Alabama Senate race focuses on gun rights

Alabama Senate race focuses on gun rights
MikeGunner / Pixabay

The state of Alabama isn’t the kind of place where you get elected to statewide office if you hold certain positions. You have a right to believe whatever you want, but the folks there just aren’t going to vote for you if you favor certain things.

And yes, one of those things is gun control. If you back it, kiss your chances goodbye.

Now, the Alabama Senate race is starting to fire up, and it looks like guns are a key issue.

Gun rights have emerged as such a significant issue in the Republican primary of Alabama’s Senate race that the three leading candidates have all produced commercials testifying to their support of the Second Amendment.

And one of the most high-profile developments in the race is that Mike Durant – who was leading in the only two independent polls of the race, which were conducted in March – said in a speech 11 years ago that disarming the population in some U.S. cities would be a step toward reducing crime.

Durant, a Huntsville business executive and former Army aviator, said after his 2011 comments came to light that they were “mischaracterized” and “misunderstood.” He said he is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

On Tuesday, however, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks received the endorsement from the National Rifle Association. The NRA cited Brooks’ voting record in Congress supporting gun rights as the basis for its support, earning him an ‘A’ rating.

The question is, will that be enough to lift Brooks over Durant?

It really depends on how concerning Durants comments are to the people of Alabama, and we know they matter a lot.

However, Durant could have curtailed this. Instead of saying he was misunderstood–a tactic we’ve seen from others who previously offered support for gun control–he could have actually told us what he meant. Maybe he just meant hypothetically? I have no idea, but I haven’t seen much from Durant that really tells us what he meant.

Regardless, this could be a very interesting race. Will people take Durant at face value? He says he fully supports the Second Amendment now, and most veterans who have been in harm’s way do–Durant is perhaps best known for being the Blackhawk pilot who was shot down and captured during the Battle of Mogadishu–so it’s entirely possible. Likely, even.

However, his response was enough for the NRA to endorse his opponent, and that’s not surprising.

Will the NRA endorsement matter, though? Will it be enough to lift Brooks over Durant? Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, but it’ll be interesting to see if it makes a difference.

If it does, then it tells you just how much of an issue gun rights is to folks in Alabama this year. It may also be indicative of how big of a role it plays in dozens of elections throughout the nation.

President Joe Biden is pushing gun control hard. If the gun owners of this nation rally, we can put an end to that prospect, and that looks pretty likely.

Alabama will be interesting to watch, that’s for sure.