Saturday, June 14, 2008

Victims of Our Own Success?

Jim Shepherd from the SHOOTING WIRE sent me this LA Times link. It's a story we all need to read and ponder, both for its hits and its misses:
NRA's political clout is waning

With 2nd Amendment rights expanded and Democrats reluctant to tackle the issue, gun control isn't the GOP weapon it used to be. The rifle group, in essence, is a victim of its own success.

WASHINGTON -- Eight years after a national debate over gun control helped keep Democrat Al Gore out of the White House, the National Rifle Assn. and its Republican allies are launching a new campaign to defeat Barack Obama.

But this time, the issue that GOP strategists once relied on to provide crucial votes in close elections has lost much of its political punch.

Congress hasn't passed major legislation to restrict gun use in 14 years. Democrats -- scarred by past NRA campaigns -- almost never talk about the issue anymore.

And Americans now show little interest in gun control. Just half want tougher rules for gun sales, compared with nearly two-thirds in 2000.

"The issue has been essentially removed from the political agenda," said Robert Spitzer, a political scientist at the State University of New York in Cortland who has written extensively about the politics of gun control.

This marks a major victory for gun rights groups, which less than a decade ago were fending off demands from both Democrats and Republicans for strict new limits on gun ownership after the 1999 Columbine school shootings.

Yet that very triumph may prove politically perilous for Republicans hoping to put John McCain in the White House. Two years ago, GOP candidates backed by the NRA lost in a number of swing states, including Virginia, Missouri and Wisconsin, that could play pivotal roles this fall.
When asked about gun control while campaigning in South Dakota recently, Obama replied: "What I believe is that there is a 2nd Amendment right. I think it is an individual right. I think people have the right to lawfully bear arms."

Obama's formulation is a marked contrast to Gore's campaign in 2000, when the vice president frequently boasted of having strengthened gun laws.

Gore and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, his Democratic primary opponent, frequently clashed over the issue in high-profile debates, each claiming to be more committed to cracking down on guns.

The NRA and its GOP allies have responded to Obama's defense of the 2nd Amendment with increasingly insistent warnings that it is a ruse. "Liberals in Washington often keep their real opinions to themselves," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told NRA members at their convention. "Don't be fooled."
Read the whole thing...meanwhile our candidate is casting glances fraught with meaning at the second most antigun politician in American (assuming Obama is the first on that list)...the weasel Bloomberg, while still soliciting our vote.

Is John McCain really stupid enough to create the perfect storm that grinds the Republican Party into kibbles and bits?

Stay tuned...

NEW...the NRA on b-HO...yes, he's even worse than you thought...even worse than I though!
On the Second Amendment,
Don’t Believe Obama!

The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where apparent nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the right to keep and bear arms.

But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties. Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.
Read through the whole list of what b-HO has supported, then pray that McCain doesn't launch one into his wee-wee.


Anonymous said...

The NRA is facing the same challenge as the Republican party/EXXON/US Government etc. What is your message? How do keep the enthusiasm of your own troops up? How do you grow your market share?

Big organizations become bloated and inefficent. The lose their way and go off track. Hell it happened with IBM. It has happened before with the NRA. It needs to re-invent itself then. Problem is that it doesn't happen overnite. And you need a charimatic leader to do so.

I've said it before but all the letters from Chris Cox or Wayne, all the embossed hats or pins or plaques won't drive up an active membership or accomplish much on the political side. Ask a group of NRA members how desensitizied they are to the constant stream of NRA mail asking for money.

In sum its a terrible predicament to be in. The problem is the NRA is only game in town.

Anonymous said...

The operative word in Obama's statement is "Lawfully". Could this be a hint to a new attack on gun rights?

Unknown said...

While I might be able to hold my nose long enough to vote for McCain, if he picks Bloomberg as the VP, then there is no way I can do that. Putting Bloomie into the WH would be a very very bad idea..

Unknown said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

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