The Pistolero points out something that should be disturbing to all gun rights activists, about what the NRA is not saying about the 2008 presidential candidates. He notes that in the October issue of the NRA's America's First Freedom magazine, LaPierre warns of the undeniable threat to gun rights posed by a Clinton or Obama presidency. I doubt anyone on our side would dispute that, but what is troubling is that LaPierre seems to think the only threats worth guarding against are Democrats.
Now, all of those are certainly viable threats, of which we all should be ever mindful. But reading LaPierre's column, I noticed no mention of anyone on the Republican side. Which to me was a little bit off, because as you know, at least one candidate on the GOP side supports at least licensing and registration, and this candidate was one of the big-city mayors -- in fact, the ONLY Republican mayor -- to file suit against several firearm manufacturers for allegedly "flooding the streets with guns."Folks, I'm not trying to deny that most of the avid advocates of citizen disarmament are Democrats, and I realize that all fifty-nine cosponsors of Carolyn "What's a barrel shroud" McCarthy's H.R. 1022 ("assault weapons" ban) are members of that party, but does that mean that all Republicans get a free pass? Are we to assume that any enemy of our enemy is an ally?
I certainly hope not, and I don't seem to be the only one. Jeff Knox makes a compelling case for "un-picking" some candidates--some of whom are Republicans.
Weeding out the Democrat side of the political garden is easy; all of the candidates are unrepentant gun-blamers and believers in limiting liberty except New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson who has a pretty good record on gun issues.As Mr. Knox says, there is nothing wrong with the idea of withholding judgment, for the moment, on whom to support in the 2008 presidential race, but it's certainly not too early to eliminate some choices--designating some candidates as historical enemies of gun rights, and publicly stating that they will never be acceptable.
Weeding out noxious Republicans should be just as easy because the records are clear; Giuliani was an ardent gun control supporter as Mayor of New York; Romney advanced and signed harsh anti-gun legislation as Governor of Massachusetts; and McCain stabbed gunowners in the back by lending his name to anti-gun advertisements and pushing for restrictions on gun shows.
Also, if the message we send the Democrats is that nothing they do will ever get the pro-gun vote, then we have removed any incentive for them to be on our side. In fact, we are actually telling them that they might as well pander to the (far from insignificant) portion of their base that advocates citizen disarmament. Likewise, if the Republicans learn that all they need to do to get our vote is be less anti-freedom than the opposition (who, you remember, we are actively encouraging to be as anti-gun as possible), we have taken away their incentive to be any more than the most tepid of "allies."
If I were the suspicious type, I might suspect the NRA of deliberately leaving open the option of supporting Giuliani, or Romney, or McCain. I might see the NRA as being willing to set the bar for worthiness of its support no higher than "not as bad as Hillary" with regard to gun rights. Alright, alright--I'll be honest--I am the suspicious type, and that's exactly what I suspect the NRA is doing.
If the NRA fails to understand that "not as bad as Hillary" isn't going to cut it, and supports a Republican who is only marginally less bad, the NRA will be supporting the enemy. That's the kind of thing the Founding Fathers frowned on.