A Comparison

Let me expand a bit on a previous post, for those who want to believe Harry Reid is the Devil Incarnate, and suggest they will tear up their NRA membership cards if NRA endorses him, let me compare, side to side, so we understand what we’re dealing with here:

Date Key Vote Reid
1993 NICS Amendment to Brady Act N*
1993 Final Brady Act Y Y* Y
1994 Assault Weapons Ban N Y* N
1996 Repeal of Assault Weapons Ban N*
1998 Gun Luck Requirement Amendment Y N Y
1999 Gun Show Sale Regulation Amendment Y Y N
2004 Assault Weaposn Ban Renewal N Y N
2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act Y N Y
2006 Prohibition on Firearms Confiscation (Katrina Act) Y N Y
2008 Prohibition on Funds to Discourage Gun Ownership Y N Y
2009 National Park Carry Y N Y
2009 National Reciprocity Y N Y
* Durbin was a Member of the House for this vote.

I’ve included both their NRA and GOA grades here, and their votes on key issues up to and including now.  You will notice that Harry Reid’s voting record isn’t all that remarkably different from Kay Bailey Hutchinson, is rated high by both NRA and GOA. Absent is the vote on Sotomayor, where Reid voted yes, along with every single other Democrat, and Hutchinson voted no, along with most of the Republicans.  Also of note is that Hutchinson signed the Heller brief, whereas Reid did not.

But Reid has also been willing to allow NRA to bring pro-gun amendments to the Senate floor for a vote. While it’s true that the Senate Majority Leader does not have the power of the Speaker of the House, they still control enough of the Senate’s business for a hostile majority leader to create real trouble for us.  You will notice that Dick Durbin has never met a gun control bill he wouldn’t vote for, nor a pro-gun bill he wouldn’t vote against.  I suspect his only “pro-gun” vote, against the child lock provision, is because it did not go as far as he wanted.

While I count myself among those who hope that the Democrats see their lead in the Senate cut down in 2010, for the sake of the Second Amendment, I’m hoping that Harry Reid keeps his position as Majority Leader. I don’t think that turning over the Senate to the GOP is within the realm of possibility in 2010, and probably not 2012 either. That’s a long time to go without progress, and a long time for someone like Dick Durbin to find an opportunity to bring a gun control bill or amendment to the floor. That’s not a risk I’d like to take.

14 thoughts on “A Comparison”

  1. Yeah, except Harry Reid is supporting gun owners. He’s allowed pro-gun amendments to get a vote, and we’ve passed at least one piece of pro-gun legislation under his watch. He’s not perfect, certainly, but few in the Senate are. If you’re going to demand that all politicians stay with you 100% of the time, you better have a much larger voting bloc than we actually have. If 33 million gun owners all voted like gun owners 100% of the time, you might be able to dictate terms, but they don’t, so you’re stuck playing interest group politics.

  2. My reason for posting that was only as an FYI; that a lot of guerrillas are going to be sniping at the NRA’s choice; plus I found it interesting that it alluded to the endorsement lie, that implied Reid stood to the right of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett when it comes to gun rights.

    I could stand still for a qualified endorsement such as yours, Sebastian, that admits to some reluctance and acknowledges the endorsee’s past shortcomings, but I think these expansive, essentially deceptive endorsements have been and are harmful to the cause. They also insult the collective intelligence of gun owners. If nothing else they tell the politicos they can vote against our interests today, and that after only a little massaging we’ll be willing to lie on their behalf tomorrow, as long as there is someone out there who is ten percent worse to be pointed at. What then is the disincentive for voting against our interests?

  3. Interest groups are going to be that way though, because they are interested in delivering their voting bloc on election day. So the guy who’s mostly with you is going to be the greatest ally since Churchill if he’s going to carry the group’s endorsement. I’ve never found it to be particularly insulting, even though I’m aware that reality is more complicated than that, because I understand what they are trying to do.

    What interest group is going to issue an endorsement with the caveat that the endorsement is really only partially deserved, and may actually be partly bullshit? If an interest group endorses candidates that are only with them 100% of the time, they aren’t going to carry much influence. Virtually every member of the House and Senate, especially the ones who have been there for a while, have had votes for some form of gun control or another — most recently with a vast majority of the Senate voting for Sotomayor. Like I said, if you’re going to insist a politician vote with you 100% of the time, you better have one hell of a voting bloc to send either their way, or their opponents way come election day.

  4. I appreciate your political realism, which I think is in this post and the ones regarding Arlen Specter. The gun vote will be most powerful when Democrats are competing for it. If keeping the faith with the NRA keeps Harry Reid in his seat, he will be among the ranks of the most faithful.

  5. “I appreciate your political realism”

    realism? let’s stop allowing the Dems to put forth the face of respectability on this issue. Lets rip the mask off and let the true face of the Democrat Party show through. I can understand the NRA endorsing, he isn’t really that bad, gunwise. but he is still the enemy of a truely free state. the proper response to that sort of enemy is to invite him to take up another line of work. If that means we get to work with Dick Durban, so be it.

  6. My political realism unfortunately makes me aware that Reid could take our support in 2010, then, figuring he’s got six years to cruise, ignore our interests, or outright stab us in the back. But that’s a risk you take in politics with anyone.


    If the true face of the Democratic Party is repealing the ban on guns in National Parks, damned near voting in a National Reciprocity bill that even gives reciprocity to residents of states that don’t require licenses, I’ll certainly take that over the GOP, who in 12 years of power, half of which with a Republican President in the White House, passed the PLCAA, and that’s about it.

  7. Many gun owners are Veterans and vice versa – and Reid damn sure stabbed us in the back. Gun rights are a big issue to me but not the only issue. Reid is a corrupt, lying sack of crap. Time to go.

    Win back the House and gain seats in the Senate – better plan than campaigning for Harry Reid, far less likely to piss off NRA members and better for all involved long-term.

    1. I’m curious how putting an either lukewarm or anti-gun (depending on his excuse of the day) Republican in Harry Reid’s seat who, based on his questionnaire may vote more along the lines of Dick Durbin than Kay Bailey Hutchison leads us to “gain seats in the Senate.”

  8. Reid is at least a tremendous boost to Mitt Romney. Whenever people would say that Mitt would just follow the Mormon church leadership in whatever they said to do, you could just ask them who they explain Harry Reid then, since he is also Mormon. Obstacle overcome.

    For the record, I was (and am) a huge Fred Thompson fan and not much of a Mitt fan, much to the dismay of some fellow church members who thought I should vote for Romney just because of his religious affiliation.

  9. The NRA has to stick to its guns and endorse those who support its one issue. In Reid’s case I’d be suspicious of the depth of that support.

    But just because I’m an NRA member and strong supporter of gun rights doesn’t mean it is the only issue that drives me.

    Reid is out to lunch on health care, taxes, immigration – all things that affect my personal well being and wealth near and long term.

    He’s a goner in 2010. And the NRA will just have to muddle on with the Republican that replaces him.

  10. The only reason why Harry Reid has voted Pro Gun is because he is affaid of lossing his job. In the past Harry Reid has been anti-gun then all of a sudden now he is pro gun?

    Sorry but Gun Owners of America is right on Harry Reid.

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