There are candidates who are very vocal on gun control right now. They’re convinced that Parkland was some kind of a turning point, that the media’s push against guns is swaying the populace and soon everything will be free and clear. They’ll finally be able to enact the kind of gun control they want.
There’s a technical term for some of these candidates. It’s “idiot.”
Traditionally pro-gun states aren’t likely to switch to anti-gun states simply because of the wishes and unicorn farts of anti-gun activists and their allies in the media. While Florida–an ostensibly pro-gun state–has enacted a handful of gun control measures in the immediate aftermath of Parkland, the state isn’t likely to pass anymore in the near future despite emotions still being raw.
As a result, there are a handful of smart candidates who are walking a very thin line between alienating their base and alienating the public as a whole.
Democrats running for Kansas governor are taking a middle-of-the road approach to guns — attempting to appeal to voters who demand action while remaining attractive to others who embrace gun rights.
Yesterday, we took the Jeep on a whirlwind tour for parades in LeCompton and Westmoreland and at a candidate meet and greet in Netawaka. Don't believe the outrage of a few is the opinion of the rest of us. The Jeep is a celebrity. Lots of requests for photos with it. #ksleg #2A pic.twitter.com/rzOJYubpX3
— Kris W. Kobach (@KrisKobach1787) June 10, 2018
They say allowing anyone to have a concealed weapon goes too far but they are also assuring voters they don’t oppose gun ownership.
Leading Republican candidates aren’t doing the same thing. Republican candidate Kris Kobach rode through a parade with a replica machine gun early in June, a decision that drew national attention to his pro-gun stance. And he did it again this weekend.
Democrats are trying to win the votes of people like Maurice and Regina McDaniel, Democrats who live in Pleasanton but hold different views on guns. Maurice said he worries a little his party will nominate someone who favors too many gun restrictions, making it more difficult for that person to get elected.
“I believe in self-protection. But like I say, my wife and I don’t agree on that because she’s against all guns,” Maurice McDaniel said at a Democratic picnic near the eastern Kansas town of La Cygne on Saturday.
No candidate is performing a more visible balancing act on guns — trying to reach both gun rights supporters and those in favor of additional restrictions — than Sen. Laura Kelly. She’s facing pressure from opponent Josh Svaty, a former state representative, over past votes to loosen restrictions.
“I have been a routine supporter of our Second Amendment rights in the state of Kansas. I do believe that law-abiding folks should have the right to carry and also the right to hunt,” Kelly said Friday during a debate in Wichita.
In other words, the biggest problem with the anti-gun push by Democrats lately is that some Democrats are being alienated, as well as the public at large in many states.
Something many of us, on both sides, tend to forget is that guns aren’t a cut and dried issue. While the vast majority of anti-gun candidates tend to be Democrat, there are a handful from that party who support the Second Amendment. On the same hand, there have been Republicans who weren’t exactly friends of the Second Amendment either.
Since Democrats seem intent on pushing for gun control, they seem to be preferring gun control candidates. This makes sense, but they are failing to account for the fact that their states aren’t pro-gun because they’ve been electing Republicans. They’re typically Republican, at least in part, because they’re pro-gun.
If Democrats want to win these states, they’re not going to do it by attacking fundamental values like the right to keep and bear arms. While that may work in California, Massachusetts, or New York, it’s not likely to go that way in Georgia or Kansas.