WaPo: Gun-control Democrats paying price, not gun-rights Republicans

posted at 1:21 pm on June 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Surprise, surprise, surprise … or not.  Democrats seem poised to relearn an old lesson in the 2014 midterms, which is that gun control is a losing message.  In fact, some of them are already learning it — thanks to their own side:

When Congress in April defeated an effort to strengthen the national background-check system for gun sales, it was mostly on the strength of Republican opposition. Less than two months later, proponents of stricter gun laws have decided that a small number of Democrats will make more productive targets.

In the Senate, all but four Republicans opposed the background-check measure. They have emerged mostly unscathed by the various campaigns advocating for stricter gun laws in the wake of the December attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 schoolchildren and teachers. …

In a letter to more than 1,000 donors, Bloomberg called out the four Democrats — Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.)Mark Begich (Alaska)Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.). “Instead of rising above politics to pass a law that would save lives,” he wrote, the four senators “sided with a gun lobby increasingly out of touch with Americans’ priorities.”

“The next time these four Senators want you to support them with donations to their campaigns, tell them you cannot,” Bloomberg wrote.

By asking campaign donors to withhold funds, the deep-pocketed mayor went against the will of his congressional Democratic allies, who tried but failed to secure enough GOP support for the gun bill and have warned that public criticism of vulnerable Democrats who voted against the bill will result in Republican gains and less of a chance to enact new gun laws.

First, the strategy of the gun-control advocates — especially Bloomberg, but also Barack Obama and leading members of the Democratic Party — practically guaranteed failure.  They whipped up anger and demagogued on the Newtown and Aurora shootings in order to push solutions that would have addressed neither of those tragedies.  If all they wanted were expanded background checks, they could have reached out to the NRA and some of these red-state officeholders in the House and Senate to craft a rational approach to that, without waving the bloody shirt constantly.    Instead, they pushed for another irrational “assault weapons” ban that would have addressed only a tiny slice of homicides, even though Connecticut already had such a ban at the time of the Newtown massacre, while advocates slimed opponents as massacre cheerleaders.

Next, of course, came the IRS scandal and the exposure of the NSA surveillance programs.  Remember when gun-control advocates like Joe Scarborough and Piers Morgan thought that it was irrational to fear that the government would exploit background checks to threaten gun owners?  Good times, good timesNo one’s laughing about expanding government power on Second Amendment issues when it’s become apparent that some abuses on the First (and possibly Fourth) Amendments have been taking place.

Under those circumstances, what red- or purple-state officeholder really wants to go back to constituents and argue that the government can be trusted to expand tracking of gun sales between family members, and to take guns away based on arbitrary definitions that have nothing to do with realistic relative lethality?  They’re going to have enough trouble with these voters distancing themselves from colleagues who went all in on the demonization of gun owners while demanding more government control as the IRS and possibly the NSA was running amok.  All the money in Bloomberg’s bank accounts won’t compensate for that problem.

Democrats learned the lesson in the 1990s: gun control is a loser, electorally as well as practically, as cities like Chicago and Washington DC constantly prove.  It’s going to be an expensive lesson to relearn, even apart from Bloomberg’s cash blizzard.

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Didn’t Moaning Joe guarantee that anyone who voted against tyranny would be ousted in 2014?

NotCoach on June 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

“Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Bad advice from a bad leader. Bloomberg merely echoes this garbage. Fight the power, baby!

MTF on June 13, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Sarah Palin rejoining FOXNEWS as contributor, DRUDGE has learned, announcement expected this afternoon… Developing…

katy the mean old lady on June 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Hahahahahahaha!!!

Keep up the good work, Bloomie! 55 GOP Senate seats in 2014 or bust!

Hayabusa on June 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

His support of gun control cost AlGore his home state when he ran for President and very possibly the election.

tommyboy on June 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

The last laugh will go to the dems on gun control if amnesty is passed.

voiceofreason on June 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

“Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

When you have to start reassuring people with your speeches that you are not a dictator – you’re a dictator.

tommyboy on June 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

how could this cost them the senate if 90% of Americans, 80% of gunowners, and 70% of NRA households favor it?

the cowards who voted no, on the other hand, may be in for a surprise when reelection comes

nonpartisan on April 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Obama is showing his anger on behalf of the parents of newtown

He is angry that the congress is so limp as to not even able to pass something that 90% of Americans, 80% of gunowners, and 70% of NRA households support

he is livid at the cowards who have let the newtown victims die in vain

it is righteous anger

nonpartisan on April 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Erika, you have to understand, this issue is not political for the democrats.

President Obama is pushing this not for political points, but to prevent more innocent deaths. Whether you agree or disagree with the policy, you must understand his intention is noble.

nonpartisan on April 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Resist We Much on June 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

We’re going to need some more popcorn. I support Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign 110% and hope he continues hammering vulnerable Democrats everywhere.

Punchenko on June 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Relearning old lessons.

…implying Democrats learned something in the first place?

mintycrys on June 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Hahahahahahaha!!!

Keep up the good work, Bloomie! 55 GOP Senate seats in 2014 or bust!

Hayabusa on June 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

That all depends on amnesty. If they pass it, the GOP is done.

txhsmom on June 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Hahahahahahaha!!!

Keep up the good work, Bloomie! 55 GOP Senate seats in 2014 or bust!

Hayabusa on June 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Depends on what the GOP does with amnesty, now doesn’t it? They’ll *lose* seats if they pass it – I, and many like me, will *not* vote for a damn one of them if they pass it.

Midas on June 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

lol, txhsmom – right on.

Midas on June 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.
_Reagan

continues to be 100% correct when it comes to liberals.

unseen on June 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Hence the problem with debating liberals on any topic… they always insult your intelligence, because they have none.

There are ways of solving problems rationally and then there are liberal methods that only guarantee failure either in purpose or implementation.

SteveInRTP on June 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

That all depends on amnesty. If they pass it, the GOP is done.txhsmom on June 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Yep, although, it has been dysfunctional for quite a while already.

a capella on June 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM

His support of gun control cost AlGore his home state when he ran for President and very possibly the election.

tommyboy on June 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Yes, and it’s a big reason George Bush upset Ann Richards in the election for governor. Richards vetoed the concealed carry bill. Old time TX Democrats just shake their heads when the national Dems go all gun grabby. They know this is what in large part gave the world Dubya. Heh.

juliesa on June 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I wonder if Bloomberg has noticed that Baucus is retiring.

On the other hand, go, Mike, spend millions pushing Baucus out of office! You’re a genius!!

Hucklebuck on June 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

That all depends on amnesty. If they pass it, the GOP is done.

txhsmom on June 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I suspect that amnesty will ultimatly result in a 3rd party.

Freddy on June 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Ever notice that crooks always use the stock phrase “Trust us”?

GarandFan on June 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

WaPo: Gun-control Democrats paying price, not gun-rights Republicans

I wonder what your first clue was, Sherlock?

Physics Geek on June 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Ever notice that crooks always use the stock phrase “Trust us”?

GarandFan on June 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Oh, just a co-inky-dink, I’m sure.

Solaratov on June 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM

I suspect that amnesty will ultimatly result in a 3rd party.

Freddy on June 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Might as well, with all those new Demo voters and all of the former Repub ones, like I will be.

IrishEyes on June 13, 2013 at 2:27 PM

“The next time these four Senators want you to support them with donations to their campaigns, tell them you cannot,” Bloomberg wrote.

Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! Never thought I’d see the day a Democrat violated their own 11th commandment!

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 2:27 PM

this is mostly due to the small town clickish provincialism of the left wing bubble that is DC. WaPo had a splashy style story on the media/administration marriages that are DC

humorously they asserted that there was no ‘conflict’ of interest and they and they were ‘diligent’ in doing so

but of course, they can’t see the xenophobic culture that surrounds them, they are the culture. Narcissists are not known for their understanding of others

r keller on June 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Who could see this coming…

claudius on June 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM

We’re going to need some more popcorn. I support Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign 110% and hope he continues hammering vulnerable Democrats everywhere.

Punchenko on June 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

.

Bloomberg called out the four Democrats — Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).


I move we all agree to a solemn pact to NOT contribute one nickel to the campaigns of the four Senators listed above …

… as a show of our BIPARTISAN support of Mayor Bloomberg being a complete idiot.

PolAgnostic on June 13, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Yeah right. 30+ million new citizens will help this problem. Sell this crap someplace else…like at AOS.

Mr. Arrogant on June 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

nonpartisan on April 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Akzed on June 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Hopefully our military has better trolls then what HA has.

NotCoach on June 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The last laugh will go to the dems on gun control if amnesty is passed.

voiceofreason on June 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Not unless they hump them across the border with them.

“We the People” have ours close at hand.

Tenwheeler on June 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Surprise, surprise, surprise … or not.

It’s not often you see a Gomer Pyle reference….

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Democrats seem poised to relearn an old lesson in the 2014 midterms, which is that gun control is a losing message. In fact, some of them are already learning it — thanks to their own side:

Incidentally, I’m perfectly ok with them NOT learning this lesson for another election or two…

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Why do I imagine him speaking German in that screencap?

CurtZHP on June 13, 2013 at 3:26 PM

The democrats are currently instilling a phobia of guns in our children through the school system.

The word gun is now forbidden in some schools on pain of suspension. The image of a gun or even the shape of a gun brings punishment.

20 years from now they’ll vote their phobia.

GardenGnome on June 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Democrats learned the lesson in the 1990s: nationally, gun control is a loser, electorally as well as practically, as cities like Chicago and Washington DC constantly prove.

Expanded for clarity.
Gun control can still be implemented, one city and one state at a time.
Wonder what keywords and meta-analysis the NSA is using to find all of the people who support 2A rights?

AesopFan on June 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

The democrats are currently instilling a phobia of guns in our children through the school system.

The word gun is now forbidden in some schools on pain of suspension. The image of a gun or even the shape of a gun brings punishment.

20 years from now they’ll vote their phobia.

GardenGnome on June 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Indeed; otherwise, the total paranoia of the school officials is totally irrational.
Have been helping with Cub Scout Day Camp this week; most popular activity is (ta-dah!) the BB gun range.
Could this be the real reason the Left wants to shut down the BSA?

AesopFan on June 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Why does the IRS want to Kill a lot of people very quickly?”
Isn’t that the only reason for an AR-15?
Or maybe it is just a really good self defense gun against more than one aggressor.

barnone on June 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Not to miss

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Why does the IRS want to Kill a lot of people very quickly?”

Ask George Bush. If you can find him.

Mr. Arrogant on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Have been helping with Cub Scout Day Camp this week; most popular activity is (ta-dah!) the BB gun range.
Could this be the real reason the Left wants to shut down the BSA?

AesopFan on June 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM

No the left hates the BSA because they don’t think that “Be Prepared” should change to “Be FABulouuuuuuuuuus” They think they can do better turning a youth program that builds men of character into a bunch of whimpy metrosexuals.

Happy Nomad on June 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Wonder what keywords and meta-analysis the NSA is using to find all of the people who support 2A rights?

AesopFan on June 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Freedom
Liberty
Self-defense
Patriot

Happy Nomad on June 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Kelly Ayotte apologist Aynblandtard hardest hit.

xblade on June 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Never underestimate the Republicans’ ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Iblis on June 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I hope this means the availability of ammo increases and the prices come down. You would think with all these states passing Obama gun laws, the ammo manufactures would be shipping more to gun friendly states.

DDay on June 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

It’s called

SHALL

NOT

BE

INFRINGED

(… you jackasses! )

TX-96 on June 13, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Sen. Mark Pryor is distancing himself from Washington and New York in his first 2014 ad and swinging back at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose anti-gun violence group has run ads hitting Pryor for his “no” vote on gun control legislation.
“I’m Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do,” Pryor (D-Ark.) said in the ad, set to begin running statewide on Friday. “I listen to Arkansas.”

Sen Prior took Bloomberg on

J_Crater on June 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Alaska being Alaska, IF Begich loses it won’t be because he supports gun ownership.
Unfortunately I don’t see any candidate that is willing to challenge him.

lwssdd on June 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM