"Push" To Allow Guns At Polls Is No Such Thing

"Push" To Allow Guns At Polls Is No Such Thing

Leave it to the left to try and reframe reality.

See, by now, most of you are familiar with the fact that the Michigan governor has tried to ban guns at polling places. She tried to do it by decree, something she completely lacks the authority to do, which sparked a lot of debate on the topic.

Yet some are not just supporting it, but trying to reframe reality to scare people into backing the measure.

Take this post from the Huffington Post titled, “The Push To Allow Guns At Polling Places Is Straightforward Voter Intimidation.”

There is an unmistakable effort underway to intimidate voters — specifically Democratic voters — when they go to the polls. The president himself has repeatedly threatened to send law enforcement to voting locations to hunt for supposed voter fraud, while more organic efforts include bullhorns, honking cars with Trump flags, and shouting confrontations directed at people lined up at early polling stations in blue or purple areas.

Bringing and displaying weapons at voting sites is one facet of potential intimidation that’s emerged in the weeks leading up to Election Day. There is an organized push from right-wing groups to show up at the polls with guns: a development election officials fear will create an unsafe environment for other voters to cast their ballots. In one swing state, an effort to limit the presence of guns at polling locations was met with a court fight and a standoff between the state’s election officials and some members of law enforcement.

Each state has specific laws around whether guns are permitted at voting locations — but only about a dozen states explicitly ban open and/or concealed carry of firearms at the polls. The legality of bringing a gun to vote can hinge on a technicality, like whether the polling place is a church, school or government building.

But the legal wrangling over who is allowed to arm themselves at which polling locations obscures a more straightforward point: voter intimidation is a federal crime everywhere in the U.S., and many voters would feel intimidated by visibly armed people at their polling places.

First, let’s address the title of this screed. There is no “push” to allow guns. There’s a push-back at an attempt to block people from carrying guns at polling places.

After all, in a world where we’re supposed to be terrified of mass shootings, it’s a small wonder we haven’t seen one in a polling place yet. It’s only a matter of time.

Further, there’s no attempt to push for guns to be allowed at places they’re normally not allowed. States that forbid the carry of a firearm on school property or churches don’t suddenly become areas where guns are permitted simply because there’s an election going on.

All anyone is trying to do is maintain the status quo.

“Oh, but it’s voter intimidation!” they scream.

And Whitmer’s attempt to bar guns from polling places is attempted voter suppression. After all, plenty of gun folks have talked about how they don’t go places they can’t carry, so it seems a logical place to reduce Trump’s support is to bar guns from polling places.

Let’s also note that guns have been allowed at polling places in most states for many election cycles. These would include elections won by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It also includes states taken by Hillary Clinton four years ago.

The mere presence of a firearm in a polling place does not constitute voter intimidation and to claim otherwise is ridiculous.

Now, if someone is armed and tries to intimidate anyone for any reason–even if it’s not related to voting–then that needs to be investigated. More importantly, I hope they get a deeper investigation than the New Black Panther Party got by Attorney General Eric Holder.

However, I don’t believe there will be an issue. After all, we tend to carry guns for protection, not intimidation, and we’re not the ones who have been burning cities to the ground every time we don’t like something over the last four years.