AP Photo/John Locher
In this day and age, it’s obligatory for a Democrat running for president to have a gun control plan. They’re convinced that gun control is not just essential but popular with the mainstream. Polling proves this, progressive supporters will tell you.
Of course, those polls come from the same people who said Hillary Clinton would be president right now.
Regardless, the Democratic base wants to see gun control handed down from on high and they won’t back a candidate who doesn’t have a plan. As such, it’s not surprising that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has finally revealed her plan.
Polling near the bottom of the pack of more than 20 Dems looking to make a move on the White House next year, the lawmaker who took over Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2009 recently showcased her gun control platform. In it, Gillibrand promised a mix of executive actions and a legislative push to get tough on guns.
“As president, I’ll issue an executive order directing the Department of Justice to prosecute gun trafficking through conspiracy charges,” she said, before expanding her advocacy for universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers as well as a ban on many semi-auto firearms and their magazines, saying, “Weapons of war don’t belong on our streets.”
Gillibrand also stood behind a move to repeal legal protections adopted by Congress in 2005 to shield the firearms industry against frivolous lawsuits as well as the Tiahrt Amendment, which maintains controls on firearms trace data. Police lobby groups in the past have supported Tiahrt, arguing that releasing such data may jeopardize ongoing investigations, could be biased and violate confidentiality laws.
Gillibrand is also backing a federal Red Flag Law as part of her plan. The effort would call for people to lose their gun rights for a year should someone freak out, all without due process of law.
Remember back when Gillibrand was considered pro-gun?
This is nothing more than her opportunistically reaching for whatever she can do to grab relevance. As a rural New York representative, she was pro-gun to reflect the mores of her constituents, but the moment she sought a larger platform, she embraced the anti-gun rhetoric needed to win her election.
And the people of New York bought it.
Now, she’s tied to the Democrat brand, and that means she’s got to push gun control. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work. Universal background checks don’t work. Banning AR-15s and similar rifles don’t work either. None of that matters to Gillibrand.
Then again, Gillibrand isn’t likely to become president. She’s polling slightly higher than a house plant right now, which means she’s not even particularly likely to make it to the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire Primary. Even if she does last that long, she’s a non-factor within the party. Based on what we’re seeing, though, part of that is her anti-gun proposal not being radical enough. Yep, you read that right.
Still, this is what Gillibrand is claiming to want as president. I can’t help but wonder if the pedestrian nature of it somehow harkens back to her pro-gun days as if that was her real belief, but now she’s just saying what it takes to get elected. Or, does it mean she just doesn’t believe the public is ready for some of the nonsense her fellow candidates are pushing?
We’ll never know. Frankly, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is knowing that Gillibrand wants to push right now, and that’s more than enough reason to vote against her in a general election, much like all her fellow candidates.