For the 2016 elections, the Democrat presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley — are all pro-gun control. Not only do they support President Obama’s recent executive orders, they want to go well beyond what he’s pushing. “I absolutely agree with what the president is trying to do with his executive order,” Sanders said to a cheering audience at a recent Democratic candidate forum [via thehill.com]. “I know I’m being attacked as being a stooge for the NRA. Well, some stooge, I have a D-minus lifetime voting record.” According to time.com . . .
Today, Clinton’s calculus has changed. She has come out this campaign in favor of gun control measures with a vigor that surprised even some Democrats, targeting minorities and urban voters. Without contradicting any of her policy positions from 2008, Clinton is helping shape the national debate about firearms, calling for a “national movement” to “stand up to the NRA” and lambasting Republicans for voting against gun control legislation.
From the businessinsider.com:
O’Malley went on to suggest the repeated mass shootings in America are a “national crisis.” Morris said the email is the start of what will be a “major push” from O’Malley during his presidential campaign. In it, he pointed to his record on gun control in Maryland, which included passing legislation in 2013 that banned assault weapons, lowered magazine capacity, strengthened state regulations for gun dealers, and required fingerprinting for gun purchases.
“I proudly hold an F rating from the NRA, and when I worked to pass gun control in Maryland, the NRA threatened me with legal action, but I never backed down,” O’Malley wrote.
Second Amendment supporters are dedicated voters. Their intensity is 3 to 10 times greater than disarmists, as measured by numerous online polls. The last time that Democrats fully embraced gun control going into an election year, they lost the House in the historic election of 1994. No one thought it could happen. They embraced gun control again in 2013, and lost the Senate in 2014. They have convinced themselves that it is a winning issue in 2016.
This is the first presidential election I can remember where the Democrat presidential candidates openly embraced gun control. Bill Clinton did not; he ran as a Second Amendment-loving moderate. President Obama did not. He claimed to support the Second Amendment in both his elections, and didn’t embrace gun control as a policy issue until after he was elected to his second term.
Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders and Governor O’Malley believe they can thread the needle on gun control by focusing on “universal background checks” (rather than outright confiscation or bans). Polls have said the measure is wildly popular. The polls do not say that the measure is popular because voters are not aware of the details – or the implications.
Support for the Second Amendment is at an all time high. It seems unlikely that voters will trust a pro-gun control Democratic nominee to only infringe on the Second Amendment a little bit. In general, voters trust the NRA more than they trust politicians like Sanders, Hillary or O’Malley. It will be hard for them to backtrack their support for gun control in the general election.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch