By Jeff Knox
Manassas, VA –-(Ammoland.com)- While we like to think the gun issue transcends partisan politics, and there are certainly some pro-gun Democrats and some anti-gun Republicans, but the fact is the Democrat Party has never included recognition of Second Amendment rights or support for specific legislation recognizing some aspect of those rights in their national party platform.
Republicans, on the other hand, have routinely included pro-gun provisions in their party platform.
When rights issues come up for a vote, on the floor or in committee, we can generally count on most Democrats to vote in opposition and most Republicans to vote in favor.
Even though there are some Democrats who support individual rights, they generally follow the party line when the rubber meets the road on key partisan matters like judicial and cabinet confirmations and major policy initiatives from the White House – even when it is clear that the vote will be detrimental to gun owners. While it is frustrating and disappointing when a supposedly pro-gun Democrat votes for confirmation of a clearly anti-gun judge like Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, it is even more frustrating when a Republican chooses to defy their party and vote with Democrats on such matters.
Not only has Richard Lugar (R-IN) crossed party lines to vote for confirmation of both Sotomayor and Kagan for the Supreme Court, along with numerous anti-gun nominees and appointees to the federal bench and cabinet positions, he has repeatedly voted against gun owners on pure, stand-alone gun legislation. He was one of only two Republicans to vote against the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in 2009, and he has announced his opposition to similar bills currently awaiting Senate action. Lugar also voted in favor of the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, and then voted to extend it for 10 years when it was scheduled to sunset. Lugar voted for the Brady Law with background checks and waiting periods and voted to make private transfers of firearms illegal.
During his 36 years in the US Senate, Richard Lugar has consistently opposed efforts to roll back restrictions on firearm ownership, sale, and possession, and has consistently supported increased restrictions on lawful gun ownership. This is in spite of the fact that he hails from a conservative state that scored only 4 points in the latest Brady Scorecard, putting it in a tie for 4th place among the lowest scores. The 6-term incumbent senator’s voting record is completely out of step with the people he is supposed to be representing.
Lugar’s opposition to national reciprocity is particularly out of line since Indiana already recognizes permits from every other state.
Running for his 7th term, the 80-year old Lugar has the distinction of being the most senior Republican in the US Senate, and the most anti-gun. Even Scott Brown, the Republican who was elected in 2010 to finish out Ted Kennedy’s term, is more “gun-friendly” than Lugar though he, like Lugar, indicated that he would vote against a national reciprocity bill this year. Brown is also up for reelection in November and, like Lugar, is considered a “moderate” (read “liberal”) Republican, but Brown represents Massachusetts where he is not facing a Republican Primary challenger and will undoubtedly be pitted against an ultra-liberal in the General Election. Lugar represents conservative Indiana where Democrats didn’t even bother fielding a challenger in his last election. But now he is being challenged in the May 8th Republican Primary by conservative Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Gun Owners of America came out early in support of Mourdock and NRA delivered their official endorsement in early March. Mourdock is also popular with Tea Party groups and social conservatives, but many doubt his ability to overcome the tremendous advantages Lugar enjoys in name recognition and fundraising. Another obstacle facing Mourdock is the idea that if he were to defeat Lugar in the Primary, he would not be able to beat Democrat Joe Donnelly in the General Election. Donnelly is a three-term Congressman representing the South Bend area and is considered a moderate Democrat. Donnelly has no information on his website about his positions on gun rights or other hot-button issues.
The Indiana Senate race will likely be one of the most prominent and expensive in the nation. National Democrats see the seat as vulnerable and will pour tons of resources into the fight. National Republicans see the seat as a “must-hold” and will go to the wall to keep from losing the seat.
Voters seem to be ready for a change as Mourdock has been leading in polls and recently won an important straw poll.
Of course, no one will know anything for sure until the votes are counted on May 8th, but it’s looking like the voters of Indiana might have finally figured out that if you keep voting the way you’ve always voted, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Copyright © 2012 Neal Knox Associates – The most trusted name in the rights movement.
About Firearms Coalition
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org