For the 2016 elections, the Democrat candidates are virtually unanimous on gun control. They support President Obama's executive orders, and want to go beyond what he is pushing:
From the hill:
“I absolutely agree with what the president is trying to do with his executive order,” Sanders said to a cheers at a Democratic candidate forum. Clinton was not in attendance.From Time.com:
“I know I’m being attacked as being a stooge for the NRA. Well, some stooge, I have a D-minus lifetime voting record,” he said.
Today, Clinton’s calculus has changed. She has come out this campaign in favor of gun control measures with a vigor that surprised even some Democrats, targeting minorities and urban voters. Without contradicting any of her policy positions from 2008, Clinton is helping shape the national debate about firearms, calling for a “national movement” to “stand up to the NRA” and lambasting Republicans for voting against gun control legislation.From the businessinsider.com:
O'Malley went on to suggest the repeated mass shootings in America are a "national crisis." Morris said the email is the start of what will be a "major push" from O'Malley during his presidential campaign. In it, he pointed to his record on gun control in Maryland, which included passing legislation in 2013 that banned assault weapons, lowered magazine capacity, strengthened state regulations for gun dealers, and required fingerprinting for gun purchases.
"I proudly hold an F rating from the NRA, and when I worked to pass gun control in Maryland, the NRA threatened me with legal action, but I never backed down," O'Malley wrote.
The Time article goes on to say that Clinton believes that she can thread the needle on gun control by calling for "universal background checks", because polls have said the measure is popular. They do not say that the measure is only popular until the voters learn the details. Actual measures are not popular when the details are learned.
Support for the Second Amendment is at an all time high. Distrust of Hillary Clinton is at an all time high. It seems unlikely that voters will trust Hillary or Bernie to only infringe on the Second Amendment a little bit more.
Voters in general trust the NRA much more than they trust politicians like Bernie or Hillary or O'Malley. Democrat candidates attempting to gain ground by lambasting the NRA may work in the Democrat primary. It will be hard for them to backtrack in the general election.
Second Amendment supporters are dedicated voters. Their intensity is 3 to 10 times greater than disarmists, as measured by numerous online polls.
The last time that Democrats fully embraced gun control going into an election year, they lost the House in the historic election of 1994. No one thought it could happen.
This is the first presidential election that I can remember where the Democrat presidential candidates openly embraced gun control. Bill Clinton did not; he ran as a Second Amendment loving moderate. President Obama did not, he claimed to support the Second Amendment in both his elections, and did not embrace gun control as a policy issue until after he was elected to his second term.
The Democrats shied away from gun control for 18 years after they lost the House in 1994. They embraced it in 2013, and lost the Senate in 2014. They have convinced themselves that it is a winning issue in 2016.
We will see what the election results bring.
Definition of disarmist
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch