Last night’s surprising upset victory in Michigan by Sen. Bernie Sanders over Democrat rival Hillary Rodham Clinton came so close to their tiff over gun control Sunday night in Flint that one is compelled to wonder whether Wolverine State voters sensed a hatred of the Second Amendment so visceral she wants to drive gun makers out of business.
That’s never a good impression to create in a state that fields more than 750,000 hunters. Clinton won handily down in Mississippi, but her loss in Michigan even made big headlines today in the Seattle Times, which endorsed Sanders the other day, and where readers are now weighing in with some interesting opinions about the front-runner.
After the Clinton-Sanders exchange on the gun industry, during which Clinton complained that “The gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make” as though that’s a bad thing, and Sanders said her position is “there should not be any guns in America, period,” the National Rifle Association weighed in. That organization essentially said Sanders nailed it.
Considering Clinton’s history on gun control, Sanders had it right. And now, one must wonder whether that played a significant factor in the Michigan upset. Political pundits are pontificating about all sorts of reasons Sanders may have scored, but they seem to be carefully avoiding the obvious.
In Michigan, even Democrats hunt and own guns, lots of them. It is a state where hunting and gun ownership cross political lines. There are no politics on opening day.
Today’s New York Times observed in its coverage of the primary, “Mrs. Clinton lost badly in Michigan among independents (and) showed continued weakness with working-class white Democrats…” It is those working class Democrats that occupy many deer stands and duck blinds in the fall, and they are cognizant of the fact that Clinton wants their votes in November, but doesn’t have much use for their Second Amendment rights.
As this column noted yesterday, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has released final numbers for this year’s apportionments of Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration funds to the states. Michigan’s share came to $22,443,457. That reflects a lot of hunters and gun owners, and they’re not all Republicans.
Certainly, Clinton is way ahead in the number of delegates, but the Michigan primary results prove that she is not invincible, and a lot of voters do not trust her. A recent YouGov poll cited by the Huffington Post today delivers the bad news.
Perhaps that’s not entirely accurate. It appears people think Clinton can be trusted to do whatever it takes to hurt the firearms industry and erode the Second Amendment.
Got an opinion about this column? Share your views in the “Comments” section below.