By Johannes P.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundgren Grimes (above), is challenging GOP Senator (and 2008 winner of the NRA’s Defender of the Constitution award,) Mitch McConnell for the right to represent the Commonwealth in the U.S. Senate – and she’s hinting that she stands behind the Second Amendment. Ms. Grimes recently issued a challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell . . .
The senior Senator from Kentucky has apparently not responded to that challenge, and so Ms. Grimes needled McConnell again on Twitter after he walked out on stage at CPAC Friday holding a rifle aloft while the classic Bon Jovi tune “Livin’ on a Prayer” blared from the sound system.
More important than a critique of his rifle handling techniques, however, is Ms. Grimes’ actual stand on the Second Amendment. The Democrat sure was talking a good game in a statement issued to the Lexington Herald-Leader in November:
As an NRA member, my strong support for the Second Amendment is unquestioned…. I am proud of Kentucky’s long-held gun ownership, sporting and hunting traditions. It is unfortunate that Sen. McConnell is desperate to mislead Kentucky voters about my strong support for the Second Amendment.
While we earnestly look forward to the day that the fundamental civil right to keep and bear arms has broad bipartisan support, a number of Democrat stalwarts in the past have also talked a good game on the issue (see: Manchin, Joseph), only to leave civil rights supporters in the lurch when it was politically convenient to do so. A bit of healthy skepticism is therefore warranted when a member of the party of Nancy Pelosi and Orval Faubus claims to be a defender of the right to keep and bear arms.
Grimes angered the [NRA] by attending a Las Vegas fundraiser last month where trial attorney Michael Papantonio was a co-host. In the wake of mass shootings, Papantonio has been intensely critical of the NRA.
Mike Papantonio is a highly successful mass-tort attorney from Florida, who has brought in trial verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He also is the co-host (with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder,) of the talk show Ring of Fire. And given his opinions, the phrase “intensely critical of the NRA” is something of an understatement. Here are some of the views that this silver-tongued orator from Pensacola expressed in a December 2013 interview with RT America:
[Y]ou have a Republican filibuster….that has continued to pave the way for….an epidemic of death with our school children. Almost two hundred school-age children have been killed by the NRA’s epidemic of death…. If you take a look at the real numbers … 1 million deaths….have taken place from guns since 1980. And that number is geometrically increasing is the best way I’ve seen it described. The $30 million that gun rights fanatics have placed into this effort to let the continued killing, primarily of children, that money is not matched at all with the voice from the other side…. It’s a pretty one-sided fight.
We regularly read the New York Times, and we’re confident that the NRA’s killing spree would’ve made the front page if Papantonio’s over the top comments were even in the same neighborhood as the truth. So far, we haven’t seen Ms. Grimes distancing herself from his outrageous claims.
The Kentucky Senate race, however, is far from over. Ms. Grimes’ challenge to Sen. McConnell is an opportunity. Bucking the Democrat party line seems to be her go-to strategy. She has already broken with the leadership of her party by supporting a balanced budget amendment, and said flatly that she “strongly opposes President Obama’s attack on Kentucky’s energy industry” via her website.
Since both Senator McConnell and Ms. Grimes are NRA members, perhaps the NRA could host a friendly little shooting event featuring Ms. Grimes and Mr. McConnell at a mutually-acceptable Kentucky shooting range. Ms. Grimes could use the opportunity to speak directly to the people – to explain that whatever their differences on other issues, she stands with Mr. McConnell in defending the people’s rights from infringement.
Or maybe she could promise that when she’s in the Senate, she’ll support legislation for national concealed carry reciprocity, and strengthening the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act to prevent petty little tyrants like Mike Bloomberg from harassing law-abiding citizens who travel through his city? She’d have an opportunity to explain how she’ll oppose attempts by President Obama to restrict the Second Amendment through regulatory chicanery or executive orders. Maybe she could even tell us how strongly she supports the right of every American to own modern semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47.
Convince us, Ms. Grimes. Gun owners with people like Mitch McConnell because they have stood with us on this issue for a long time. But we’re also uncomfortable with Senators having a tenures that are measured in decades. So please let us know: which side are you on? Your party’s or your constituents’?