The Democratic Party has long counted on votes from minorities. However, in recent years, that strategy has shown signs of potentially backfiring. After all, more and more Hispanics are starting to vote Republican. While they still lean mostly toward Democrats, Hispanics seem to be shifting.
So, it seems Florida Democrats are looking at gun control as an issue to sway them to come back.
Annette Taddeo walked to a podium overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay and described to her audience how she had fled terrorism as a teenager in Colombia and now feared for the safety of her 16-year-old daughter at an American public school.
A blue and bright orange bus behind the Democratic congressional candidate carried this message in Spanish: “A future without violence.”
“Latinos are here because of the American dream, and it is really hard to do that when you are worried about your kids’ safety,” said Taddeo, a state senator who is challenging a Republican congresswoman, María Elvira Salazar.
I’m sure they did come here for a better life.
However, if you take a look at the nations they came from, the United States has less violent crime than just about all of them. So why would Hispanic voters believe the United States is inherently unsafe because of our gun laws?
I mean, every nation on that list has very strict gun control laws in place–laws much stricter than here in the US–and yet their homicide rates his lightyears beyond ours.
So, why would gun control be a winning tactic?
In Florida, there is a reason Democrats think it will be:
Gun violence, meantime, is a particularly powerful issue in Florida, where two of the deadliest mass shootings in recent years have occurred. Spanish-language media have given wide coverage both to the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a predominantly Hispanic area, and to the penalty trial of the shooter who attacked a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.
In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted in June, 35% of Latinos named gun issues in an open-ended question allowing people to identify up to five issues for the government to be working on in the next year. That compared with 18% in late 2021 and 10% in 2020.
That’s interesting, but the article fails to define what “gun issues” actually means here. See, the phrase “gun issues” could mean gun control, sure, but it could mean the restoration of gun rights as well. As such, I think putting too much stock in this poll may well be a huge mistake.
Especially since the article goes on to note that many immigrants are explicitly against gun control–not just in Florida, but in the US in general.
So why are Democrats pushing this?
Because they don’t actually think very highly of Florida’s Hispanic population. They actually think that because they’re minorities, they are going to view things the way Democrats expect them to. Look at the quote from Taddeo above. She talks about immigrants and what they want but forgets about where they came from. She makes no reference to the violence and poverty they left and offers no acknowledgment that the United States is actually safer than where they came from.
Can we do better? Oh, no doubt. Yet many of those Hispanic voters recognize that gun control isn’t the answer. Many of them have seen how gun control disarms the good guys while the criminals are still able to acquire firearms, thus putting law-abiding citizens at a severe disadvantage.
They’re not necessarily interested in going down that road again, nor should they be.