The subhead of this Atlantic article is ‘The party is betting that support for restrictions is more likely to attract moderate voters than turn them off.’ That probably seemed like a really good strategy before March, when a pandemic followed by widespread rioting, looting and defunding of police departments sparked the biggest gun buying surge in the history of the world ever.
As we saw the other night, the Democrats are obviously sticking with that approach, hoping that millions of first-time gun owners won’t be turned off by the party’s avid civilian disarmament bent. As every sports and political talking head says about every issue they’re ever asked about, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Leaders in the gun-control movement expect to push a Biden-Harris administration to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks, and a federal red-flag law that would permit authorities to remove firearms from Americans considered a threat to themselves or others, Feinblatt told me. Maybe, he added, the administration will even revive discussions about an assault-weapons ban.
But like much of the party’s agenda, any legislative progress on gun control almost certainly depends on an overwhelming Democratic victory in November. The base may be more unified than ever on the issue. Its lawmakers might be too. But absent a Democratic wave—and perhaps the end of the Senate filibuster—winning the White House won’t be enough.
Bloomberg’s presidential campaign folded shortly after that February house party in McLean. Watching the convention last night, I thought about another voter I met there: Rebecca Boldrick Hogg, a retired teacher and the mother of David Hogg, a young gun-control activist who, like González, survived the Parkland shooting. David, Boldrick Hogg explained at the time, was all in for Sanders, but she couldn’t abide the senator’s once-moderate record on guns. Her son was willing to accept that Sanders’s political positions had evolved, but she couldn’t bring herself to forgive him for it. Her vote, like so many others’, hinges on where a candidate stands on guns.
– Elaine Godfrey in Democrats’ Unprecedented Embrace of Gun Control