Friday, July 10, 2015

Thanks to the NRA's election efforts, Democrats should feel free to go on record for gun control

There is absolutely no reason that every Democrat shouldn't feel free to push for stricter gun control. For the past few decades prevailing wisdom has been for Democrats seeking national office should shy away from the gun issue for fear of alienating the gun enthusiast vote. The problem is that in every Presidential election since at least 1992, the NRA and other pro-gun groups have claimed that if elected the Democratic candidate will seize everyone's guns. They have said that regardless of what the Democratic candidate's actual position (or often non-position) on gun control may be. And that has been their claims in every single election (including reelection campaigns) notwithstanding the fact that Democratic presidents keep not seizing everyone's guns, or even trying to.

I suspect that shying away from gun control has delivered exactly zero votes for the Democrats. So why keep doing it? Hopefully, Clinton's new boldness on the gun issue represents a change in the prevailing wisdom.