I am rather nonplussed at Carolyn McCarthy’s sponsorship of H.R.2640. I would have sincerely hoped that any deal that could be worked out would have sidelined her, and relegated her to a co-sponsorship, rather than being sponsor.
I don’t really like personality politics. I’d much rather judge a bill according to its merits, rather than by the person sponsoring it, but there are important political considerations at work in wanting to keep McCarthy sidelined, and out of the process.
McCarthy is rabidly anti-gun. She doesn’t have a modicum of trust with gun owners. Any political deal with her is automatically suspect. Her pet issue is gun control. To date, she’s accomplished exactly nothing in regards to getting any major gun legislation passed. This is good for us. If she gets a reputation for getting things done, she’ll gain more political clout.
With McCarthy out there as the leader on this legislation, even if that leadership is entirely symbolic, the media and anti-gun groups will spin this as a big victory for gun control, even though it’s no such thing in the current form. This is a net loss for our cause, because the NRA will be seen as complicit in it, and folks won’t bother to check on the details.
I do think Dingell, Boucher, and the NRA have worked out a favorable deal with this bill, but I think they’ve made a big error in letting Congresswoman McCarthy take possession of it. It’s certainly making me reconsider my decision to not oppose the bill, based on the information I have now. Tomorrow I may contact the NRA, and see if I can get an explanation here.