Democratic sit-in (courtesy time.com)

“Although guns are likely to be a hot topic of discussion among Democratic campaigns and even voters in the months ahead,” Stuart Rothenberg writes at washingtonpost.com, “there is no reason to believe that gun control, in any form, will be a decisive election issue in November.”

Really? Has Mr. Rotherberg forgotten the impact of gun control initiatives  on Al Gore’s ill-fated run for President in 2000, where he lost his home state in the general election? Or the Republican’s rout of the Dems in the ’94 election?

A quick Google searching reveals a 2009 New York Times article The Deadly Myth of Gun Control in Electoral Politics. Well they would say that wouldn’t they? But the Gray Lady’s editorial board also relates the Gore debacle and President Clinton’s analysis of gun control’s impact on the ’94 election.

Mr. Gore’s bigger Tennessee problem was his failure to seriously compete there by providing adequate resources to answer N.R.A. distortions, for instance, and matching George W. Bush’s numerous visits. Largely obscured by the 2000 presidential drama was the loss in Florida’s Senate race of an N.R.A. stalwart, Bill McCollum, to a consistent Democratic supporter of gun control, Bill Nelson.

“The N.R.A. could rightly claim to have made Gingrich the House speaker,” Mr. Clinton wrote in his 2004 autobiography, pumping up the gun lobby and, not incidentally, himself by attributing the body blow to his party to his principled leadership on guns . . .

None of this gets a mention in Mr. Rotherberg’s analysis. He also fails to consider what’s called “the enthusiasm gap.” While it’s true that most voters cast their ballot along party lines — come what may — gun rights supporters are, unlike their anti-gun adversaries, to a great degree, single-issue voters.

Equally important, they vote. Unlike millions who will stay home during the next election, gun voters will hold their nose, cover their eyes, block their ears and vote for Donald Trump. And against local legislators who trample on their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Even if Democrat candidates, journalists and TV talking heads talk about guns and gun control every day from now to November — and even if House Democrats stage more protests — it’s very unlikely that those things will make gun control any more decisive an issue than it has been.

Actually, I beg to differ. The more legislators agitate for gun control, the worse their election chances. Put another way, those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

73 Responses to Washington Post: Gun Control Not a “Wedge Issue” for the November Elections

    • Write in ?
      No, vote for the only choice – take a wild guess who HE is.
      I totally agree, I hope the conservatives will get off their lazy asses and get out and vote.
      If not, we’re terminally screwed.

      • Democrats usually have a higher turnout during presidential elections than midterms. In 2004 conservatives got a boost by adding state bans to samesex marriages in many swing states. This brought out many christian conservaties that may not have voted because the candidates were did not religious enough. If you want to win drag everyone you know to the polls.

      • It’s Trump or certain death. No write-ins, no third parties, no BS. Any vote that is not cast for Trump is a vote for Hitlary.

        • If you are in a state that is a lock for the Dems (like CA and WA), then you can vote Libertarian or write in without affecting the outcome one bit. CA is never going Republican, so their electoral college votes are going to the Dems no matter how you vote as a not Dem.

      • Trump is a liberal and anti 2a (I dont’ believe his current lies).

        I will be writing in a conservative. I’ll never vote for a hillary donor.

    • Look at california to see the future of the country if you elect Hillary (aka write-in). No seriously. SCOTUS is on the line. Specifically on gun issues. If Scalia’s death, and the decision in Caetano, avoidance of the 2nd in Voisine, Ginsburg? talking about repealing the 2nd/changing their decision in Heller/Mcdonald- then you’re too stupid and too blind to talk to.

      They realize it won’t be voted for. So they’ll ram it through when and where they can.

      They’re coming for gun control in a way we haven’t seen in 20 years. Be a fool and ignore democrats. But they’ve managed to get a vote in the HOUSE- a place they have NO leverage. Yet they’re getting a vote.

      There’s blood in the water from Ryan, who’s such a tough guy he lies about his marathon time and proclaims to have six pack abs yet never lets them be photographed (unlike Aaron Schock, who, while corrupt, definitely had a six pack and let it be photographed all the time).

      If you think Ryan who caved during Obama will show backbone under Clinton, and likely democrat electoral gains if Clinton is elected, then you’re too big a fool to even be worth another word.

  1. Not if elected representatives districts are redrawn to favor democrats.

    The die is cast, the systematic deconstruction of the Constutition and restriction of citizens constitutional rights is now the norm.

    What ever you thought America was its over, done, finished.

  2. The government is openly contemptuous of the law (See HRC news today and numerous actions by BHO).

    And the Constitution (See recent 9th and 5th Circuit rulings and Manchin’s “Due process is killing us” comment).

    I agree with Mk10108: Put a fork in her. America is done. Born on the 4th of July and declared dead on the 5th of July 240 years later.

    The currencies of the realm are now lies, denial and indifference. To paraphrase HRC: “At this point what difference does voting make?”

    The terrifying truth is that this point it makes very little difference. Yeah, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump but I deeply suspect that it will have basically the same effect as would voting for a new Captain on the Titanic after the ship had hit the iceberg.

  3. House voting on spending bill now , a Rep. said earlier they would get to guns afterwards , tonight.

    House goes on break July 15 , until September. They WILL try something …. stay on top of them !!!

  4. Sometimes, but not very often, I actually want to vote for someone. The rest of the time I just check to see their position on the rtkba and decide that way.

    • You do realize they lie about that, too, right? Mancin is a good example, very pro-gun rights until the day when his vote would make a difference, then bye-bye.

  5. We’re screwed. Trump’s negatives are so bad states such as Utah are in play. He has no ability to run a campaign and this against the most flawed candidate the Democrats have put forward in decades.

    Talk about depressing…

    • Yeah, because he totally didn’t kick the piss out of the GOP establishment in the primaries. Are you still stupid enough to believe liberal media “polling”?

        • Surge, the cliche “Romney in a landslide” is a reference to the fools like you who insisted all the ‘liberal polls’ leading up to the election were biased & not to be believed, just as you refuse to believe any poll that doesn’t show Donald doing well now.

          The fact is, it has been mathematically shown that the majority of Donald’s votes were from Democrats who switched parties to vote in the more exciting primary, but who never had any intention of voting in the general. In fact, the estimate is he would be at least third place if not lower had those millions of Democrats voted their conscience rather than for entertainment.

        • “The fact is, it has been mathematically shown that the majority of Donald’s votes were from Democrats….”

          Whomever “mathematically showed” that, is surely in line for a Fields medal…

          Or, more realistically, ridicule by anyone who can count past one,two, many…..

          On planet reality, it’s not unlikely a portion of The Donald’s primary votes were due to usually less than likely voters getting drawn in by the excitement. Plenty of supporters of both major parties are fed up with the establishment, which Hillary represents. Bernie was close enough to her, that it is not unlikely he would have won that side’s nomination, if he had entered with TV star credentials, fame and Charisma half of what The Donald has.

          But Hillary has at least a big a problem with unexcited, hence less likely to bother, voters as Trump has. Noone likes Hillary. Not even Bill. Her entire campaign platform is built around “less bad than that other guy.” A far cry from the excitement Hope and Change generated amongst the indoctrinati back when.

          So, if traditional part line voters o both sides are unexcited and no show at an above expected rate, that renders the vote of single issue gun voters even more important. The Trump campaign needs to realize that. Gun voters are a big, big voting bloc. He needs to get them excited enough to come out in droves, instead of worrying about judges with Mexican sounding last names.

      • He blew them away in the polling as well. It’s not like his primary victories were ever a surprise.

        Clinton is pitching slow, straight, and over the middle of the plate. Her husband has a shadowy meeting on the tarmac with the Attorney General right before the decision comes down about charges on her corruption investigation? That should be days of absolute slaughter. Instead, Trump retweets some stupid, unprofessional meme that his campaign has to spin furiously to damage control. A competently run campaign would be making huge strides right now, but competent is not a word you can use with Trump.

      • He got 40% of the vote and the primary electorate is VERY different than the general election. If con man trump is so popular, hillary is more so since she got millions more votes in the primary than trump

        trump’s negatives are massive. He’s going to get killed because women and minorities think he’s a bigot and sexist. Also he has no money for his campaign and hillary will have over 1 billion.

        I don’t support hillary donors and con man trump is a liberal hillary donor.

    • ^This.

      Trump is the worst candidate either party has produced in a very very long time. November is going to be a route.

      • Not to grammar nazi you here but this particular misuse of English irks me for some reason.

        The word is “rout”, defined as “a disorderly retreat of defeated troops.”

        Sorry, I dunno why that particular misuse bothers me so much, but it does. It’s up there with misuses to, two and too or there, their and they’re and you’re and your. It drives me nuts. Sorry, a OCD pet peeve of mine!

        • He’s still right-the route to hell. And it’s “an OCD” strych9…some of are commenting on the run with a smartphone:)

      • yes, his fiscal past (taking on massive debt for his projects, then stiffing people) is awful, and he seems unable to debate in any intelligent manner, which will for sure not go down well in international relationships. he got where he is from investing his dads fortune in NYC real estate, which does not take genius.

        • Larry,

          In a financialized and totalitarian regime like ours has been since Trump was out of diapers, you generally get rich by being at the right place at the right time, by being usefully to the rulers charismatic, or by simply playing ball against better moral judgment. Not by being a genius. There are rich people who are geniuses (Sergey Brin), but then there are equally bright people living in cabins in the woods (Kaczynski), as well as in every walk of life in between.

          Since totalitarian rulers have huge sway over who gets to be rich and who does not, it is in their interest to indoctrinate their underlings in the belief that people richer than them are somehow smarter. It is a huge part of what keeps the theft rackets known as Finance, Law and Real Estate even remotely viable. So, for the sake of a civilized America, please hold yourself to higher standards.

          Not saying Trump is not smart. Pretty sure he doesn’t come close to neither Brin nor Kaczynski, unless he is unusually good at covering his brain up. But the main reason Trump is rich, is because he graduated from a well regarded business school into a New York real estate family pretty much on the day Nixon abandoned the last sliver of the Dollar’s anchor to Gold. Ushering in the, by far, greatest redistribution of wealth in history. From productive people everywhere, to banksters and those closest to them. The latters centered in New York, where Trump happened to own a bunch of choice properties, and where a captive government zone and regulate for the benefit of those who happen to do so, again, as usual, at the cost of everyone else.

        • Taking on massive debt, then stiffing creditors; is infinitely preferable than taking it on, then stiffing taxpayers for the benefit of creditors. So, perhaps Trump has the experience to Make America Great(er at least) Again after all….

    • Bullshit! I can’t STAND it when someone sanctimoniously tells me I *have* to vote. That might fly when there’s a good choice and a bad one; I should surely go vote for the good choice. But we don’t HAVE a good choice this time around, and that’s assuming the whole thing isn’t rigged (i.e., your vote matters not) in favor of Hitlary.

      The result is, we’re screwed no matter what. So why bother to vote? Why this insistence that I pick one of two horrible choices to be able to complain about the shit that was served me?

      • My opinion, trying to determine the lesser of two evils in this case is easy, Trump is comparable to the clap, Clinton is full blown A.I.D.S.

      • I’m in complete agreement Steve(gasp). Only I wish Ted Cruz was still running. This coronation is totally about guns…and whether I vote is MY business. I’m still gonna’ be-otch.

      • Yes, we are voting, once again, for the lesser of two evils. However, I refuse to hand Killary a victory because I didn’t vote. Every vote not cast is a vote for her. It’s a case of denying Trump my vote. I may not like everything about him, but I detest anyone who treats the rest of us like serfs… people to be walked on so her feet don’t get muddy. She has thumbed her nose at the American people, and then wiped her a$$ with the Constitution.

      • With a voter turnout that averages between 25-35% of eligible voters the USA might be the pinnacle of democracy but doesn’t really want to practice it. This is how special interest groups can tip the balance by marshaling enough voters to vote for their cause. The Republicans did it in the 1980s and then forgot. The Democrats have been doing since the Clinton the 1st era.

        In my part of the world we have compulsory voting. You get fined if you don’t vote and your excuse isn’t good enough. And we just gave a shock to an arrogant political leader and his party who took the electorate for granted.

      • So if this were WWII, you would have let the Axis powers conquer the world because Stalin was one of the allies?

      • @(almost) everyone who replied to me:

        My main issue is with the fucking RETARDED trope that I have no right to complain if I didn’t vote.

        For the record, I will almost certainly vote for Trump.

        But even people who don’t vote, for whatever reason, have a right to complain. A thing called “The First Amendment.” It’s just as important as the Second.

        (I sometimes wonder if I am the ONLY person in the United States who supports the ENTIRE Bill of Rights.)

    • SteveInCO,

      I didn’t realize that voting means we only vote when it feels good or when we like a candidate personally. I was under the impression that we should vote for the best candidate on the ballot, no matter how awful the field of candidates on the ballot may be.

      Suppose you are operating a multi-million dollar business that requires a special truck and that truck requires maintenance every month to stay in operation. Now, further suppose that you personally despise the only two mechanics in your state that can fix that truck. Do you close the doors on your multi-million dollar business because you despise those mechanics and refuse to do business with them? Or do you plug your nose and pay the best mechanic to keep your truck running and take solace in the fact that you get to keep running your multi-million dollar business?

      • @Uncommon,

        I guess I really messed that one up.

        My major complaint is with the “if you didn’t vote you have no right to complain” so-called “logic” some shitheads repeatedly employ–that’s basically an attempt to nullify someone’s first amendment right to complain about the government simply because they don’t see any point to voting for one reason or another. It makes no allowance for what one should do when one is equally (or nearly equally) dissatisfied with both candidates, or when one believes the system is rigged.

        I’ve voted for president every election since I turned 18 (and it has been with increasing disgust at the choices I had). I will do so again, and I will have to take a shower immediately after voting for Trump.

        But I’m sick and tired of being told that those who don’t vote have no right to complain.

  6. This is the time for patriots to do the right thing and get out the vote. You don’t shoot a recalcitrant child of questionable intelligence. You punish it to teach it to never do the bad thing again. If the gun grabbers aren’t punished – and I mean absolutely devastated – at the voting booth this November, they will be emboldened and will take everything. If they are punished, if the lose both the House and the Senate, if they lose the Presidency and their ability to appoint Supreme Court justices and thereby the Supreme Court for the next 30 years, they might learn.

    Punish them. Take away their cushy jobs and expense accounts. Take away their prestige and platforms. Take away their false superiority and grossly distended egos. Vote them out of government “service” and into the working world where they’ll suddenly have to perform valuable services or go hungry.

    Vote against every gun-grabber, whether Democrat or Republican. Have everyone at your club, your church, your office, your school, everywhere, do the same. Punish them.

  7. I will wait and see if this year is any different. Many people just do not bother voting but happy to complain about the results.

  8. Can’t redraw districts until after the 2020 census.

    Dems took a beating in 2014 Senate races, too. Gun control was a big issue then as well.

  9. Well, the WP is at least consistent, finding a way to spin every event as Their Chosen Team Good / The Other Guys Bad, Good For Their Team / Bad For The Other Guys, Their Guys Will Win / The Other Guys Will Lose.

    That said, the folks inclined to vote “D” already despise anybody who might be pro-gun, not because of the gun issue, but just because they despise them.

    The pro-gun folks are a spectrum, from motivated and politically active to less so both ways. Every time the D’s raise the stakes on guns, they recruit for their opposition. And the way they can’t help going about it, they make themselves distasteful. Really, more sit-ins on the House floor. That convinces nobody, but makes you look petulant and powerless.

    Trump will play this to the hilt, because that’s what he does.

    More interesting are the undercards. If the R’s have any brains – I know, about the odds of Presumptive Nominee Clinton getting indicted – they’ll focus on vulnerable seats, and let the D’s do the work.

    I’d be really entertained if the anti-gun rhetoric, plus the blatant, relentless “laws are for the little people” put some purple states in play, like bitter-clinger-vill in PA. There’s a surplus of arrogance, corruption, and bad governance in PA, associated with the D’s every time. I’d say that positioning the multiple scandals to dirty up the D’s was good political practice, but that would mean the R’s have a clue.

    When an utterly incompetent party is closest to your own views, the only thing to do is self-mobilize.

    • Trump won’t play anything to the hilt because he can’t stay focused long enough to do that. Yesterday, he had the perfect set up to bash Clinton for being a lying criminal and starts off on some tangent praising Saddam Hussein. WTF!!

  10. I don’t know if it’s time for Texas to sucede, but I am. I wanna make my house an independent nation.

    not sure what I should name it

  11. Not all gun owners are single-issue voters. Not even the majority.

    So, yes, it will contribute. But given everything else at the stake, for most people it won’t be the issue on which they will decide.

    • I’m a single issue voter. That single issue is freedom. And the right to keep and bear arms is the definition of a free person versus slave for all of recorded history.

      And if a politician stands against my right to be free, ie to KABA, that politician is for slavery , period.

      That tells me all I need to know about a politician. And who I will vote for, or to vote against.

      • Not quite that simple, alas.

        Even if your single issue is freedom, what do you do if one side wants to restrict Freedom A and leave Freedom B alone, and the other wants to restrict Freedom B and leave Freedom A alone? Now, you’re suddenly a two issue voter (“I want Freedom A and Freedom B and neither candidate will give me both”), and you have a tricky choice. In spite of being a single issue voter, you now have to prioritize.

        Of course, in your particular case, you appear to regard RKBA as more fundamental than other freedoms (a not unpopular feeling here, and I tend to share it if push comes to shove), Or maybe you think the other freedoms are also supported by the same candidates. OR…I’ve completely misread you.

  12. Gun bill debate live NOW on H.R. 5611 at ; www. House . Gov.

    We must ban everything , because terrorists and stuff , — Ban FREEDOM — or the bad guys win ? WTF

    • I think Hitler said something like “the beauty of fascism is one must adopt fascism to defeat fascism.”
      I’m pretty sure, looking back at the past 50 years or so, he was right and the Axis may have lost that particular battle but they are without question winning the war.

      No different than telling German women they can;t wear short skirts because the invading Muslims won’t be able to refrain from raping them or that Americans can’t have firearms because a terrorist might also have firearms or that nobody on Earth should have privacy because if you have anything to hide it must obviously mean you’re evil.

      We are living on a fascist planet. Some little corners appear more free than others relatively but we’re all under the boot.

  13. Voting for anyone else but Trump is a vote for Hillary.

    But, wait!, voting for anyone but Hillary is voting for Trump.

    Logic is a bitch.

  14. Completely agree with this article, as much I liked to rag on every liberal stance on issues there is, there came a point in my life where I realized how little I actually knew or cared about most of them. I just accepted I don’t have time to research the effects of the legalization of marijuana, or the benefits to supply side (or trickle down, as it’s usually called) economic theory versus Keynesian economic theory, or just how evil the Koch brothers are because at the end of the day; none of it affects me on a level as direct as an assault weapons ban or magazine restriction, and no amount of falsely attributed Plato quotes or insults levied at me for not caring about the “bigger picture” will change that.

    That being said, I’ll be voting Trump this election cycle; but you won’t see me wearing any hats or putting any signs on my yard. It’s a utilitarian vote and sadly, Trump’s the best chance we have at better gun laws.

  15. If gun control is not a defining wedge issue, it will be because it has already been overshadowed by the broader tyranny that has already taken shape over every aspect of our lives including gun rights.

    I had misgivings about supporting Trump, but yesterday cleared that up for me. I just don’t care anymore, I cannot allow Clinton to take office without voting in direct opposition. The country is going to hell anyway, but she does not deserve to preside over it.

  16. Oh, Trump would be a disaster as a powerful executive, doing executive things or god help us exercising “leadership.” (Don’t step in the leadership.)

    The thing is, with an R-party President, the majority of the press, and the D-party organized operatives (but I repeat myself) will relentlessly, aggressively, energetically investigate and oppose every single thing s/he does. In other words, with the other party in office, they’ll do their job, exactly with all the energy and commitment they apply to not doing their jobs when “their guy” is in.

    Heck, with an R majority in congress, not having a budget might become an actual issue. Do your damn jobs.

    From the NY Times:

    “Every generation needs a Mencken. Not H. L. Mencken proper, reincarnated in all his old prejudices, but an observer as critical of the provinciality and double standards of the moment as Mencken was of those in his own time.”

  17. I gotta say, the more vehemently these people clamor for gun control the more they push me to do the unthinkable. Vote for Trump. SIGH.

  18. Here’s why they’re wrong. I’m not a fan of Trump. In a normal election cycle, I might not even support him and instead pull the lever for the 3rd Party guys.

    But with the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency, I don’t have that luxury. The Supreme Court is in the balance. She has been aggressively vocal about pushing gun control. And gun rights is the most important issue for me.

    So I’m backing Trump. With my vote. With my money. With my time.

  19. Although the gun issue did indeed help to defeat Al Gore this time around things unfortunately for gun owners are vastly different. Many gun owners I have spoken with plan on voting for Hitlery. They believe that the Republicans will keep control of both Houses and that Hitlery will not be able to pass any gun ban laws. The average gun owner is retired or near retired and they will be voting with their pocketbooks. They know that Obama took what he could get to get some form of Health Care reform passed but it fell far short of making health care affordable and failed miserably with prescription drug coverage which is bankrupting many people even though they have health coverage. In other words most people will be voting for Hitlary even if they own guns not realizing the tremendous damage Hitlery can do to the Second Amendment even if she cannot by pass gun ban laws through Congress. By appointing anti-gun Supreme Court Justices local Cities and even States can pass unconstitutional gun ban laws and the Supreme Court will rule in their favor no matter how outrageous the gun ban laws are. In the last few weeks the life appointed dictatorial Supreme Court and lower courts have consistently voted to trash the Second Amendment despite Scalia’s ruling before he died.

    The shame of it is recent polls have shown Kasich could defeat Hitlery by a wide margin in an election but Republicans erroneously believe Trump running as an independent would cost them the election. Kasich is a shrewd disingenuous politician which would be a god send to greedy businessmen and could win over a lot of Democratic blue collar voters as well with promises of a better life which he would rather commit suicide over than keep. The up side is that Kasich probably would prevent any draconian gun ban laws being passed except for assault rifles which he would probably ban. Ditto for Trump as well as he would also ban the semi-auto rifles too once in office and probably have magazine bans for pistols too while like Kasich becoming a god-send to rich greed monger businessmen.

    In short both gun owners and the common man will gain nothing and lose everything in this election. The American people will continue to lack social programs because of obscene wastage of scarce tax dollars on constant wars of rape, pillage and conquest to make the American Businessmen more and more wealthy and the American gun owner will feel the hangman’s noose tightening daily around his Second Amendment rights until the ultimate goal of the outlawing of gun ownership or the expense of owning even a few obsolete firearms financially impossible except to all except the exceedingly rich and powerful as it is in all nations, its nothing new.

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