The Democrats have made it no secret that they plan to push through an agenda heavy on gun control when they take control of the House of Representatives in January. It’s also no secret that they have no chance in hell of any of the bills they pass going anywhere after it leaves their chamber of Congress.
While Democrats may be dumb when it comes to guns, they’re not mindlessly anti-gun. There’s a reason they’re going for this push.
So, while passing a gun control bill in the House would be, in and of itself, a major step forward for gun control advocates who have spent years being completely shut out by the National Rifle Association and its congressional patsies—Last year, Thompson and Republican Rep. Peter King of New York worked on a similar background check bill that garnered more than 150 cosponsors, before ultimately going absolutely nowhere.—it’s hardly a stand-in for actual reforms.
Still, by putting forward a suite of gun control bills, some Democrats feel as if they can claim a victory by owning the issue itself ahead of 2020, when they have another shot at winning unified control of government, and putting Republicans on the defensive—particularly given the NRA’s recent financial troubles—while they’re at it.
“Republicans can’t win the House back if their position on guns doesn’t change,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, told Politico. “This is now a top two or three issue for swing voters in suburban districts and until Republicans break from the NRA, they’re not going to win back the seats that they lost in 2018.”
In other words, they’re trying to prime the pan for 2020. They’re convinced that their modest gains in the midterms were because of their stance on gun control and they’re going to keep riding that pony for as long as they can.
That gives pro-gun advocates an opening, believe it or not.
Let’s assume that Republicans lost those seats due to their opposition to gun control. Murphy thinks those seats will stay in Democratic hands until the GOP steps away from the National Rifle Association, but he forgets that those voters were generally accepting of guns at one time. They may well become accepting again, especially if Democrats squander their opportunity by mindlessly opposing their civil rights.
What this means is that gun rights activists–which include the NRA but not just them–can begin their offensive now to start changing hearts and minds in these districts. They can start pushing the fact-based narrative that guns save lives and that they allow people like women to protect themselves from stronger, more aggressive criminals who have nefarious ideas running through their heads.
Democrats think they can make the push for the next two years and keep the idea fresh in people’s minds.
Sure, they can do that. But it also means we have two years to refute every bit of male bovine excrement they opt to try and spread. We can counter them with facts, but we can’t ignore the fact that many voters are driven by emotion as well.
We’ve got the time to make it happen. We need to do it.