The popular perception is that the Democratic Party as a whole stopped debating gun control after Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee and Bill Clinton‘s Arkansas in the 2000 election.
Looking back on that perspective 16 years later, it’s evident that yes, they did stop debating the issue nationally, but that it doesn’t like those two states are likely to show up in the Blue column on election night anytime soon.
There’s no doubt, however, that President Obama, with one last year in his presidency, wants to bring the issue front and center.
“Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen, Obama writes in an op-ed in today’s New York Times. “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform. And if the 90 percent of Americans who do support common-sense gun reforms join me, we will elect the leadership we deserve.”
You catch any of last night’s town hall meeting on CNN about guns from Virginia? Woe to anyone who thought it was going to be an infomercial for the White House on the president’s recently announced actions on guns.
First you had a woman who survived a sexual assault telling the president that she carried a gun to protect herself and her two young kids, and said she felt his changes were infringing on her rights. “I have been unspeakably victimized once already, and I refuse to let that happen again to myself or my kids,” Corban said.
And then there was Taya Kyle, widow of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. “The problem is that they want to murder,” Kyle said of criminals lurking about.
Forget the NRA. It seems like people are afraid in their own homes these days.
But can we as a society rid of the rampant paranoia that this man, or any politician, is going to “take away our guns?” Ain’t going to happen, people.
Any Florida Republicans attend the CPAC event in Orlando, back in September of 2011, with all the presidential candidates? Remember the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre at that event?
He predicted during the 2012 campaign that Obama would say he hadn’t pushed for any gun control laws or try to renew the assault weapon ban that expired in 2004, adding, “He’ll offer the 2nd Amendment lip service, and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the 2nd Amendment, but it’s a big fat, stinkin’ lie, just like all the other lies that come out of this administration.” LaPierre called it part of a “massive conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his secret desire to destroy the 2nd Amendment in this country.” He then said insiders met to formalize a “conspiracy of public deception” to try to guarantee his re-election by making sure never to talk about gun laws.
None of that happened.
And as Obama sarcastically responded to CNN’s Anderson Cooper last night when he brought up the thoughts of a conspiracy to take away people’s guns, that he better get moving since he only has a year left in office.
We read reports that there has been an increase in guns sales of late. That must have been the sixth or seventh time in Obama’s presidency I’ve seen that story. With over 300 million guns in circulation, it’s time for folks to realize that their guns — your guns — aren’t going anywhere, not under this president, and not under the next president.
So can we just establish that fact, and then continue to have this discussion? Probably not, since the politics of paranoia has worked out quite well for the NRA.
In other news …
Bob Buckhorn and Rick Kriseman meet up for a joint appearance at the Tiger Bay Club in St. Pete, where no doubt baseball will be mentioned at least once. The Tampa Mayor said on Thursday that he doesn’t think one of the rumored go to sites, in Westshore, will do the trick.
Marco Rubio is doing whatever it takes in Iowa. The Florida Senator has produced an intensely personal ad to start running this weekend in the Hawkeye State regarding his relationship with Jesus.
If you thought Debbie Wasserman Schultz was already unpopular with base Democrats, well, let’s just say it’s not been a good week for the South Florida Congresswoman and DNC Chair. Another progressive group yesterday called for her to be ousted from her perch in running the national Democratic Party.
And Kathy Castor is extremely upset about the latest reported problems with the Veterans Administration, as she let VA Secretary Bob McDonald know in a letter she sent out yesterday.