Commenter Noops took some exception to my post from yesterday about Blue Steel Democrats:
Look, they havenâ€™t always been great, and certainly that poster is a doofus. But the Blue Steel Democrats IS a group that, for the most part, here in Oregon supports gun rights. They are an actual caucus within the Democratic Party of Oregon. Now I may not be an Oregon Democrat, but these guys have actually had positive influence on the DPO here. Zack, who used to run it, unfortunately moved to New Hampahire and it has been less active since then.
Now I usually agree with you here at snowflakes, and the ASHA thing aside, And Sotomayer, your research isnâ€™t really that great and Iâ€™ll tell ya why. First is the fact that the DPO actually has an official caucus. They may not be as great as I like, but itâ€™s a damn good start. Does the Democratic Party of Penn. Have an internal caucus?
Second, and way more importantly, you are applying your rose colored lense to this. I grew up in Boston, and did the same when I moved to Oregon 11 years ago. But the fact is, a lot of democrats here in the NW would be Republicans in the NE. They are far to the right of your typical Massachusetts Democrat. And your applying and east coast lens to it.
I canâ€™t believe Iâ€™m actually defending Democrats on guns, but a couple of doofusâ€™s aside, these are people you should be embracing, not slinging mud at. I have, in fact, gotten a few formerly antigun Dems out here to start shooting, get permits, and even join this thing.
I don’t think I’m slinging mud at them. The concerns about how they are dealing with the issue are completely legitimate. I read enough of the site to see that some of their contributorsÂ are pretty unambiguously pro-gun, which is why I was reluctant to toss them in the same heap as American Hunters and Shooters Association.
Most states have some sort of pro-gun or pro-sportsmen caucus. Many of them have members who joined to be able to tout credentials in an attempt to cover up their true record. I am willing to accept the Blue Steel Dems as fellow travelers. I noticed I was on their blogroll, so they know where to find me if they want to talk about this. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest there are some issues here, first and foremost of which is one of their former members touting her association with their group to legitimize a ban on 11 round or greater magazines. That’s a pretty big problem, and one I’d like to see them address. I certainly would if I were them.
3 thoughts on “More On Blue Steel Dems”
They made a little post on it which mentioned their disagreement that was otherwise mostly celebratory (which I think you linked?).
I’m sure they don’t want to offend their good friend Tracee, but she’s using her former association with them as a credential to lie on public radio. It’s shit like that that drives otherwise liberal/moderate gun owners away from their party.
As the Political Incumbent Class gets more and more squeezed by Tea Party activism you get to see who’s really who – like Republican Lugar re-espousing an “Assault Weapon” Ban. The zits are getting popped all over and they’re doing it themselves.
As a member of the Blue Steel Democrats (or, more properly, the Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon,) I do want to say that every member I have met is not a member “to tout credentials”. I’m sure there are many that are, but they don’t go to the meetings. Those that go to the meetings are very much pro-second-amendment Democrats.
Each has their own reason, some in the name of self-defense, others for hunting rights, some “to keep the people safe from their government”. I’m in the “I think target shooting is a fun thing to do on the weekends” camp.
As for “party animal first”, well, that’s kind of the nature of a party caucus. However in our case, it is also a matter of making sure that the animal is OUR animal. We work from the inside to make sure that the Democratic Party of Oregon remains pro-gun-rights.
Obviously, I cannot speak for all members, they do run the gamut, and I discovered the caucus after Tracee had moved out of state, so I don’t know anything about her. But the current leadership of the caucus is decidedly “gun rights come first”.
In last year’s elections for state offices, the leadership of the caucus sent a questionnaire to all Democrats running for state office about their stance on gun rights. The leadership made a point of telling all candidates that their answers would be sent to all caucus members as written. If the candidate is anti-gun, they were warned that if they answer, it would likely not be viewed positively by the caucus members using the answers as a voting guide.
In addition, one Democratic State Senator is both a member of the caucus, and the only State Senator with a Class III Federal Firearms license.
Our present task is trying to make sure that recent bills to enact CHL reciprocity go through. Oregon is one of the few states with zero recognition of out-of-state CHLs, and we’re trying to fix that.
(This is not an official statement of the Gun Owners Caucus, merely a statement of one member in support of the group.)
To summarize: While some ex-or-current-members may be flakes who only joined for the “cred”, it is a serious pro-2nd-amendment group.
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