Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may not be the current frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, but he’s most definitely one of the more pro-gun candidates. He’s managed to get at least some form of permitless carry passed in Florida, after all, which is something I was beginning to doubt was even possible.
As he campaigns for president, guns are going to be an issue. He’s going to have to talk about it, especially after Lewiston.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, DeSantis had a bit of a reality check for anti-gun Democrats in that state.
As New Hampshire Democrats embrace new gun control laws, including bans on so-called “assault weapons,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) told NHJournal on Wednesday the state should stand by its “Live Free or Die” principles.
Asked by NHJournal about the push for gun bans by Granite State Democrats, DeSantis said he disagreed.
“I stand with New Hampshire as the “Live Free or Die” state,” DeSantis replied.
“What happened [in Maine] was a terrible thing,” DeSantis said. “Obviously, there should have been an intervention with what happened leading up to [the shooting], we know that. But to turn around and try to ‘cure’ that by going after people’s individual rights? That’s not going to work. New Hampshire has always stood against that.”
DeSantis agrees with Democrats Craig and Warmington that New Hampshire has relatively few restrictions on gun ownership. But unlike the Democrats who decry the state’s current laws — Craig complains they are “some of the weakest gun laws in the entire country” — DeSantis supports the Granite State’s approach.
New Hampshire “has always understood — heck, Vermont and Maine, too — these are states that have always believed in your ability to protect yourself. And they’ve really done well in upholding the Second Amendment.”
Of course, this should be the default position for any politician regardless of party, but that’s in a perfect world. We don’t live in a perfect world, though. We’re stuck with this one and in this one, Democrats are generally going to be interested in restricting guns to some degree or another.
DeSantis isn’t saying anything new or shocking, really. This is consistent with his position on guns in Florida and has he’s campaigned.
Yet I love the “live free or die” reference. Yes, that’s New Hampshire’s state motto and shows up on the license plates, but sometimes people need to be reminded that living free means having the means to keep that freedom. That means gun rights, and New Hampshire has done pretty well in maintaining those, despite the best efforts of anti-gunners in the state.
New Hampshire should hold onto that attitude for as long as they can because it’s one of the few states that has really enshrined freedom quite that way. Far too many places look at freedom as something to be restricted, as if you can somehow maintain freedom by taking parts of it away.
DeSantis is right that gun control isn’t the answer. Gun control simply takes away your ability to protect yourself. Gun control makes it so you’re not living free and, if confronted with a violent criminal, your choices are pretty much the last part of New Hampshire’s state motto.