It’s Not You, It’s Me. Or Maybe It Is You. I Don’t Know.

 

There’s a question that’s been bothering me for the last five years or so. When I went to the NRA convention in Phoenix in 2009, Harry Reid had a “B” rating from the NRA. There were a bunch of Democrats who spoke at the Saturday ILA forum at the convention. Yet just seven years later,  Hillary Clinton named the NRA as the enemy she was most proud of. Why the change? What do you think happened?

It could be that the NRA’s messaging had grown too extreme for the Democrats, but I don’t think that’s the case. Wayne LaPierre’s “jack-booted thugs” comment was way back in 1995 after all and that same style of messaging echoes down through the present day. The gun-control efforts of the Obama administration and other Democrats may have forced the NRA to denounce the Democrats, but gun control is not something new to that party. It may be because the NRA went all-in for Trump, but that happened early on in 2016, and the Dems turned on the NRA long before that.

So what was the cause of the Great Divorce? Gun rights were never high on the list for the Democratic Party, but now they are all-in on civilian disarmament and gun confiscation. What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

Published in Guns
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There are 16 comments.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Your first mistake, Kevin, is trying to make sense of anything the Dems do.

    • #1
  2. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Dems just showing true colors. They don’t think attacking the NRA hurts their re-election chances….replacing gun owners with imported voters.

    • #2
  3. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    When we first moved to the San Antonio area (late 80’s) there were several local Democrat legislators who had perfect scores from the NRA.  Good luck finding that now.

    • #3
  4. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Changing focus.  Democrats are no longer interested in the working poor / working class, or any rural people.  They are into identity politics groups, government workers, academics, and the young.  Those groups do not like guns.

    • #4
  5. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Not much different to what the Dems did to their pro-lifers.  Insufficient purity.

    • #5
  6. Joshua Bissey Coolidge
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    It’s just part of the larger trend of Democrats turning hard, hard, diamond hard left. Barack Obama wouldn’t endorse same-sex marriage in 2009. Democratic athletes still tried to be respectful of the flag and anthem in 2009. They may not have cared if Obama’s pastor said “God damn America,” but they at least had the decency to downplay it. Democrats back then said they weren’t socialists, because it’s not socialism until industry is government-owned. (Now, of course, they tell you even having public roads and schools and an army is socialism. You want public roads and schools and the army, don’t you?)

    Also, there have been some pretty ugly mass shootings in the past several years.

    • #6
  7. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back? 

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent 

     

    • #7
  8. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent

    This is part of my problem. I don’t want my right to defend myself or a child’s right to live tied to just one party. 

     

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Dems just showing true colors. They don’t think attacking the NRA hurts their re-election chances….replacing gun owners with imported voters.

    And fake votes where real ones can’t be ensured to go the right way.

    • #9
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent

    This is part of my problem. I don’t want my right to defend myself or a child’s right to live tied to just one party.

    I don’t think you have a choice.   The Dems and the Second Amendment is not an outlier, it’s part of a larger bundle of issues that are now forbidden for Democrats to support.  At least until about 2012, some Democrats felt they needed to at least go through the motions of pretending to support the Second Amendment, talking tough on immigration etc.  No more.  There is a checklist of Progressive positions and Democrats face extinction within their own party if they deviate from even one of those positions.

    • #10
  11. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent

    This is part of my problem. I don’t want my right to defend myself or a child’s right to live tied to just one party.

    Celebrating our Founding Fathers and the broadest possible interpretation of the foundational principles of the Republic are rapidly becoming partisan issues (in the bluest areas, they already are); to be blunt, its a reality we have to acknowledge, and adjust our strategies and perceptions accordingly.

    This is precisely what we were trying to explain to you when you asked us (it seems like a decade ago) why so many of us were ‘angry’ after having ‘won’; we were ‘angry’ because we had not won anything, only bought more time to prevent what is happening now (even less time than many of us thought, as it turns out).  We all failed, and now we face even more difficult choices and strategies going forward.

    • #11
  12. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Democrat is a lifestyle brand, and gun control is a core identity thing now.

    There are still 2A democrats such as leonard french the popular liberal legal youtuber

    I just don’t think its the deal breaker for him/them in light of other priorities

    • #12
  13. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent

    This is part of my problem. I don’t want my right to defend myself or a child’s right to live tied to just one party.

    The second amendment has been a barrier to the progressive left since the progressive movement started.  They’ve been pushing to replace our “negative” Bill of Rights with lefty “positive” rights for over a hundred years.  Your right to defend yourself has been tied to just one party for your entire life.  You, and scattered old Dem pols, just didn’t know or admit it.

    Many have tried to sustain the 2A in the midst of Dem policy preferences, such as the NRA longstanding practice of giving credit where due to Dem 2A supporters, but the goals of the progressive project are fundamentally opposed to the individual responsibility that is the key to the 2A.

    Only when the Dem party is totally destroyed will it be safe to vote for anything other than “R”.  Primaries are where one can express one’s policy preferences. Not in any general election.

    • #13
  14. Thursby Member
    Thursby
    @Thursby

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    What happened to the pro-gun Democrats, and can we bring them back?

    No — they either switched to GOP or independent

     

    or croaked.  eg John Dingell

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Might as well ask, “how do we red-pill lefties?” Opposition to 2A is of a piece with leftism. Period. And now that Democrats are the party of the Left, there will be no retrieving them without major conversions.

    • #15
  16. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Might as well ask, “how do we red-pill lefties?” Opposition to 2A is of a piece with leftism. Period. And now that Democrats are the party of the Left, there will be no retrieving them without major conversions.

    I’d first track and hit hard the lefties that bought firearms since this whole Corona virus imbroglio started.

    • #16