Anti-gun Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton got booed yesterday at an event in Las Vegas, and a new Fox News poll shows her now trailing Bernie Sanders nationally as the Nevada caucuses loom Saturday and the South Carolina Democrat primary is a week away.
They might be talking about this a lot during this weekend’s Washington Arms Collectors gun show in Puyallup. WAC members and visitors will no doubt be discussing yesterday’s launch of a new gun control initiative campaign. WAC joined with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and other groups to fight Initiative 594 two years ago, under the umbrella of the Protect Our Gun Rights (POGR) group, which is now raising funds for this new battle.
Clinton, for whom the proverbial fix seems to be in for her delegate count, still enjoys a healthy lead in South Carolina. She has essentially declared war on the Second Amendment and gun owners as a cornerstone of her campaign, but according to the Daily Mail and other news agencies, the boos came when she claimed Sanders was not a Democrat until he decided to run for president.
By odd coincidence, many Donald Trump critics claim he wasn’t a Republican until he decided to run, as well. He’s remained the GOP front runner for many weeks.
Fox News reported yesterday that its last two polls “show Clinton’s drop-off has been most striking among women (she has gone from 28 points ahead of Sanders to just 3 points up, for a shift of minus 25 points), whites (-13 points), and regular Democrats (-14 points). She has mostly held constant among black voters and those with a college degree.”
According to Fox, Clinton has a problem of “trustworthiness.” The story noted, “While Democrats think by 75-22 percent that Clinton ‘has the integrity’ to serve effectively as president, a 55-percent majority of voters overall say she doesn’t. That includes 64 percent of independents.”
Translation: Clinton has a “credibility gap” that widened into a chasm for many people last night when she told CBS’ Scott Pelley that ‘I don’t believe I ever have” lied to the American people. Her credibility problem has dogged her through Iowa and New Hampshire. Both of those states have strong gun ownership traditions, as do South Carolina and Nevada. And she has made guns an election issue.
The gun issue is back in headlines in Washington State, thanks to yesterday’s launch of an initiative effort to pass a measure that was turned down by the legislature in Olympia, the so-called “extreme risk protection order” bill. This campaign just might have launched with a credibility problem of its own that just might engulf the press.
In all but one place – the Seattle Times – headlines about yesterday’s initiative campaign launch referred to a “gun safety group.” The self-proclaimed Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a well-financed gun control organization, the same group that spent a small fortune to pass Initiative 594 in 2014. To its credit, the Times headlined its story, written by veteran reporter Christine Clarridge, in a way that did not use the term “gun safety.”
The term did pop up in the synopsis, however. But that’s not the only problem with yesterday’s reports. Some of them alluded to the killing spree in Santa Barbara two years ago, which one of yesterday’s speakers called a “mass shooting.” The cousin of one Santa Barbara victim contended that if California laws had been tougher, allowing police to search killer Elliot Rodger’s apartment and take his guns, his victims might be alive today.
This telling of the story ignores the fact that Rodger murdered three of his victims by stabbing them. That is a detail which has faded into the shadows as the Santa Barbara spree is used to bolster gun control arguments.
No genuine “gun safety” group, including the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association (with its tens of thousands of certified firearms instructors), or Second Amendment Foundation wants guns in the wrong hands. They especially do not want guns in the hands of mentally unstable, suicidal people.
That’s why gun rights leader Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and CCRKBA chairman, quietly worked with mental health advocates for the past year to develop another piece of legislation mentioned by this column yesterday. House Bill 2793, the “Safe Homes” bill that promotes suicide awareness education and prevention, passed the House 93-4 and is now in the Senate.
The actual language of the new initiative was not available, and Second Amendment activists are waiting to see it. As one WAC official noted via telephone Friday morning, the concept of keeping guns out of the wrong hands is appealing, but the devil is always in the details of legislation seeking to accomplish that lofty goal. Maybe that’s why the Democrat-controlled House let the bill die.
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