Well before the first primaries, the Democratic candidates for president are starting to get a good look at where they stand. While there’s still hope for a number of them, at least in their minds, the truth is some are starting to understand that they won’t be president. At least, not this time around.
But, this is a good opportunity for them to float some ideas and try and make a concerted push for things they want to campaign on, both now and in the future.
Cory Booker is probably in that boat. He’s polling well behind Warren, Biden, and Sanders, so his chances of winning the nomination aren’t looking too good right now. I mean, he’s polling behind a guy who’s running for president despite losing a Senate race in his home state. This is not the makings of a winning campaign, as things currently stand.
So what does he do? He beats some of the same war drums and hopes it improves his chance. If not, at least it’ll put some stuff out there and prep people for a potential 2024 run.
One of those war drums, however, is gun control. Shocking, I know, but that’s where we are today.
It seems that Booker wants to include communities “hardest hit” by gun violence in the “conversation” on gun control.
But Booker said the framework to prevent mass shootings must include the experiences of communities that endure shootings regularly.
“Mass shootings in this country are awakening an issue that has existed in my community for generations,” Booker said. He noted shootings occur frequently in his Newark neighborhood, including the March shooting of Shahad Smith, a man Booker shared a building with. “These communities are often left out of conversations or completely dissed.”
Samantha Dorf of the gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action agreed, telling participants that while mass shootings fill news headlines, “it’s the everyday gun violence that takes hundreds of lives per day.”
Of course, what Booker doesn’t say is that this means we should listen to urban communities with tons of violence like Saint Louis, Chicago, and so on. Yet doing so would mean another side of the conversation would get shut out entirely, and that’s rural communities as well as those who have a handle on their gun violence.
You know, the places where people are more likely to have a firearm for self-defense and have actually used it.
Booker doesn’t want people like that at the table. He wants to focus on urban centers because he wants to make sure everyone gets an extremely myopic look at the issue of gun violence. However, there are many times more people whose lives are saved by guns than whose lives are taken each and every year. That’s even using the most conservative estimate of 100,000 defensive gun uses, which is likely on the incredibly low end. The CDC found around 2.5 million defensive gun uses.
But the people who most likely used those guns, people who had ready access to them, are the very people Booker doesn’t want to include. Why? Because people who use a firearm defensively don’t see them as evil, dangerous things that should be locked away from decent people. They see them as life-saving tools.
That would go against Booker’s preferred narrative.
As a result, Booker doesn’t want those voices. Yet again, he wants the urban enclaves to dictate to the rest of the country just what they can and should do, even making it law for them to conform, if need be.
Somehow, I don’t think this thinking is going to win him many votes in fly-over states.