HAMMOND: The Path To The Presidency Runs Through the Second Amendment
In the law, there’s an exception to the “hearsay rule” for an “admission against interest.” Hence, even a party you might treat with skepticism can be believed when he says something that demolishes his argument.
I thought about this recently when The Washington Post reported its findings that mass shootings hadn’t dramatically affected public opinion concerning gun rights — in the small towns where those shootings occurred!
Hence, after a year of arguing that America had reached a “tipping point” on gun rights, even the liberals are conceding that we’re at the same point we were after the passage of the semi-automatic ban in 1994 — the same point we were after Columbine, and the same point we were after Newtown. That is, the vigorous attacks on the Second Amendment are toxic14 in American politics in most parts of the country.
This was particularly interesting because The Washington Post published an article last week which observed that virtually every Democratic presidential candidate was engaging in vigorous attacks on the Second Amendment — thereby taking a step which had rightfully terrified Democrats for the last 25 years.
Think about it: Democrats enacted the semiautomatic ban and the Brady Law in the 103rd Congress. The next election, they lost the House which they had held with an iron grip for a generation. President Bill Clinton credited gun control for the tsunami of 1994.
After Columbine, Republicans resisted the temptation to enact a single word of gun control. The next election, they picked up the White House, as a result of gun owners tipping West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Florida Panhandle.
After Newtown, Republicans successfully filibustered every word of gun control. In 2014, they took control of the Senate.
And, of course, in 2016, intensely pro-gun sections of western Pennsylvania, central and northern Michigan, and northern Wisconsin were what swung those states into the “R” column at the presidential level.
So where are we now? Federal gun control could possibly be dead for the 116th Congress. Bump stock bans and “red flag” gun confiscation laws — once viewed as inevitable in all 50 states — have (with the exception of Florida) died in all but the ten most crazy, blue anti-gun states in the country. And, even in states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, sheriffs and county governments are in open rebellion against the anti-gun laws enacted in Denver, Salem, and Olympia. Colorado is also on the verge of another massive recall campaign.
And even though billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a reported $110,000,000 to buy the House in 2018, he spent most of his ad money on “health care” ads — largely avoiding gun control. Even then, a switch of roughly 55,000 votes in 18 congressional districts would have flipped the House to the GOP.
So it appears that the one thing standing in the way of the GOP’s good fortune in 2020 is the GOP itself.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is working hard to make the Republicans into “the party that finally ‘delivered’ on gun control.”
Dianne Feinstein is pushing GOP Senator Joni Ernst to negotiate on House-passed gun confiscation language. Attorney General Bill Barr testified that gun confiscation would also be a big priority for him.
And Donald Trump will soon have to decide whether to start arresting the 500,000 bump stock owners who ignored ATF’s dictat.
So it’s not inconceivable that Republicans could throw the 2020 elections away.
But here’s a message for the GOP: Don’t predicate your positions on a belief in propaganda that even The Washington Post doesn’t believe anymore.
There are roughly 100,000,000 gun owners in America. And, no, contrary to phony polls, they are not self-hating wretches who bemoan the gun lobby. To the contrary, they are the sorts of people who run out and buy AR-15’s and bump stocks because they think the Democrats will ban them.
With a cohort this large, the belief system of the American electorate is like a large ocean liner. It’s not something which can be turned around quickly based on current events.
In modern times, in virtually every part of the country, gun control has been a political “loser. That’s not likely to change.
What’s yet to be decided is whether this is good news or bad news for the Trump administration and the Republican Senate.
Michael Hammond is the legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over 2 million members and activists.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.