Project Veritas, the outfit run by James O’Keefe that uses undercover operatives to secretly record candid conversations with strategists, activists, and candidates on the Left, has turned their attention to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety for their latest exposé, and in doing so, made it abundantly clear that the anti-gun organization is all on board with candidates deceiving voters about where they stand on Second Amendment issues.
In the footage released by PV on Tuesday, Everytown for Gun Safety Data Manager Alan Bederka spoke extensively about the group’s backing of Democratic senate nominee Mark Kelly in Arizona. Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and co-founder of the gun control group that bears her name, has portrayed himself as a moderate on the issue in public, telling voters during the campaign’s sole televised debate on Tuesday night that he supports the Second Amendment, but just wants a few “common sense” regulations that will protect kids from attacks in school.
Kelly’s own campaign website makes no mention of a ban on semi-automatic firearms deemed “assault weapons,” but according to Bederka, Kelly’s on board with the idea.
Bederka said his analysis is that it is a better election strategy for Kelly to downplay his anti-gun right agenda in Arizona, so in the Senate he will be in a position to push for his true goals.
“There’s a higher probability of being able to enact the kind of legislation you’re hoping to see get enacted. You know? Things like an assault weapons ban, which would be freakin’ lovely,” he said.
Journalist: Does Mark Kelly support that [a ban on so-called assault weapons]?
Alan Bederka: “Oh yeah, absolutely.”
I believe it. In fact, I’d be shocked if he didn’t support a ban on so-called assault weapons. His own gun control organization includes “assault weapon restrictions” as an example of good gun control laws in its annual scorecard of states and their gun laws (California gets an “A” and Arizona gets an “F”, by the way).
But Mark Kelly hasn’t embraced a so-called assault weapons ban on the campaign trail, and Bederka is right that it’s a smarter play for the Democrat to not talk about all of the gun control policies he supports, at least until he’s elected.
Obviously Everytown for Gun Safety doesn’t have a problem with that either. They’ve supported Kelly financially, because they know that he’ll be with them on virtually every gun control bill introduced in the Senate, even if he’s talking up his support for the Second Amendment on the campaign trail.
It’s hard for me to imagine the same strategy being successful on the opposite side of the issue. Could a pro-Second Amendment candidate run for office and receive the backing of groups like the NRA, SAF, GOA, and others while vaguely proclaiming that they support “common sense gun safety regulations” while their campaign website touts their support for “milquetoast” pro-Second Amendment proposals like national reciprocity for concealed carry licenses and incentives for states to adopt “shall issue” concealed carry licensing schemes? I highly doubt it, and there’s no way that Second Amendment activists would be inclined to get behind a candidate like that.
No, we prefer our politicians to be up front about where they stand on our right to keep and bear arms. Frankly, a strategy of deception wouldn’t work for pro-Second Amendment candidates anyway. One of the reasons that pro-gun control candidates from Joe Biden on down can get away with claiming they support the Second Amendment is that they’re never actually pressed on their claims by skeptical members of the media. Instead, press outlets routinely parrot the vacuous claims of support and even try to chide or silence those who dare to point out the truth about where the candidates stand.
If pro-gun candidates started hiding their views, you can rest assured that the media wouldn’t provide the same sort of disinterested coverage. Fed by talking points from anti-gun outlets from The Trace to Media Matters for America, journalists would be quick to pose “gotcha” questions to any Second Amendment supporter who tried to mask their views in order to increase their electability in traditionally anti-gun bastions like New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts.
Anti-gun candidates can get away with their deception because most voters will never know about it. Even with the release of the Project Veritas video, I predict that you won’t see any reporter covering the Kelly campaign ask him point blank if he supports a ban on so-called assault weapons. They won’t even ask for his reaction to the PV videos itself or the claims of Bederka, who’s been working with Everytown to get Kelly elected.
The strategy of deceit simply isn’t an option for Second Amendment supporters, even if we wanted it to be, but it’s an almost risk-free tactic for gun control advocates to expand their playing field in elections across the country thanks to the media’s unwillingness and inability to cover the issue fairly, honestly, and accurately.