It’s a familiar charge. We hear it all the time. “This guy is wholly owned by the National Rifle Association!”
Because the NRA is technically a special interest group — defending a civil right is a special interest — and donates money to pro-gun candidates, anti-gunners are either convinced that those who support the NRA are being bought and paid for, or they know otherwise but are hoping the voters are too stupid to know better.
The latest example of this comes from the Florida governor’s race.
Under the hot lights of CNN’s debate stage in Tampa on Sunday night, Florida’s gubernatorial candidates went round for round in a contentious matchup with just over two weeks to go until the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
While the two candidates — former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and progressive Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum — sparred over everything from health care to climate change to immigration, one of the night’s most compelling moments of the debate came when Gillum accused DeSantis of being bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association.
“He is wholly owned by the NRA,” Gillum said at one point, referring to his opponent. “He’s not going to stand up to the National Rifle Association — that’s why they’re running all these ads against me. Because they want the man that they bought.”
Of course, DeSantis is pro-gun. He’s been pro-gun for some time, and of course, the NRA is going to back the pro-gun candidate in an important race like the Florida gubernatorial campaign.
Yet Everytown for Gun Safety is injecting $1.8 million into various races in Florida in an effort to elect anti-gun candidates.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control group co-founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said Thursday that in addition to throwing $2 million behind Democratic candidates seeking Florida cabinet positions, it will be dedicating $1.8 million solely to agriculture commissioner nominee Nikki Fried and attorney general hopeful Sean Shaw.
The organization told the Miami Herald that it supports “gun-sense” candidates like Fried, who called for a full audit of the concealed-weapons permit process, and Shaw, who released an ad detailing his experience standing up to the National Rifle Association and pushing for stronger gun laws.
So, I guess Fried is “wholly owned” by Everytown? Can she be trusted to stand up to the anti-gun lobby?
I mean, that’s how it works, right? You don’t get to point your finger at the group backing your opponent and expect the same standard not to apply to your side of the aisle. Gillum is using an old and worn-out campaign tactic, but two can play that game.
The fact is, DeSantis is backed by the NRA primarily because he’s not Andrew Gillum. Gillum has made his disdain for the Second Amendment clear. He supports sweeping anti-gun legislation and wants to turn Florida into California, and not just on the issue of guns. Frankly, I suspect the NRA would back a wet paper bag over Gillum, and I wouldn’t blame them. I would too.
It’s just amusing that when it’s Democrats getting a large bit of financial help, it’s pure as snow, but when pro-gun candidates get donations, it’s proof that they’re bought and paid for.
Then again, these are the twits who think no one can oppose gun control because they think it’s a bad idea. There has to be something else at work.