Loyal readers will recall that I warned last year of the perfect storm approaching on gun control. Now, with the Tucson, Ariz., tragedy as a steppingstone and with eyes firmly focused on his re-election, President Barack Obama has opened a campaign to appease his base on the polarizing issue.
Let me completely disclose my position: I am a strong Second Amendment advocate. I believe in protecting our fundamental rights, including our Second Amendment rights, through the political process. To that end, I serve as honorary chairman of the "Trigger The Vote" voter registration campaign.
That campaign is funded by the National Rifle Association's Freedom Action Foundation. We work in every election cycle to register gun owners and hunters to vote and add them to the ranks of millions of grass-roots voters who have established Second Amendment issues as the new "third rail" of American politics. Those voters and the newly registered voters we can add to their ranks between now and November 2012 will have their job cut out for them in the next election cycle.
The 2012 election now looms large for this administration. Even while the president's top aides are deserting the White House to staff up his campaign office, those left behind seem to be working from a mandate to begin patrolling the divided Democratic base.
Up until now, the Obama White House had given a wide berth to the gun control debate, abandoning campaign promises to pursue new restrictions on our gun rights. This avoidance does not reflect any shift in position; it is merely recognition of the political reality that most members of his party have no interest in having yet another political loser of an issue crammed down their throats.
At the same time, those in Obama's liberal base have grown restless and rancorous over his first two years in office because he hasn't done everything they've wanted, at least regarding more restrictions on our Second Amendment rights. They resent the president's avoidance of fulfilling his campaign rhetoric.
Gun control groups have thrown tantrums for months that Obama wouldn't champion their agenda, with one group resentfully awarding him an F. So only now is Obama sticking his toes into the swirling currents of the Second Amendment debate.