NRA hasn’t yet endorsed Harry Reid, but I would be shocked if they didn’t. Truth be told, they’d be insane if they didn’t. Why? Well, this is probably the best reason, but I also really want to address some of the distortions of Reid’s record mentioned over at Red State, which looks like they could have come directly from Larry Pratt. Pratt is a shameful hack, and it would appear he’s turned Red State into one too, at least on the gun issue. Red State has a long list of transgressions committed by Reid. I don’t have the time or energy to address them all, but I will address the main points.
Harry Reid did, in fact, vote for the Brady Act. This vote was in 1993. Also voting for the Brady Act was Kay Bailey Hutchison, who GOA gives an A grade to. Funny how Republicans get forgiven, isn’t it?
Oh, but he voted for the evil assault weapons ban, Sebastian! Well, he did, but he didn’t. The assault weapons ban was attached to the Crime Bill, which was a must-pass part of a highly popular President’s agenda. See my post on the history of the Assault Weapons Ban. The actual AWB was called the Feinstein Amendment, and Reid voted against that. There were only four Senators who voted against the final Crime Bill. One of the other votes for the final bill? GOA A-Rated Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby. Shelby also joined Reid in voting to eliminate CMP funding. And here too, along with Hutchison again.
But I’m not going to sit here and do this all day for decades old votes. I mean, yeah, he did vote against the Lott Amendment back in 2000, but so did Fred Thompson. He did vote for trigger locks back in 2004, but so did Hutchison. But he also voted against renewing the Assault Weapons Ban on that same bill. Reid also voted against the final version of the bill that was amended with the trigger lock provision, gun show provision, and assault weapons ban.
Also worthwhile to note Harry Reid voted for the PLCAA, which was NRA’s major legislative initiative for the last decade. But I think what stands out the most is Harry Reid’s leadership on the issue in this Senate. Shall we name what we’ve gotten?
- An amendment to allow National Park carry inserted into the Credit Card bill.
- An amendment to fix DC’s gun laws inserted into the Voting Rights Act.
- An amendment to create national reciprocity recognition that even included recognition for states that did not issue licenses, like Vermont. We lost his one, but the vote never would have happened without Harry Reid.
- Funding rider to force Amtrak to allow guns in checked baggage.
- Let’s also not forget all the other funding riders which are important for us, which Reid helped us get.
You can be upset all you want with him on other issues, but Harry Reid is solid on the Second Amendment. We’ve gotten more out of the Senate under Reid than we got out of Republicans in the roughly 14 years they ran things. Reid is not perfect, but there’s no politician that has a voting perfect record, and many that have records on guns comparable to Reid which GOA rates highly. I will leave it to my readers to determine whether Red State and GOA have any credibility at all when it comes to these issues, or whether they are using gun rights as a club to try to beat Democrats they find unsavory on other issues, and beating up on NRA because they know they are going to be supporting a lot of Democrats this fall. I think the answer is clear.