Delaware Assault Weapons Ban Bill Defeated Senate
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As Woody Allen is credited with observing, 80% of success is just showing up. And if you want a simple, distilled explanation of why Second Amendment supporters tend to prevail over time, that’s it in a nutshell. The anti-gun side is good for whipping up short-term outrage and maybe a telegenic protest or two, but when it comes to defending our right to keep and bear arms in inboxes and at the polls, the pro-gun rights side has a great batting average.

That fact of political life is exactly why Delaware gun owners aren’t staring down the barrel of a new “assault weapons” ban. When it came time for the Delaware senate to consider the measure earlier this week . . .

If you want to know why Delaware Democrats couldn’t even get an assault weapons ban on the Senate floor for a vote, here’s why: Gun owners are the ones who showed up.

Look no further than the packed Senate chambers on Tuesday’s vote. Opponents of the ban far outnumbered supporters.

It’s true that in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the anti-gun side has had some success ramming though new bump stock bans, long gun age restrictions and even the occasional assault weapons ban. They’ve even been able to do this in some states previously thought to be safe from such measures.

But as this week’s Delaware experience shows, when gun owners flex their collective muscle, even anti-gun politicians pay attention.

Gun owners turned out in force at public forums and were far more vocal on social media. And I consistently heard that lawmakers were getting more emails and phone calls opposing the bill than supporting it.

Sure, there were active, passionate advocates who worked hard in support of the assault weapons ban. But in terms of consistent engagement, they were badly outnumbered.

What did all that pressure do when it came time for a vote?

The result was clear. Not one Republican crossed the aisle to vote for the bill, not even the ones in vulnerable districts who sometimes vote for gun control bills. Even if one had “flipped,” the bill still would have died — both Democrats whose districts are below the canal voted no.

That’s right, two Democrats voted against bringing the ban bill to the floor. As we’ve seen time and again . . .

(J)ust because people support something doesn’t mean they are going to go out and fight for it, or that they will vote based on that issue. And, as a practical political matter, polls are no substitute for direct, active engagement with lawmakers, at least at the local level.

This has long been the reality of gun politics in America. Enthusiasm for gun control waxes when there are mass shootings but soon wanes. Gun owners’ enthusiasm, on the other hand, is reliable and consistent.


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  1. Good news from my birth state.
    I hope that DE gun owners can stick it out as long as necessary. I don’t see this being the last “common sense” bill unfortunately.

  2. I wished this worked in California. Unfortunately, with a near supermajority, the Democrats that dominate the committees do not care what we have to say, no matter how many of us show up. Their minds are made up before they open the floor for public comments. They have even been known to insult pro-gun advocates to their faces.

    • cali had its chance to turn the tide way back in 1994 with bill 187 and since no one fought the feds on its merts

      all the GOP smart people saw that the dinner bell had been rung and supper was on FREE for any illegal alien that showed up! So they left and the state has been going down hill ever since.

      all I can say is f—Arnold swatz-a-nagger Gary Colman should have WON!

      • Gov Wilson and 187 are what turned California Latino voters to Dems!

        Latinos are socially conservative and majority were Republican (look how many Hispanic votes Reagan got).
        The harassment of legal Hispanics turned almost all Republican Latinos into Loyal Dems.

        Instead of getting a good turnout for Wilson and launching him on the way to President, 187 got us a huge turnout for Dems!

        • My prediction for California is that next year we are going to see the beginning of a pro Republican shift in the state that will sweep the country. It’s no accident that the Chinese tariffs were announced after Trump’s meeting with N. Korea. The tariffs aren’t about negotiating fair trade with China they’re a distraction while he lines up other trading partners (N. and S. Korea) to fill the gap and they’re designed to weaken the Chinese economy while reducing our annual trade debt over the long term. He’s using a similar strategy on immigration only leveraging his success with the tariffs and N. Korea. Trump’s going to build his wall and secure our southern border. Once that’s done he’ll have made his base happy. People aren’t bothered by the 11 million illegal immigrants here, they just the free for all at southern border to be shut down. So he’ll come up with some slick Trump way to give current undocumented immigrants amnesty and a path to legal residency. The Latino community will see the democrats for what they are, liars who only ever intended to keep them on the hook but never intended to get them residency. In one fair swoop he’ll have gained as many as 30 million new Trump supporters and significantly weakened the Democrats where they’re strongest.

        • Thats a complete lie about “conservative latinos”.
          They CONSISTENTLY vote Dem and always have. They have never voted more than 40% R nationally since the 80’s.

          As for 187 in California, this article explains it best:

          Your statement that 187flipped them to D is like the one about the 2 Jews in front of a Nazi firing squad:

          Nazi: “Any last words, JEWS?”
          Jew 1: “FUCK HITLER!”
          Jew 2: “Shhhh, you’ll make them angry!”

        • Republicans lost California because republicans refuse to stand for anything. That is why Trump got elected. And his most difficult opposition is from the republican party. Not the Democrats.

          California was lost to the pot heads. They put legal marijuana intoxication above having a gun for self-defense. And having been born and raised in California, I know what I’m talkng about.

    • It would work if the people of California cared enough to show up like they did in Delaware. Delaware is one of the few non-slave States in the east. They still remember Caeser Rodney, the hero of the vote for Independence. That’s why he’s on their quarter. That’s why every other building in Delaware is named after him.

  3. Hell yeah. Unfortunately it just takes our side longer to mobilize. After any event the left has dozens of anti gun resources with deep pockets, with legislation ready to go, that can whip up a bunch of kids and adults that don’t have jobs or responsibilities, into what seemingly looks like a huge “movement.” We actually outnumber them, are with the popular opinion of the country, and have legal, moral, and historical precedent on our side. But it takes us time to organize an event because people of the gun often are responsible people with jobs, bills, and families.

  4. This is the same reason Hillary lost. She went way to far to the left to get the votes from the left field out there fringe, that the left leaning middle class just did not want any of it.
    Sadly, the pictures are all old white men – where are the female and minority supporters?

  5. It’s worked in Illinois. I fear after the November emaculation 3000 protesters in Springfield won’t mean squat…

  6. Gun control is the 3rd rail. November is going to be an eye opener for the left. If they have a enough iq points to figure it out.

    • Where you been jwm?!? I nearly quit TTAG after RF left but decided it was better without him….

    • I remember Bill Clinton muttering about how “gun owners never forgive, never forget and ALWAYS vote”. He mentioned that he tried to tell Hillary not to even speak about guns, but she didn’t listen. THAT was probably his fault also.

      • The old Arkansas Cooch Hound does know something about politics, but Shills and company thought they knew better about voters, we were lucky there.

      • gun control is the “tar baby” of the democratic party….they just can’t help themselves

      • “gun owners never forgive, never forget and ALWAYS vote”

        Bill Clinton was so correct. That Is why I hold ANYONE and EVERYONE accountable: homosexuals, liberal self-hating jews, Libertarians, Liberals and the Left, all who support gun control.

    • Get ready for the spectacle of the left coming unhinged when the vote totals are counted. I plan on popping some popcorn while I’m watching it. It will be like the night of Trump’s victory over Clinton.

    • gun control always is…just like social security occupies the same position for republicans…

  7. I’m happy to hear of this win in Delaware. It really makes me ill To see just how bad my state has become “N.Y.” really stinks of dem/Lib Rulership. Wouldn’t it be great if we the POTG could split the country in half , one half for the hoplophobe’s. One half for the true American patriots ? One can have a dream right. Not . Pretty soon they will try to outlaw free thought. Fight hard for our rights under the constitution of the United States. I would like to think our future generations won’t have to do battle for freedoms that are written in stone and supposed to be undeniable. Fixed 10 rd magazine on an AR-15 or featureless but still with a 10 rd max. Try to buy a Ruger BX 25 mag or two for my 10/22 no way. A box of 9mm for my new Ruger pc9 carbine. Need to show my pistol permit that I don’t have. Foolish laws & rules made by morons with no knowledge of firearms !! Corrupt politics . vote accordingly when the time comes , rid our great country of its foul politicians. VOTE REP. OR STAY HOME.

    • can’t believe having to purchase the right to buy a firearm would survive a court challenge…how can you charge someone for a basic right?…what’s next…having to pay for free speech…or to become secure in your home and person?

  8. Gun owners might be outnumbered by anti gunners in opinion polls (maybe – I have yet to see a poll that publishes methodology) but gun owners have skin in the game and can be relied on to vote.

  9. Josh Newman might be gone and the Dems are 1 vote short of a supermajority on paper, but until 30 to 50 percent of Republicans stop voting for whatever the Democrats propose in the name of compromise, the Dems have a very safe supermajority.

  10. People in Florida need to do the same outside of Marco “Little Hands” Rubio’s home. I don’t even care if it’s a Democrat who beats him, people in Flordia don’t ever vote for the water bottle Rubio.

    • We aren’t given much in the way of choice here. Floridah is no different then a small microcosm of the USA. Less then a dozen Counties control most of the voting here in the state.
      Republicans are mostly RHINOs in all of these counties.
      The South Eastern tri county area here is driven by Latino Rhinos and transplanted North Eastern Libitards. Not much a good person who believes in a Constitutional law system can do here anymore. Our days are red state numbered.
      County red/blue in the USA in 2016

    • Sorry, little hands was Trump’s nickname. Marco is little Marco.
      Jay, once you pass Palm Beach on the East side and Naples on the west the state becomes a bit more red.
      Sarasota is reliably Republican and then there’s the Villages. I think they would run you out on a rail if you put up a blue sign.
      But you are right, the state is purple but is shifting towards blue.

      • Looking at the map I put up as a guide. You can see whats what. In Dade(Miami) its been Rhinos who say one thing to get elected. Then knock out any positive bills that would give us our rights back.
        Here in So East Floridah and Im in Palm Beach. We is doomed………..eventually as a State.

    • I don’t even care if it’s a Democrat who beats him

      You sound EXACTLY like the fools who gave California Dems a profound super majority, allowing them not just gun control but open shredding of the entire Second Amendment

  11. When we consider that ALL the monied Masters of the Universe are against us, ALL the Democrats are against us, ALL the media opinion makers are against us and ALL the Hollywood sluts are against us, it’s very surprising that we are still doing so well.

    • Because, despite all that money, all that “fame”, right is right. Truth is truth.

      • Please don’t overestimate the intelligence of the average American, and do not underestimate his cowardice or his greed.

  12. This bill was killed twice, thanks to the hard work of the Delaware State Sportsmen Association and gun owners. It died in committee then, Senate Democrats attempted an unprecedented vote to suspend rules to bring it to the floor for a vote. This vote narrowly failed. They have already said they will bring this back in January. If you are in DE Join the DSSA and support those senators who voted to protect the rights of DE gun owners.

  13. Great story!
    But, no resting on laurels! Every state is in play, particularly this November.
    Do not take this lightly- VOTE!!

  14. Much of South Florida politics is identity based (Cuban Republicans have a much better chance than white guys) if you look at recent history.
    RINOs vote with Dems 25-50% of the time; Democrats vote with Democrats 100% of the time. Which do you prefer?

  15. So, if you show up, you call the shots. They’re not gonna like that the normals have figured that out.

  16. I don’t see us 2A folks prevailing in NY. When the Ardsley Range was under attack four years ago, the anti crowd has at least five times the number of speakers during open Town Hall Sessions as there were supporters.
    When the Demanding Moms and Marchers For Our Livers came out in the thousands a couple of months ago, the counter protesters numbered around one or two in my community.
    I agree that showing up counts, but we gotta do it.

  17. Kudos to Delaware!! I have lost all hope of intelligent thinking among the humans in my state of Illinois…..unfortunately the entire state is controlled by the loser Mike Madigan and all of Cook County (pardon me, CROOK county and Chicago) and personally I cannot wait to be rid of the move away cannot come soon enough!! Illinois has lost untold numbers of residents because of their lazy, inept, crooked, hypocritical politicians and their outrageous taxes and I have to wonder what they will do when there is no one left who is paying taxes….Chicago has such money trouble and CORRUPTION….I despise the place and the politicians…wouldn’t give any of them air if they were in a jug!!!

  18. 2A supporters were very passionate about defeating this bill in Delaware. One reason we “showed up” is because it’s a small state…short travel distance to the state capital.

  19. Good show guys.
    If this was commie kalifornia, maybe a dozen would show. The other 4-11 million are glued to their couch texting and eating potato chips.

    • some really nasty stuff being proposed in new jersey…in the way of increased fees…then what else is new in that hell hole…

  20. If any of you guys and gals are worried about gun control in our state of residence, sell and come to Texas.

    Nothing of the sort is ever going to happen here.

    In Texas you can carry an open firearm (short and long arm), a K-bar fighting knife and all others, a taser and even a spear.

    The few things you can’t legally carry are a club, throwing disks, double sided blades and pepper spray but for the very small ones that a woman might carry. Everything else you can imagine is probably on the list of what’s legal.

    • We’ve had open carry for a long time, but in practice it just brings tons of unwanted attention if you are in the northern part of the state (deep blue). It may be different in the other 2 counties but I’ve only seen 1 open carrier in my life here. CCW licenses are not too hard to come by here. But honestly, with all of the NJ, NY and MD folks moving into our state its just a matter of time before the wife and I will vote with our feet. Texas is on the list.

    • I have been open carrying in Delaware for five years, since I turned 21. I open carry my kukri and have open carried my AK47 dozens of times. Never had a problem, but I live in Kent County.

      Delaware isn’t that bad for gun rights. No gun signs don’t have any force of law, I can and have ignored them plenty of times. The only real downside is the concealed carry licensing.

  21. Amazing how Democrats always want to suspend the rules to get
    their legislation to the floor.

  22. Re the results above described in Deleware, might it be that gun owners are beginning to show signs of life, is that the long overdue awakening finally has arrived, one wonders.

  23. This is why Governor Fredo of NY used a message of necessity to force a vote on the unSAFE Act at 11:00pm, with no opportunity for public debate.

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