Gun-control gut check: No thanks on an assault weapons ban, says ... Democrat Doug Jones

Via the Free Beacon, if the Parkland-led anti-gun push is about more than partisan politics, Senator Jones here should be at the top of the list of targets for a pressure campaign. He’s from a red southern state, sure. So what? This is about “saving lives.” Can’t expect Republicans to start bending on gun regulations until all Senate Democrats have come aboard. Even if Republicans don’t bend, a baseline goal for gun-grabbers should be making the Democratic Party as uniformly hostile to gun rights as it is uniformly supportive of abortion. If Doug Jones doesn’t see the evil in assault weapons, well, I guess Doug Jones’s Senate career will need to come to an end.

If, that is, this is about more than partisan politics. If it isn’t, then of course you’re going to give Jones a pass on opposing an assault weapons ban. He’s from Alabama. He needs to be reelected.

Jones has actually been savvy in his gun-control messaging over the past week, I think, especially for a newbie. How do you split the baby between a red-state constituency that’s expecting you to vote one way and a national blue constituency that’s expecting you to vote another? Answer: You support the least controversial anti-gun measures and stay away from anything near the third rail. That means yes to universal background checks and closing loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, both of which Jones backed in his first Senate floor speech last week. He also came out in favor of raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic weapon to 21, which is riskier business in a state with lots of hunters. Maybe he felt that between needing to please national Democrats and the fact that younger voters tend to lean further left generally, he could get away with that back home provided he doesn’t back any other attempts to take certain kinds of weapons out of the hands of law-abiding people. Hence his opposition to the assault weapons ban — qualified opposition, I should note, since he doesn’t rule out supporting it eventually. He merely says that Congress isn’t ready to pass something like that. That’s another sop to the left, if only rhetorically.

Speaking of partisan politics and the gun debate, read David French: “David Hogg Isn’t a Bully, His Adult Allies Are.”

Hogg isn’t the bully here. His powerful adult allies are. They built this culture. This is the culture of the progressive corporate boardroom, the progressive academy, and all too many sectors of media and the arts. In this culture, Hogg is a weapon to wield so long as he’s useful. He’s the latest in a long line of victims/activists who spend their time as the “face” of an immense movement, pushed forward by the media until that moment when the news cycle moves on, other victims emerge, and other outrages inflame the masses…

I hope someone is talking to these Parkland kids, telling them the cold, hard truth. The vast majority of their new friends love them because they are useful. If they deviate one inch from the tribal lines, they’ll quickly learn how scarce their true friends are. Teens are “powerful” only when they agree with powerful adults. This is an adult fight, and has been from the beginning.

I wonder what would happen to Hogg’s fan club if he followed my logic up top and demanded a full-court press by “the movement” against pro-gun Democrats. Forget Marco Rubio, forget the NRA, forget all those child-murdering Republicans. We can’t expect the right to listen to reason on guns when some on the left still refuse. From now on, Hogg might say, all efforts should be concentrated on Doug Jones and the many red-state Democrats like Claire McCaskill who are at real risk of losing their seats this fall. What would that do to Hogg’s standing among the media and the wider liberal base?

Via the Daily Wire, your exit quotation courtesy of a vice chair of the DNC: