Over the weekend, we talked about how Michael Bloomberg’s gun control groups aren’t spending anywhere close to what they boasted about spending in this year’s elections. Instead, Bloomberg seems to be shoveling tens of millions of dollars into his Independence USA PAC, which is still stumping for the same anti-gun candidates as Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, but is doing so without explicitly making a pro-gun control argument.
Even gun control groups are avoiding the issue, however. As the Washington Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowski points out, Brady’s political action committee is on the air in Virginia with a new campaign ad targeting 7th Congressional District candidate Nick Freitas, but the ad doesn’t mention gun control at all.
Brady’s turn away from gun-control messaging comes after Everytown, the largest gun-control group in the country, also abandoned the issue in election ads.
The change provides further evidence that Democrats and liberal interest groups do not view gun control as a winning issue in 2020—a year that has seen record gun sales and an influx of new gun owners.
George Mason University law professor Joyce Malcolm told the Washington Free Beacon that gun-control groups have lost faith in their core message and believe focusing on other issues is the best way to get their allies elected.
“The gun-control issue is a loser at this point,” she said. “So, the gun-control groups are pushing the health care issue in hopes of helping the election of Joe Biden.”
It’s especially odd for Brady to go after Freitas on healthcare, given that he’s a staunch Second Amendment supporter who gave a speech back in 2018 on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates in support of our right to keep and bear arms that’s been viewed millions of times. Freitas is someone who’s known in Virginia as a 2A supporter, but Brady’s going after him over healthcare?
I agree that this is another indication that gun control groups know that their policy proposals aren’t a winning issue in an election year that’s featured record-high gun sales and millions of new gun owners, but I hope that voters understand that while anti-gun groups and politicians may be avoiding the issue on the campaign trail, they won’t be ignoring it after the elections are over.
If Democrats take back the White House and the Senate, or anti-gun legislative majorities are elected in states like Texas, the same folks who are ducking the gun control issue now will be loudly proclaiming that the election was a mandate for “common sense gun safety laws” like a ban on semi-automatic long guns and ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds, red flag firearm seizure laws, and more.
End the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court. https://t.co/iC3VPygfkQ
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) October 25, 2020
If Democrats take the U.S. Senate, one of their first battles will be over ending the legislative filibuster in order to pass bills with just 51 votes. If they take that step, expanding the Supreme Court and installing an anti-gun majority on the bench will be at the top of their to-do list, and once they’ve ensured that SCOTUS won’t pose a challenge to their gun control bills, they’ll quickly move on Biden’s gun and magazine ban, “universal background checks”, as well as “red flag” and gun licensing legislation that would funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants to states that adopt the anti-gun policies.
I think nuking the filibuster and packing the Supreme Court would be a disastrous move for Democrats, but it’s a mistake I believe they’re likely to make if they’re in a position to do it. If that happens, gun control groups won’t be ducking their issue any longer. It’ll be a full court press to pass their gun control wish list and turn the Second Amendment from a right of the people to a privilege of a chosen few.