Why Anti-Gun Hopes In Red Districts Are Horribly Wrong

Anti-gun politicians are bound and determined to try and take ground in November. I can’t say that I blame them. They know damn good and well that GOP lawmakers have absolutely no reason to appease them and earn the ire of their pro-gun supporters. The only hope they have is to remove those lawmakers from office and put their people in place.


One such attempt is taking place in my native Georgia, where Democrat Lucy McBath is seeking to unseat Rep. Karen Handle.

Oh, and the Huffington Post wants to write all about how she just might do it, too.

Lucy McBath’s name is intimately tied to the issue of guns. The Democratic candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was first thrust into the national spotlight in 2012, when her black 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot dead at a Florida gas station by a white man complaining about loud music. McBath’s tragic loss became the fuel for years of advocacy for gun safety. And after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February, she set her sights on Congress.

Her run is not only part of the wave of a record number of women running for office this year, but it’s also a test as to whether a candidate running primarily on gun control can win in a state with gun-friendly laws in the heart of the Deep South, which has some of the nation’s highest rates of gun ownership.

McBath faces a tough race. The odds are stacked against the political newcomer vying to unseat Republican incumbent Karen Handel, who beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election last year that was the most expensive House race ever. And her suburban Atlanta district has long been a GOP stronghold.

But advocates are optimistic that she could win, pointing to Georgia’s growing diversity ― more people of color, and likely Democrats, are moving into the state, including to McBath’s district ―  and the evolving attitudes on gun control in the state and the nation.


Yeah. Don’t hold your breath.

Keep in mind that Handel won that district with 51 percent of the vote at a time that money was flooding in from all over the nation to finance her opponent’s campaign. Celebrities were campaigning for Ossoff. The man had every advantage one could want in an election, and he still lost.

Why would anyone expect McBath, a political newcomer who is battling the veteran Handel in a year where campaigns are happening in every congressional district, to win? She’s not going to get nearly the funding Ossoff got, and money matters.

Even in the Democrats’ polls, which are notorious for painting Democrats as doing better than they really are, Handel is leading. And, to make matters more interesting, most people think she’s doing a pretty good job.

Sixty-seven percent of voters were unable to identify McBath, the survey found. Of those who did, 25 percent viewed her favorably to 8 percent who rated her unfavorably. In contrast, Handel was at 52 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable, with 11 percent unable to offer an opinion.

In other words, the same poll that had McBath in a dead heat with Handel also showed that only a quarter of the people who even know who she is had a favorable opinion of her, compared to more than half who thought Handel was doing well.

Lucy McBath got into politics after her son was murdered, shot by a man because his music was too loud. We can all agree that what happened was completely wrong. But that doesn’t qualify her for Congress, much less anything else.


Handel, however, has held multiple offices and worked her way up, building a resume that would resonate with voters.

Oh, yeah, here in Georgia? We also like our guns.

Even a lot of minority voters like their guns. They remember the days of the Klan menacing blacks with threats and intimidation, and they often recognize that an armed black man was far less likely to be lynched. They want their guns too, and they should.

Frankly, all this talk about people like McBath winning sounds like little more than wishful thinking.

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