The Dangers Of Taking Gun Owners For Granted

Next Tuesday, a special election in Connecticut could send a gun control activist to the statehouse, but believe it or not, the Second Amendment hasn’t really emerged as a campaign issue for the Republican running against her. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, Newsmax host Carl Higbie joins me to talk about the legislative race in Greenwich, and why he believes the local election is indicative of a bigger problem: Republicans taking the gun owner vote for granted.

As Higbie outlines in a column in the local paper, GOP candidate Ryan Fazio has shied away from even mentioning the Second Amendment on his campaign website, despite the fact that Democrat Alexis Gervanter is an activist with Moms Demand Action and has the full backing of the gun control group. Higbie says that even though gun owners make up 25% of the electorate (and about half of GOP voters), Fazio isn’t giving them many reasons to turn out and show up at the polls next Tuesday.

You want to know why we have Democrat control in Connecticut? Because Republicans are not excited to vote. We lose elections because our candidates don’t actually believe in the principles of our party’s platform. We lose elections BECAUSE we moderate. Sure, we pick up a half dozen folks in the middle… but we lose our base. I’m the base. I’m the guy who drives a truck with a flag in the tow hitch with a “not a liberal” sticker on the rear window. I donate to almost every campaign I can. There are THOUSANDS of others that agree with me in this district. You know how many votes Fazio lost by last time? Hundreds. Plug that into your political calculator party leadership!

I am an elected member of the RTM myself, for which I had the entire weight of CNN and the state democratic party against me, for the lowest elected office in town, in a majority blue district. I still won, because my base overwhelmed the polls. Almost no one is undecided anymore. Supporting the second line in the bill of rights, upheld by the supreme court, reinforced by article 1 section 15 of the Connecticut Constitution, in the Constitution State, is not a radical stance. So, I’ll be staying home this special election, along with hundreds of other gun owners I have spoken to. Because if Ryan Fazio won’t even mention his support for his base’s top issue, can you imagine how he will actually vote in an election year?

There’s no doubt that Fazio wants and needs the votes of gun owners if he’s going to win the special election, but as of today Higbie says he’s planning on staying home next Tuesday because he believes Fazio simply expects them to show up.

Most gun owners are not single-issue voters, but if ignored, many of us are willing to exercise our additional option at the ballot box, which very few Republican candidates ever consider. Not to show up. I have spoken to some of those in the party that say, “Carl, this could cost Fazio the election”. You are damn right it could… But I have come to understand these washy “conservative in private” folks we are sending to Hartford, DC, or wherever. They give us the same end result as if we sent a Democrat. It’s not the “lesser of two evils”…because they vote Democrat anyway. Republican representatives need to tart standing up for gun owners… publicly. You don’t get our vote automatically.

Gun owners have plenty of reasons to vote against anti-gun Democrats like Gervanter, but Higbie’s right that Republicans need to give gun owners a reason to vote for them as well. Conservative candidates shouldn’t be running away from a debate over gun control, but to do so when we’re seeing a surge in gun ownership among virtually every demographic makes absolutely no sense. I realize that not every Republican running for office is a gun owner themselves, and that’s fine. But if they can’t or won’t speak about 2A issues in a way that resonates with their base, they shouldn’t be surprised when some of them choose a third party candidate or simply opt out of voting altogether.