The Democratic Party is getting hip to the fact that advocating gun bans loses them elections. Way to go, Dems! For a crowd widely touted in the media as the best and brightest, it has taken you far too long to wake up.
But there is still a weird feeling of unreality about the exercise. It seems to be mostly about spin rather than substance, mostly about making people believe that Democrats have reformed on this issue without actual reform.
Various bloggers have waxed acidulous about this, but nobody has stepped up and said, explicitly, what the Democrats’ problem is and how to fix it. So. DLC honchos, you talk about being reality therapy for the rest of the party. Here is reality.
I am one of the independent, swing voters that could have won you the 2000 election. I do not consider myself a conservative, nor do I vote the Republican ticket.
I believe that the Founding Fathers of the United States bequeathed to me as a member of the unincorporated militia (that is, all citizens capable of bearing arms) the responsibility to remain armed and vigilant against both foreign enemies of my nation and domestic tyrants.
I am one of the people who will almost never vote for a Democrat, because I believe the Democratic Party wants to trash the Second Amendment, confiscate my guns, and destroy the balance of power between citizens and government that was intended by the framers of the Constitution.
I do not really trust either major political party on this issue, but whereas Republicans have less than sterling credibility, Democrats have negative credibility. That is, experience strongly suggests that when Democrats are quiet about firearms policy, they are concealing an anti-gun rather than a pro-gun agenda. Their silence is a lie.
Democratic pollster Mark Penn says “The formula for Democrats is to say that they support the Second Amendment, but that they want tough laws that close loopholes”. Be aware that I will interpret any Democrat talking about “tough laws that close loopholes” as an anti-gun agenda being pursued by stealth and deception.
If the Democrats want my vote, it is not sufficient for the Democratic merely to refrain from pushing more firearms restrictions. The Democratic leadership must explicitly recognize the Second Amendment as a guarantee of an individual right, explicitly repudiate the gun-grabbers in their ranks, and make the abolition of firearms restrictions part of their formal agenda.
Negative credibility means you have a ways to go before you can even get to zero. Want my vote, and that of millions of independent gun owners like me? Start earning it with pro-gun action, not just talk…because if you don’t, those millions of independents will have no realistic option but the Republicans, and the already serious decline of the national Democratic party may well become terminal.