Tonight’s Iowa Caucuses could see Democrat frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton getting a hard lesson about being careful what she asks for, because in the Hawkeye State, there has been a recent surge in gun buying and carry permit applications, but she wants gun control to guide how Democrats vote.
Yesterday, at a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Clinton was urging supporters to “Stick with me. Stick with a plan. Stick with experience,” the Associated Press reported. But if her gun control push turns sour, Iowans may just tell her to stick it in her ear.
Evidently, Clinton and her staff have been too busy to read the Des Moines Register. That newspaper reported last week that in December, the state had more background check requests with the National Instant Check System (NICS) than in any other month last year. The state logged 25,941 NICS checks in December, the newspaper said.
BULLETIN: What’s happening in Iowa squares with a rush on gun shops across the country and applications for carry licenses and permits. That appears to include Washington State, where the Department of Licensing this morning provided the January concealed pistol license statistics to this column via e-mail.
According to this morning’s data, January ended with 517,665 active CPLs statewide, a jump of 8,087 licenses over the Dec. 31 figure of 509,578, reported at that time by this column (see link below). New CPL applications can take up to 30 days for approval under Washington statute, so people applying in the days following the San Bernardino terror attack on Dec. 2 would have been receiving their licenses during January.
According to the Washington Post, Clinton was busy over the weekend at a gathering in Ames, “urging them to make gun control a voting issue in the election.” The newspaper noted that she has made gun control “a regular part of her stump speech” in Iowa, a state with a strong tradition of hunting and gun ownership.
Some people might scratch their heads, wondering if Clinton has gone batty. She reportedly urged the audience at Iowa State University to make gun control their litmus test, much the same as Second Amendment activists use gun rights as the deciding issue in how they vote.
Tonight will tell whether Clinton’s strategy is a good idea or a monumental miscalculation. Some pundits are expecting this to be a long night for the former First Lady and secretary of state because polling indicates that Sen. Bernie Sanders has closed to within three or four percentage points of Clinton.
According to Yahoo news, Clinton claims she has been regularly “approached by gun owners and hunters who agree with her stance” on gun control. Yet, the Associated Press reported on Jan. 21 that Clinton has pushed gun control harder in New Hampshire than she has in Iowa, noting, “One of every four political ads she’s aired in (New Hampshire) over the past month has been about tougher gun laws. But in Iowa, only 1 in 17 of Clinton’s spots has featured her stance on gun control.”
By now, anyone who thinks gun rights and the future of the Second Amendment will not be on the line in November if Clinton is the Democrat nominee is living in a bubble. The next president will appoint three and possibly more Supreme Court justices. If the court makeup is dramatically shifted to the left, that could jeopardize landmark rulings in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) that affirmed the Second Amendment protects a fundamental individual civil right to keep and bear arms.
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