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.