As the Georgia runoff election continues to chug along, a lot of eyes are turning to my home state to take a gander. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, the runoff election is one of the most important elections in history. After all, the fate of the Senate hangs in the balance.
Let’s be honest here, gun control groups as well as gun rights groups are going to be paying close attention to this race. After all, while President-elect Biden may want to pass gun control, he can’t without a complicit Senate. All the GOP needs is a single win in Georgia to hold on to that chamber.
And some anti-gunners are willing to spend big in at least one of those two races.
One of the country’s leading gun-control groups has entered the Georgia Senate runoffs with a six-figure buy against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler.
Brady PAC is running a 30-second ad on television in the state after making a $100,000 purchase, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The ad attacks Sen. Loeffler’s record of supporting pro-gun legislation.
The ad is the first significant spending by any gun-control group in the runoffs. Its focus on Second Amendment issues represents a turnaround from the non-gun ads Brady had run in the 2020 general election. The groups have remained largely absent from the Georgia races even though the outcome will decide which party controls the Senate for the next two years. If Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeat both Republican incumbents and take control of the legislative body, the gun bans and other measures favored by President-elect Joe Biden (D.) are more likely to become law than if Republicans retain control.
Now, for most Bearing Arms readers, we already knew the stakes of these races. You follow Second Amendment-related politics and didn’t need to be reminded. These two races are absolutely vital for the defense of gun rights.
Yet, for Brady to spend this money, it must be confident that going back to its anti-gun roots will work.
Is Brady right? Well, it doesn’t look that way.
Political observers in the state say Second Amendment issues are a high priority for many GOP voters.
“Gun rights and gun control are perennially at the top of the political agenda in the state of Georgia,” Timothy Lytton, a Georgia State University professor who has written about gun politics in the state, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Gun rights is as strong a motivator issue in Georgia as there is.”
David Mustard, a University of Georgia professor whose research on gun issues has been published in academic journals, told the Free Beacon the state is very gun-friendly and pointed to the fact it has one of the highest percentages of adults with gun-carry permits in the nation. “I would think that the gun-control issue would, to the extent that it’s discussed, help generate Republican turnout more than Democrat,” he said.
As a Georgia resident, that’s my observation as well. We’re a very pro-gun state and have been for quite some time. That doesn’t seem to have changed very much, regardless of what the election outcome might suggest.
So why would Brady run such an ad when it hasn’t pretty much anywhere else during this election cycle?
That’s a good question, but my guess is that it believes since the state went for Biden, the organization can motivate anti-gunners in the state to get out to vote and that it would make a difference.
The thing is, Atlanta’s already going to vote for Warnock, and that’s where you’re going to find most of your anti-gun voters in the state anyway, so I don’t see it being a big winner.
But, on the same token, if it’ll motivate pro-gun voters to get out there, then I hope Brady spends even more money between now and when voting ends.