To this point in presidential politics, even candidates who favored gun control over gun rights hid it or at least tried to hide it.
Barack Obama promised not to come after guns in 2008, John Kerry’s campaign released a photo of him on a bird hunt in 2004, and Salon reported that Al Gore “decided to quiet his criticism of the NRA and mute his support for gun control to build support in battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan where support for gun rights runs high [in] 2000.”
But Hillary has jettisoned such subtleties. If elected, she’s coming for guns, and that is just how it’s going to be.
According to The Washington Post, Hillary is openly running on “toughening the nation’s gun laws.” And this not only includes gun laws per se, “but also [a vow] to fight the National Rifle Association.”
In Hanover, New Hampshire, she said, “We have to take on the gun lobby… This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.” In Iowa City, Iowa, she said, “I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better.”
The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre responded to Hillary’s gun control push by pointing to her husband’s memoir My Life, in which he described various Democrat losses that were the result of pushing gun control.
And in January 2013, Outside the Beltway reported that Bill Clinton told a group of Democrats that Al Gore lost Florida because of a gun control push against gun shows in that state, and he also described how the assault weapons ban cost Democrats the House in 1994.
But Hillary is going her own way, and she will be the first to tell you she is coming for guns if she wins in 2016.
Ironically, her gun control push comes less than a year after the 2014 midterm elections, in which Democrats who ran on gun control were shellacked and replaced by Republicans who ran on gun rights. This was true in state legislative races, gubernatorial races, and House and Senate races throughout the country.
Yet Hillary is now running on the very same campaign strategy that failed these Democrats.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.