Politicians who don’t trust law-abiding citizens to own guns do NOT see them as equal members of a democratic republic. To put it bluntly, they see them as serfs. Or children who need to be protected from themselves. And that sort of attitude will NEVER get you the nomination from a Republican Party that wants to keep Conservatives inside the Big Tent. NEVER. The way he treats the voters of New Jersey is the way he will treat the voters of America. Take it to the bank. The Second Amendment is not just one amendment in the Bill of Rights: It’s the Founders’ message to the citizens of America – “We Trust You”. And if you fold on that amendment? You’ll fold on all the others. Guaranteed.
Yep. That’s one reason I believe this issue is so important: it goes way beyond guns and hits at the heart of how a politician views the relationship between the people and their government. How a politician feels about an armed populace tells me a lot about how they think.
New Jersey is actually a great microcosm for how gun politics would play out if we gave into them on a national level. The Garden State is further along the path than many other places. The last gasp, so to speak, for the gun vote in New Jersey was the ouster of Jim Florio. Florio had backed New Jersey’s assault weapons ban in May of 1990, and in 1993 vetoed an attempt by the GOP controlled legislature to repeal the law. Florio managed to piss in plenty of other people’s Wheaties too, and by the time the next election rolled around, he was out and Christie Whitman was in, with promises to gun owners. Whitman then proceeded to do exactly nothing, and that was it for the gun vote in New Jersey.
It’s not that there are no gun owners in New Jersey, there are still many of them, but they have been broken, first by the Democrats, and then by the Republicans. The Republicans in New Jersey no longer view the gun vote as anything worth cultivating. Why? Years of onerous regulation, dating back in 1966, has greatly reduced the incidence of firearms ownership in the Garden State. Gun ownership, unsurprisingly, is a key indicator of one’s views on gun control. Without a lot of gun ownership, you have a fertile garden of ignorance that opponents of civilian gun ownership are very adept at cultivating. You end up with Democrats against gun ownership because they hate it, and the Republicans afraid to touch the issue because they don’t want to risk losing votes of the ignorant who are easily manipulated into thinking they want to to supply weapons to crazies, criminals, and terrorists so they can mow down kindergartens with 50 caliber heavy machine guns. The failure of the gun rights movement in New Jersey to effectively change anything, and their subsequent abandonment by the Republican Party, made a lot of gun owners just give up. They stopped caring or paying attention to the political fight.
And this is exactly the future President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg has planned for the rest of us. What remains to be seen is whether the national Republicans will play along.