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May 04, 2008

Guns Are Back; Dems Are Easy Targets

This type of thing cracks me up. Two democrats with identical records when it comes to guns (ban them!) and identical policy proposals for next year (let states and localities do the dirty work) are bashing each other in the hunt for votes from gun owners. Neither can actually claim to be good when it comes to gun rights--no one would believe them if they tried--so both are trying to cast the other as quite bad.

This never would have happened if the Democratic contest had ended on Super Tuesday. Obama and Clinton are scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for atypical voters--for Democrats, anyways. This is great news for Republicans.

First, Democrats have been hiding from the issue during Bush's presidency. Al Gore's virulently anti-gun primary campaign is partially blamed for his loss and for many down-ticket losses in 2000. Democrats realized that as long as they shut up about guns Republicans couldn't use the issue to bludgeon them. Their lack of support for new gun control measures has been especially useful as many of President Clinton's anti-gun laws expired.

Now that Democrats are ready to talk about guns again, we should be hitting them hard on the issue. Neither Democratic candidate can move all that far to the right on guns--not as long as the primary continues--and McCain should be taking this opportunity to stake out a vocal pro-Second Amendment position. Seriously, it's as simple as a little patriotic music with McCain reading the Second Amendment crosscut with Clinton and Obama saying "Leave it to states to make that decision."

Second, when Democrats (and the legacy media) talk about guns, they invariably get something wrong. Clinton, who seems particularly fond of negative anti-Obama mailings, made a bit of an oopsie with this one:

Where does Barack Obama really stand on guns?

This is a little nit-picky for my taste, but the Politico's Ben Smith gives it to Clinton with both barrels:

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s mailing attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s record on guns appears to include a striking visual gaffe: The image of the gun pictured on the face of the mailing is reversed, making it a nonexistent left-handed model of the Mauser 66 rifle.

To make matters worse, a prominent gun dealer said, it’s an expensive German gun with customized features that make it clearly European.

“The gun in the photo does not exist,” said Val Forgett III, resident of Navy Arms in Martinsburg, W.Va. Forgett's company was Mauser’s agent in the United States when the gun was released, and it sold Mauser guns here again in the 1990s. “The bolt is facing to the left side of the receiver, making it a left-handed bolt action rifle, indicating whoever constructed and approved the mailer did not recognize the image has been reversed.”

Forgett said the error would be obvious to sportsmen.

Are Hoosiers really going to care that some PR flake flipped the image when they made the mailer? Of course, Democrats have long distorted the facts on guns. You'd think Clinton would have taken more care.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:41 PM

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