Democrats and Gun Control

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Oh yes. Fearing to tread once again. In my continuing efforts to create a dialogue about how Democrats might be able to win back many of the voters we have been losing, not least over the past decade, I want to visit the whole issue of our stance on gun control.

I tried hard to come up with a simple question for debate. I can’t. So. Let me set out my position. And then you can all weigh in/excoriate/agree/send me to the seventh level of hell, whatever.

I abhor violence. I abhor hate. I could get into the whole argument about ‘is it the gun in the hand, or the hate in the heart?’ But I won’t. I grew up in Great Britain. We have fewer violent deaths than in the US. At the same time, we have a whole slew of ugly attacks on individuals which, arguably, might not occur if the victim was armed. You can go there if you wish. I’m not going to. Well. Not yet.

My good debating mate, Neil, wrote this earlier (hope you don’t mind, Neil): “Liberals need to ditch their opposition to the Second. There is nothing consistent with liberal values to support gun control. If liberals want to win back some of these people, they need to re-think their position on guns. Especially since all of the proposed restrictions would hurt the most vulnerable people more than it will hurt Joe Murica and his hunting buddies.

Dems should support the Second. Then push for funding gun safety training at the state level, while putting money into mental health care (since they artificially inflate handgun death numbers by including suicides, which make up 2/3 of handgun deaths). Cover all of your bases. I’m amazed that they haven’t figured this out yet.”

I can’t pretend that my position is anything this idealistic. Again. Not yet. My position is way more practical.

I don’t mind individuals owning guns. Maybe I should. But I don’t. For me, it is not an idealistic red line.

I do take the view that the argument about the Second Amendment is both sterile and moot.

I don’t care for cute arguments about the placing of comma’s. For me, the Second Amendment is clear. It allows Americans to bear arms.

Furthermore, being practical, as we are about to achieve a Supreme Court which is going to be unlikely to uphold any serious gun control legislation for the next 30 years, is this really an issue over which we are prepared to go on losing so many votes?

Hate to be mercenary. But since I am being mercenary. I think the two issues that have lost us the most support from working folk over the past few years have been jobs and gun control (well, and Obamacare). So. In my efforts to discover what I term a new Democratic Populism. Is it time at least to give the issue a rest? Or is it too much of a red line for liberals? Honest questions …

[Comments attached to the Facebook post on the same subject.]

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