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Funniest comment I’ve seen about the debate, relayed by my nominally conservative sister-in-law: “Somebody call 911, there’s an old guy beating a child on national TV!”

    On-topic, I’m glad 2A issues didn’t come up. We are winning on cultural normalization, and it would be counterproductive to try to make it a thing in the presidential race. State by state, county by county in California’s case, we are making steady progress.

  9. avatarAharon says:

    I went for a long bicycle ride with a friend missing the entire Lady Gagga & Clint Eastwood stage act. We visited three gun stores. I really like the Browning Buckmark Camper Stainless 6.5″ round-bull barrel at $399. In Oregon City we ate smoked salmon at Tony’s Fishmarket and sampled their salmon jerky which tasted like candy. Much later, after we arrived back in our hood, we went out for pancakes and eggs. Much more enjoyable than watching TV.

  10. avatarSanchanim says:

    I saw about half of the debate. I then turned it off to spend some quality time with the family. While we here at TTAG hold the second amendment and it’s implementation there of in high regard, it isn’t what the rest of the country is focused on. Right now it is jobs, the economy as a whole, $5.00 gas, if you live in California, and also the general lean or stance on social issues.
    I don’t agree with the right on some social issues, but what I do know is with regard to many other things, some of my personal feelings can be set aside. I am not a single issue voter, so my choice is decided by multiple issues, and the order in which I consider them important to me.
    While the poles show this debate a statistical tie, I felt Ryan came across more collective, than Biden. The smiling and laughing really got to me after a while.
    I also didn’t care for the format, and the moderator didn’t seem to keep control of the situation.

  11. avatarChase says:

    Why would it even matter?

    Biden already gets the talking points from the media that will point out hes a gun owner therefore its ridiculous to say he wants to ban guns.

    Though the misleading fact is by Biden own admission, the shotgun he owns is a Over/Under.

    You can pretty much own a Over/Under in every country in the world. I really don’t think Ryan would be even ready to point this out or even remotely have the balls to say the second amendment is about exterminating the rats in Washington not hunting or clay pigeons.

  12. avatarMD Matt says:

    There’s nothing to talk about. None of the candidates want to have that discussion, especially based on their mixed histories on the subject. The public doesn’t care for all that firearms are more acceptable now than they were 4 years ago. I can sum up their positions for you.
    Biden: “I helped author the AWB but I don’t especially want to energize the NRA base, so I’m not going to talk about it even though it’s part of my party’s platform.”
    Ryan: “I hunt and like guns. I don’t want to see any further gun laws implemented. We have good strong gun laws.”
    That’s it.

  13. avatarChad says:

    I don’t need a conversation. Joe Biden loves to taught the fact, that he crafted the AWB ban under the Clinton administration. He’s said he would support another, except this time, he wants it to have teeth and make it permanent.

    I could care less, whether the candidates debate the issue. We already know the Democrats position.

    I also know, that for gun owners who we vote for in November is a NO BRAINER! Romney/Ryan won’t appoint judges that are anti 2nd amendment. Any bans on magazines or specific weapons, are off the table under Romney/Ryan.

  14. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    Just a reminder that in the foreign policy debate Fast & Furious might/should come up. That it also may come up in the next domestic debate also…

    • avatarrosignol says:

      Yeah, but if so, it should focus on the effects of the operation in Mexico (which should appall everyone in the US regardless of their position on the 2nd) rather than going off into speculative territory about Holder & company trying to gin up support for a hypothetical AWB2.

      Stick to what the evidence supports, the truth is bad enough for speculation to be unnecessary.

      • avatarTommy Knocker says:

        Agreed. I think a simple “you guys killed hundreds of Mexicans, what do you have to say to their families? Or will you ignore them like you did the Brian Terry family?”

  15. avatarWiregrass says:

    Do you really think Disney is going to put Biden on the spot on gun control? Or cause Romney/Ryan to commit to making specific promises protecting gun rights?

    Can’t say that I seriously watched this debate, only during commercial breaks in the Steelers/Titans game, but I haven’t heard any of the candidates debate civil rights violations yet. Both are on the same page in this area.

  16. avatarMark says:

    The debates are about trying to influence the undecided. Those of us with a point of view on The Bill of Rights aren’t who they are targeting.

  17. avatarhomobangbangamus says:

    “Personally, I would love to see an all-out moderated gun control debate. …”

    The problem is that you will not be allowed to debate the issue fairly. The people pushing these “gun control” issues are in fact leftists who are interested in one thing and that is disarming the population. They don’t allow “fair” debates on ANY issues because they always lose them. They only win when they control and shape the presentation to the uneducated public. They spend endless hours exploring ways to “craft” their arguments in order to win the public’s approval and injecting facts and truth doesn’t help their efforts and therefore they don’t allow it to happen.

    This is the left and they are liars first last and always because it is their only conduit to power. Once there they add fear and force to maintain their control from the cradle to the grave. The Soviet model works all too well and they know it and desire it. Freedom doesn’t get them what they want and must be destroyed.

  18. avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

    I find the surprise here at the lack of gun control being mentioned in the debate utterly hilarious. How much more evidence do you need before you understand that not only are there many far more important issues to discuss in the country today, but also that the majority of America just doesn’t care about your own personal obsession?

    Sure there are the hardline kooks that want a complete ban on guns, but from your own myopic position at the other end of the crazy spectrum you seem to think that’s most people, when it just isn’t. Most people don’t care that you stroke your rifle every night before you go to bed with a .45 under the pillow. Politicians are merely mouthpieces for what they think the most people want to hear, and it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t interested in the gun debate when there’s real life and death stuff on the table like Iran, China, healthcare, social security, corporate greed, jobs etc. etc. etc.

    • avatarjwm says:

      So with all those other major issues on the table, hmmmmm, why are you wasting your valuable time and effort on this apparently, to you, insignificent area?

      Multi tasking isn’t that hard for me. I can put thought and effort into the other issues and still keep the civil rights movement front and center. Stopping people from violating my civil rights is tops on my priorities, but the other problems we face as a country get my attention also.

      • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

        FLAME DELETED – WARNING – Persistent flamers will be deleted.

        It’s great that you think gun rights are the most important issue – bully for you. The point is that you are in a minority and most people don’t care about gun rights like you do. Most people are happy with the status quo, they would probably rather the candidates talk about what colour they will paint the oval office than talk about gun control – both are subjects that do not matter to them as much as all the more important ones I listed.

        • avatarjwm says:

          FLAME DELETED – WARNING – Do not respond to flames. Ping guntruth@me.com with a link and I will deal.

          I acknowledged further up that the economy was probably the most important issue for most folks this election.

          Most folks. But I’m in a position where I don’t need to worry about money so I put my effort into an area that’s important to me.

          And again, if our gun rights are so unimportant why are you here? Smacks of hypocisy, you declaring us a fringe group but you apparrently consider us too important to ignore.

        • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

          First and last time I agree with you, hmm clown.

  19. avatarGw says:

    Keywords / phrases. Judeo-Christian Philosophy. Individual Independence. Constitutional Republic form of government. Rule under Constitutionally-permitted Law. Government with specified and limited powers, certain powers prohibited to government under Constitutional Law. Primary purpose for institution of all government under the Constitutional Republic form, to secure Rights of the individual. Primary Rights of the individual based on Property Rights. First Property Right, ownership of ones own body. Individual Rights include ( but not limited to ), the Right to Property and possessions acquired from the outcome of individual labor, the Right to Armed Defense of self, family, property and possessions.

    Pertinent statements regarding the purpose and intent of enumerating certain Rights in the Constitution of the United States as follows:
    Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
    [ Excerpt ]
    “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
    RESOLVED….”

    Amendment II “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

  20. avatarGS650G says:

    Biden showed how important it is not to vote for Obama. Imagine him as president.

  21. avatarDaniel says:

    Gun control is an extremely important topic to me.
    That being said, there are more important things to discuss at the moment. Sorry, it’s true. This was the only air time the VP and the VP hopeful were getting together. 2A shouldn’t have been part of the discourse. 2A SHOULD be in an upcoming presidential debate. Though I’m guessing it won’t be.

  22. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I think that right now, this pot of stew is best left unstirred. We are quietly gaining grounf back with the increase of concealed carry laws, castle laws, and the allowance of the AWB to fade away under its sunset clause. If we push the issue too hard, billionaires like George Soros (and he wouldn’t be alone) can afford to launch a polished media blitz that can set us back 20 years to a new AWB, ammo restrictions, national registration, and possibly worse. John and Jane Homeowner right now are focused on getting and /or keeping a job, and paying the bills. But if they become convinced that their little rug rats are going to be shot up at the local cinema, they will be ignorantly voting for “reasonable” gun control. “Reasonable” as defined by his highness the mayor of NY, Sen. Pelosi, and others. Seldom does anything good come of poking at it with a sharp stick to see if it moves.

  23. avatarMichael Bluth says:

    You know, with a DVR you can take piss breaks *and* not miss a beat, right?

  24. avatarDave says:

    Debates, just like elections are staged events. With Debates they talk about what ever is aproved by whom ever stages them. Elections are just a means to pacify a population in to thinking they have a choice. If that wasn’t the case then the events that transpired in 2008 would have been dealt with apropriately. Things like voter intimidation (by the NBPC ) or Vote tamporing (from ACORN ) both events can be tracked down in your favorite main stream news media. You will find a certain individual gave two individuals presidential pardons and that a certain individual took pament from a certain group to not prosecute anyone involved. Once it all came to light, in about a week it all fell off the radar. Do the research. I dare you. Voting in this country is a sick joke and a waste of your time….

  25. avatarBob says:

    We need a presidential debate on gun control. Not because it is the most important topic, but because it gets to the core of how a politician views the people of the country, and how he thinks government should interact with the people.

    “How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual; as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.” – Texas State Representative Dr. Suzanna Hupp

  26. avatarSaddletramp says:

    For starters, both the Democratic and Republican parties have made their side very clear on the firearms issue so a national debate on the subject is nothing short of redundance. For those individuals who think the firearms issue is of little or no importance, I have a suggestion. Move to a country that is a monarchy or dictatorship where ownership is not an issue so the citizenry can live in subjection instead of freedom.

  27. avatarMichael C says:

    Nick. You should invest in a DVR. Preferably before the next debate. They’re awesome because you can record and pause TV.

  28. avatarhanbo says:

    Greetings to jarhead 1982!I too went to Parris Island in 1982. Folks its obviously a puppet show for the uninformed masses,when you realize the debates are “scripted”.Fast and Furious is a prime example of the current tyrants attitude toward America.Semper fi &keep your powder dry!

    • avatarJarhead1982 says:

      OOOhhhraaah Hanbo, though I am a Hollywood Marine (San Diego MCRD), lol, damn sand fleas, and 1982 was the end of active duty, and early Happy B-Day to the Marines, 237 years old Nov 10th!

      Semper Fi

  29. avatarChris says:

    I was too busy working and not complaining about, “no jobs.” I was too busy saving a life for sake of doing whats right and good. Also for the sake of a paycheck to stimulate the economy. Not to mention stimulate the government, court and my soon to be ex-wife.

    My mind is made up in who I am voting for because as a responsible American I research candidates, not vot for a party. The debate is moot.

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