Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Donít be afraid, Mr. President (Make our day gun grabbers!)
Salon ^ | DEC 15, 2012 | STEVE KORNACKI

Posted on 12/16/2012 1:54:54 PM PST by neverdem

Barack Obama and his party have been too terrified of angering gun owners to realize they can win without them

There’s no disputing that the Democratic Party has regressed dramatically on the issue of gun violence over the past two decades. When a shooting rampage on the Long Island Railroad killed six people and injured 19 others in December 1993, Bill Clinton responded immediately by calling for specific legislative action to prevent future tragedies. Contrast that with the response of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday to a question about whether the carnage in Connecticut might prompt President Obama to pursue gun control measures. “I’m sure there will be another day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,” Carney said, “but I don’t think today is that day.”

It can be hard to remember now, but well into the 1990s, national Democrats proudly associated themselves with gun control, championing laws that restricted access to deadly weapons. Under Clinton, the Brady Bill, which mandated a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handgun, was passed, and so was a ban on assault weapons. The 1996 Democratic Convention that nominated Clinton for a second term featured Jim and Sarah Brady as primetime speakers.

The years since then, however, have been marked by a steady and thus far enduring Democratic retreat on the issue, with the Second Amendment crowd now largely dictating the terms of public discussion and Democrats mainly trying to avoid their wrath. Consider Obama’s record on guns, which includes one achievement: a law making it easier to carry concealed weapons in national parks.

While the violent crime rate that fed the gun control zeal of the ’90s is much lower today, horrifying mass shootings seem to be on the rise. Six of the 12 deadliest sprees in American history have taken place just since 2007. In his own remarks Friday, delivered a few hours after Carney’s, Obama seemed to hint that the latest deadly outburst might actually shake him and his party from their defensive crouch on guns. “[W]e’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of politics,” the president said.

What that means is anyone’s guess right now. It appears that the Connecticut killer used several weapons, at least one of which would be illegal if the assault weapons ban – which the Republican Congress refused to reauthorize in 2004 – were still in effect. Obama is on the record supporting the ban’s reinstatement; might he now demand action? Or will he pursue other policy changes? Or maybe he’ll just end up doing what leaders of his party have done for more than a decade now: nothing.

The Democrats’ cowardice on guns traces back to the fateful election of 2000. Clinton, despite his aggressive pursuit of gun control measures, fared relatively well with rural gun-owning populations in his 1996 reelection campaign. But those same voters turned hard on Al Gore in ’00, shifting Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Arkansas and Tennessee to the Republican column. A victory in any one of those states – all of which Clinton carried twice – would have made Gore president. Democrats concluded that they’d scared off rural, lower-income white voters who had traditionally supported them – and that guns were the big reason why. A new consensus emerged: Gun control could no longer be a central component of Democratic messaging. So it was that John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 and 2012 did their best to ignore the issue. Kerry went so far as to embark on a goose hunt in rural Ohio just before Election Day.

In terms of political strategy, there’s been one obvious shortcoming to this approach: It hasn’t worked. Kerry did no better than Gore in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, and Obama has failed to win any of those states in two elections now. What’s more, there’s been no improvement in Democratic support among gun owners in any election since 2000. As Nate Cohn pointed out Friday, the lesson Democrats should be drawing from Obama’s two victories is that they can win nationally without the pro-gun vote. The Democratic coalition continues to evolve and grow, and the rural white voters who were key to its success generations ago have become a reliably Republican constituency.

What’s more, Democrats continue to be painted as the party of gun confiscators by the NRA and its allies. Even though there was nothing in Obama’s first term record for them to object to, the NRA bitterly fought his reelection this year, treating him as if he were Michael Douglas’ character in “The American President.” In other words, Democrats are already paying the political price that comes with being the gun control party. So if they believe in it, why not just say it – and act on it?

The answer typically provided to this question is that there are a number of Democrats in Congress from states with large gun-owning populations – think Joe Manchin and Jon Tester – and that the party’s current posture makes it possible for them to win. But a better way of understanding the success of these Democrats is that it’s come in spite of the national party’s reputation. Democrats like Manchin and Tester are already winning over voters who believe national Democrats want to take their guns away; this challenge will be exactly the same if national Democrats actually do start pursuing gun control again.

There were a few notable Democratc voices on Friday demanding that the party recommit itself to tackling gun violence. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Long Island Democrat who entered politics in response to her husband’s death in the ’93 LIRR tragedy, said Friday that she will be pushing “full force” for new gun laws in Obama’s second term – and that she’s willing to “embarrass” the president if necessary.

McCarthy, it should be noted, was showcased by her national party when she first ran for Congress in 1996. Her story of turning her loss into a crusade for gun control was one with which Democrats very much wanted to be associated. As her congressional career progressed, McCarthy became lonely voice, on Capitol Hill and within the Democratic Party. But the spike in mass shootings has given her a new audience and an opportunity win new allies (and to win back old ones) – and to exert real pressure on Obama to get serious. We’ll know soon enough if Obama is really feeling the heat.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; bloodoftyrants; democrats; guncontrol; obama; shallnotbeinfringed; tyranny; waronliberty; youwillnotdisarmus
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-37 next last
Obama didn't do anything to promote gun grabbing? How about Fast & Furious?
1 posted on 12/16/2012 1:54:58 PM PST by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

might he now demand action?>>>>>>>>>>>>

You mean like demanding that every school have at least 5 teachers trained at arms, and having locked access to their firearm in the classroom?

Go for it Obama!


2 posted on 12/16/2012 1:58:58 PM PST by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Candor7

Yes surm giid fir Clinton.

He really ended gun crime in NY, didn’t he.

In fact, there is no crime of any kind in NY, is there.


3 posted on 12/16/2012 2:06:32 PM PST by old curmudgeon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

There are many of us parents here in Newtown who will vigorously oppose any new anti-gun legislation out of Hartford or Mordor.


4 posted on 12/16/2012 2:08:35 PM PST by DTogo (High time to bring back The Sons of Liberty !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Ban the willy nilly distribution of mood altering prescription drugs to children, ban liberals and put real men in school as authority figures.


5 posted on 12/16/2012 2:14:45 PM PST by junta ("Peace is a racket", testimony from crime boss Barrack Hussein Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Reinstitutionalize the insane who are preying upon the general population. Millions of people own guns. They do not commit these hideous crimes. It’s the crazies who have been let out at the behest of the looney social engineers who are to blame for these atrocities.


6 posted on 12/16/2012 2:22:20 PM PST by txrefugee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Clinton demanded action, and when he got it he turned around and granted the Chinese a special waver so they could import IIRC 150,000 SKS rifles which sold for under $50.

While the Chinese were shipping in these weapons they were also smuggling in full auto weapons for the gangs.


7 posted on 12/16/2012 2:28:46 PM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Candor7; old curmudgeon; DTogo; junta; txrefugee; IMR 4350; cyborg; Clemenza; Cacique; NYCVirago; ..
Bill Bennett, Former Education Secretary, Says Schools Should Consider Arming Employees (VIDEO)

Chuck Schumer: Left Must 'Admit There Is Second Amendment' (VIDEO)

Don't get your hopes up. Chuck U Schumer still wants a so called assault weapons ban and to ban high capacity magazines.

8 posted on 12/16/2012 2:43:30 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Would we be better off if these nut jobs used fire or bombs? What do these control freaks think that the nut job will just say, ok it’s too hard to get a gun so I just won’t kill.

These imbeciles need a reality check.


9 posted on 12/16/2012 2:50:38 PM PST by Kenny (<p)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
If the time ever comes, Chuck U Schumer will be the one passing out bread and jelly to get the other Jews on the train.
10 posted on 12/16/2012 2:52:56 PM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Fast and Furious..Obama smuggling weapons from Turkey to Syria and the weapons getting into the hands of Al Qaeda..Obama has more blood on his hands than any gang banger in Chicago


11 posted on 12/16/2012 2:53:06 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; All

Right now, if you’re not already a member, go to the NRA site and sign up.


12 posted on 12/16/2012 2:59:05 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Salon Magazine opinions fit in well with the following.

China Calls for ‘No Delay’ on Gun Controls in U.S.
nytimes.com ^ | December 15, 2012 | MARK MCDONALD
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2969184/posts

Exploitation of Children: Gun-Toting Toddlers Establish Rebels’ “Children’s Brigade” in Syria
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2969320/posts


13 posted on 12/16/2012 3:32:10 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

President Obama should solve the problem by doing something about feminism and illegitimacy.


14 posted on 12/16/2012 3:35:33 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

There is not a law that could be passed, that would have prevented this evil sick person from killing as many people as he chose to kill.
Maybe these morons at Salon are not aware that America has laws against murder and hundreds of gun control laws.
They failed to stop this evil sick person from killing all those people.


15 posted on 12/16/2012 3:51:26 PM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: IMR 4350

“If the time ever comes, Chuck U Schumer will be the one passing out bread and jelly to get the other Jews on the train.”

That’s a fact.


16 posted on 12/16/2012 3:57:47 PM PST by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ought-six

17 posted on 12/16/2012 4:00:13 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
How about discussing gun control after 0bama gives up the 24/7 Secret Service protection that he has surrounding him and his family?
18 posted on 12/16/2012 4:19:58 PM PST by Jaxter ("Pro Aris et Focis")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: junta
Ban the willy nilly distribution of mood altering prescription drugs to children, ban liberals and put real men in school as authority figures.

From what I understand, there wasn't one single male authority figure at the school. That should say something right there.

When I was in school we feared the principal and the vice principal who were both males. They did not hesitate to bust your ass for getting out of line. Now days it's "counseling" by some dim wit.

19 posted on 12/16/2012 4:46:26 PM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

In 1933 a fire at the German Reichstag was used as a pretense for Hitler to curtail civil liberties. Obama now has his Reichstag fire.


20 posted on 12/16/2012 5:18:53 PM PST by The Great RJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-37 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson