Hillary Clinton is expected to unveil a four point gun control plan today in New Hampshire. The proposals include a) take executive action if Congress fails to close the gun show and Internet sales loophole b) tighten existing background checks c) Bar domestic abusers from buying and possessing firearms and d) remove liability protection from gun manufacturers.
The final proposal is a specific dig at Bernie Sanders as he voted in favor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005 which gave gun manufacturers immunity from liability while then Senator Clinton voted against the bill.
Jim Geraghty at NRO says these proposals won’t go over well in Iowa and New Hampshire noting that she is behind Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina in head to head match ups in those two states. I think he misses the point. Hillary doesn’t have to worry about Republicans right now. She has to worry about Bernie Sanders who has energized left-wing voters. As I noted in my article today his rally here in Boston over the weekend attracted more than 20,000 people. She needs to find a way to excite her base and fast. Given her wavering on the War in Iraq, TPP and the Keystone Pipeline, gun control might be the one area where she still has some street cred left with The Left.
Now Sanders should never be confused with a poster boy for the Second Amendment. During the rally, he spoke about ending the gun show loophole and strengthening what he called “instant background checks”. But the NRA did play a crucial role in getting him elected to Congress in 1990 and he would oppose the Brady Bill in 1993. There are practical reasons for these circumstances. While Vermont might be the most left-wing state in the country, but I can tell you I know a number of lefties from Vermont and all of them own guns. They are as pro-Second Amendment as any rancher from Texas.
But these folks from Vermont are an anomaly in the left-wing base. If Hillary plays her cards right she could make Sanders look like the reincarnation of Charlton Heston. In which case, it could very well make her the new Comeback Kid.
Still, that’s a very big “if”. With the announcement this morning of a final agreement on TPP, whatever shots Hillary takes at Bernie over gun control, he can fire right back at her over her refusal to take a stand against TPP.
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