Well, while 2018 elections, Russia collusion nonsense, and other issues have dominated the news, the fight for our Second Amendment rights continues—and this time it seems the pro-gun Democrat governors out West are starting to buckle. Is it due to political pressure? No, but presidential ambitions might cause some of these folks, like Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, to switch gears. He told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’s now open to a ban on so-called assault weapons (via The Hill):
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) said Sunday for the first time that he would support a ban on assault weapons.
“Everybody wants to keep themselves and their families safe,” Bullock said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Bullock has long been a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and Montana's gun laws, and only in recent months has endorsed universal background checks. He had not previously expressed support for such a widespread ban.
The governor’s shift to a stronger stance on gun control is seen by many as a sign that he may be gearing up for a presidential run.
Also, Bullock is a staunch supporter of gun rights? I don’t know about that; he’s vetoed two pro-gun bills, and he’s received low marks by the National Rifle Association. The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida caused another groundswell for gun control, which died down, as they always do, as more information was revealed, specifically how local, state, and federal authorities failed to act on the many red flags presented by shooter Nikolas Cruz. The fact that the school resource officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office didn’t go into the building didn’t help the pro-gun control side either. Still, it got Republican Gov. Rick Scott to sign an atrocious anti-gun bill into law, increasing the age on all gun purchases to 21, which is grossly unconstitutional. And yes, it’s being challenged.
In Montana, Bullock and some other Democrats were bucking the trend of not antagonizing the nation’s oldest civil rights organization prior to their June primaries (via NYT):
To be sure, some Democrats in conservative-leaning states…have long been willing to challenge the group, especially in urban areas — but there were rarely very many of them. Meanwhile, rural Democrats often did the opposite, and actively courted the N.R.A., whose seal of approval and potent ability to mobilize its members could lift a candidate of either party to victory.
That era is not completely over. But many Democrats have grown wary of an organization that they believe has effectively evolved into an extension of the Republican Party, and they have begun to wonder whether they would be better off putting some distance between themselves and the N.R.A. The most fervent supporters of gun rights, some Democrats reason, are unlikely to support their campaigns no matter what they do.
“I think those that are hypersensitive to this issue are likely not going to be voting for us anyway, and I understand that, because there are voters who believe that any discussion of the Second Amendment is the compromising of the Second Amendment,” said Walt Maddox, a Democratic candidate for governor of Alabama. “But I believe the vast majority of Democrats, independents and Republicans are not fearful of a discussion on this matter, especially if it’s reasonable, measured and common sense-oriented.”
Some Democrats in the state are confident that their party can succeed with a candidate who pushes away from the N.R.A. but finds a way to appeal to individual gun owners.
“We’ve hit a moment in time where the N.R.A. is denigrating a whole lot of responsible gun owners, so it’s not that surprising that folks finally say, ‘Enough’s enough — they don’t represent me, and they don’t represent either the mainstream of America or the mainstream of firearm owners,’ ” Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, said in an interview in his office at the State Capitol.
The mass shooting in Parkland, which helped prompt the legislation Mr. Scott signed, appears to have been a political turning point even in places like Montana, which has one of the nation’s highest rates of gun ownership and where candidates often talk about their hunting credentials.
Let’s not fall for this again. First, Gov. Bullock says he would ban some widely owned semiautomatic firearms, like the AR-15, which will only lead to more gun bans. Second, yes, he’s a hunter and gun owner. He can still be wrong on this issue. Third,he says “Everybody wants to keep themselves and their families safe.” True—and we know gun control does the exact opposite. And last, what happened last time we tried to have a “reasonable, measured and common sense-oriented” discussion on this issue. It was a shambles, a prolonged kangaroo court for liberals to bash the NRA, Republicans, gun owners, rural voters, and anyone they didn’t like. It became the exact opposite of reasonable because Democrats are anything but that. We cannot talk with these people. As the Democratic Party lurches further to left on this issue, why should we trust them? We shouldn’t.