While gun control has always had supporters from both sides of the aisle, as have gun rights, we’ve long known more or less which side was more likely to head which way.
Republicans were going to tend to be pro-gun and Democrats were more likely to be anti-gun.
Those who deviated from that tended to be quiet because their voter base wasn’t likely to be thrilled with that. There were, of course, exceptions, but that’s how it generally broke.
In Indianapolis, a Republican candidate for mayor apparently thinks calling for gun control will help his chances.
Republican mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve released a public safety proposal Thursday calling for the hiring of a public safety director, stricter gun control measures, increased recruitment of IMPD officers, tackling violent crime and addressing root causes of crime.
“Crime is rampant in Indianapolis — and it calls for systemic change,” Shreve said at a news conference Thursday at The Vanguard restaurant in Broad Ripple, a community that saw three shooting fatalities on one weekend last month. “We’re on track to break yet another crime record this year.”
Indianapolis has had 100 criminal homicides this year so far, compared to 116 on the same date in 2022 and 133 in 2021, according to IMPD data.
Shreve accused Hogsett of failing to improve Indianapolis’ public safety and of not having a plan.
Now, most of that sounds solid. There are clearly problems in Indianapolis and hiring more police officers and hiring a public safety director may well help with that, as would addressing the root causes of crime.
But gun control?
The thing is, Shreve had an AQ rating from the NRA when he last ran for office, which is as high as you can get without a voting record to examine. He’s got pro-gun credentials.
Or so it would seem.
This has been brought up by his opponent, who is claiming he either lied to them then or is lying to the people now. Of course, he could also have changed his mind.
Regardless, all of this represents a bit of an issue.
But how bad is it, really? Well, this is what Shreve apparently wants.
In a break from his Republican colleagues at the Indianapolis City-County Council and the Indiana General Assembly, Shreve called for working with the state legislature to give Indianapolis the ability to set its own, stricter gun control laws.
Shreve said he would seek:
- Raising the legal age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21
- Repealing permitless carry, which the Indiana General Assembly successfully passed for handguns last year
- Banning assault weapon sales
This is pretty much what the current mayor wants, but Shreve said his approach is different because he’d actually approach the legislature rather than grandstanding.
OK, fine, but there’s something Shreve isn’t considering, and that’s how literally none of that is the problem in Indianapolis.
First, federal law prevents handgun purchases before someone turns 21, yet those are the lion’s share of firearms used in criminal activity. This means banning so-called assault weapons is a waste of time as well.
Further, permitless carry makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. It does nothing at all to empower criminals to do so–mostly because they were already doing it without the law.
So Shreve is basically echoing Democratic talking points and pretending that he’s appreciably different. If this is the best the GOP can muster in Indianapolis, they’re well and truly screwed.