Democrat Gun Banners Rediscover Third Rail

By Jeff Knox

Third Rail
Democrat Gun Banners Rediscover Third Rail
FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- In the wee hours of the morning of November 9 2016, a collective sigh of relief flowed from the hearts of millions of American gun owners.

Hillary Clinton and the Democrat party had pushed gun control as a major issue in the election, raising serious anxiety among GunVoters.

In the end, that GunVoter concern exacted a heavy toll.

While GunVoters can't take sole credit for Hillary Clinton's defeat, we can be proud that we played a substantial role in it – probably more significant than the pundits will ever admit.

Back during the Democrat Primary, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – a Mike Bloomberg front group – declared;

“This year, the myth of gun violence as a political third rail was put to rest in the Democratic presidential debate, where candidates fought over who has the lowest grade from the NRA.”

I’m sure Ms. Watts really wanted to believe that, but her belief doesn't make it true any more than her last name makes her an expert on electricity. The proof comes when voters respond to the talk, and it is pretty clear that the power is still turned on in the gun control third rail.

That said, we did suffer some losses.

In California, where calls for “modest, commonsense” gun control took its next predictable step into irrational hysteria, we lost on Proposition 63, a draconian ballot initiative. After the California legislature passed a raft of harsh gun control measures earlier this year – on top of what were already the strictest gun control laws of any state in the nation – voters were duped into passing a sweeping gun control initiative that included many of the same measures, but takes them even further.

When Prop. 63 takes effect next year, California gun owners will be criminals if they fail to register millions of heretofore legally possessed rifles, or if they fail to “dispose of” their legally owned and possessed ammunition feeding devices.

Proposition 63 makes California the prime example of exactly what gun control proponents are really trying to accomplish. They claim to be seeking only minor changes in laws to “close loopholes” and “keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them,” but they are never satisfied, and always have another salvo of minor changes they want to make – almost always fueled by the total failure of the previous step to accomplish its claimed objectives.

California epitomizes why rights advocates reject even the most mundane gun control proposals.

We also lost an important ballot initiative in Nevada.

There, Mike Bloomberg’s various front groups poured over $16 million dollars into convincing voters that they merely wanted to close a “dangerous loophole” that allows criminals to buy guns from private sellers “no questions asked.” Along with concealing the lack of any credible evidence that this “loophole” is actually a problem, and hiding the full scope of their initiative, the Bloomies claimed that 80% to 90% of Nevadans supported their “universal background check” scheme. When the votes were counted, it turned out that a majority of voters in only one Nevada county – Clark County, the home of Las Vegas – voted for the initiative, but that single county's votes were enough to pass the initiative statewide by a margin less than 1 percent. [Your Votes Do Count!]

Washington State Loss

In Washington State, voters approved a measure that will allow police or family members to file to have a person's guns seized if they believe the person is a threat to themselves or others. Again, the Bloomies and a coalition of billionaires funded the initiative, spending some $4 million to get it passed while opponents never really got out of the blocks. The initiative sounded very appealing, and explaining the problems with it was a complicated matter that wouldn't fit well on a bumper sticker or media soundbite. It appears that opponents, looking at those challenges, basically gave up without a fight, spending hundreds to proponents' millions.

Maine Win

GunVoters stopped the other gun-related ballot measure that went before voters this year. It was in Maine, where Bloomberg groups were pushing a “universal background check” initiative similar to the one passed in Nevada. Once again the Bloomberg groups significantly outspent opponents. In all the Bloomies spent about $5 million trying to pass the initiative, while opponents spent just over $1 million, the bulk of that coming from the NRA.

But the lopsided spending wasn't enough to overcome grass roots activism, and the measure failed by about 3% statewide.

Along with the presidency and numerous gubernatorial and state legislative victories, GunVoters contributed to several upsets in Senate and House races, and helped hold critical seats for pro-rights Republicans. This means that Donald Trump will assume the presidency with majorities in both houses of Congress. That's worth crowing about, but we've been here before and been let down, so we have to make sure that doesn't happen again this time.

There are a number of bills already in the pipe that can be renewed, and several other proposals that should be added. The Firearms Coalition has long advocated for an omnibus rights restoration bill that incorporates many of these proposals into a single bill – while maintaining the stand-alone bills for passage as opportunities might arise.

While the new Congress and President will have a full plate next year, it is critical that pro-rights legislation is high on the list of priorities. We also must be absolutely sure that anyone President Trump names to the U.S. Supreme Court will be a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment. We have to stop the steady encroachment on rights that is victimizing innocent gun owners in states like California, Connecticut, New York and NEW JERSEY.

We've just won some important victories, but that's just the beginning. Now comes the hard work of repairing decades of damage to the country and the Constitution

About:
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

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    Jim MacklinruraltexasJeff KnoxJanekRWE Recent comment authors
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    Janek
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    Janek

    The good news is the ‘Kinyun Kountdown; now stands at 67 days until 20 Jan 2017.

    SJ
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    SJ

    Now is the time for ‘common sense’ gun laws: we need to adopt the European attitude toward suppressors. It’s rude to make your neighbors listen to all that noise when gun owners target practice! There is also no reason to disturb the peace of the forest just because someone wants to fill their deer tag. Nature-loving forest users shouldn’t have their sylvan bliss shattered by the un-muffled blast from some hunter’s boom stick. Remove the stamp requirement and encourage the community-friendly use of suppressors on all firearms.

    Jim Macklin
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    Jim Macklin

    The 1939 MILLER case is still open, It was remanded for a trial to gather evidence for the Court. But the Court failed to issue an injunction and the DoJ and ATF have just pretended it was upheld and have been illegally enforcing a law that was declared unconstitutional.

    Maybe the Trump Justices can revisit MILLER fix the whole NFA mess?

    jim smith
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    jim smith

    There are about 218 million people who are eligible to vote and supposedly 70 to 109 million gun owners while the Trump popular vote is around 60 million. Where are all the gun owners since not everyone who voted for Trump is likely to own firearms? Trump should have easily won the popular vote since we were one SCOTUS vote away from losing our gun rights. Does anyone out there know a gun owner who didn’t vote for Trump or didn’t vote at all and if so, why?

    Charon
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    Charon

    Could not vote for either of them!

    Rural Texas
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    Rural Texas

    This election was not about the presidency, it was about SCOTUS and the direction of the courts for the next generation.

    Craig
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    Craig

    The election was about the SCOTUS and the direction of the courts for the next generation.

    Ken
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    Ken

    Don’t forget that Fudd’s also vote. Fudd is a person that thinks people can only have guns for sporting purposes. The 30-06 bolt action can do more damage from further away than the 5.56×45 ar15, but the black gun “is a killing machine”.

    Jim Macklin
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    Jim Macklin

    The Democrat Party operatives have been pushing sanctuary in California, particularly in the large cities. Las Vegas is also a target of sanctuary. Since California is locked in the Democrat win column, illegal voting does not change the Electoral College and Nevada is too small to count nationally. But illegals voting does tilt the State. If there is a ballot canvas that looks to see how many undocumented voters voted, it will likely take Hillary’s total vote below President-elect Trumps total. Thank GOD for the Electoral College. In Kansas a judge appointed by former Governor Sebelius has forced KS Secretary… Read more »

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    and that Sec State SHOULD have withstood that order as unconstitutioinal. ONLY citizens get to vote, and if these folks in question are not yet citizens, then THEY CAN”T VOTE. So, the SecState faced a choice.. the US Constititiuon and likelh the State’s as we, which he swore to uphold when he took office, or some unelected judge? He chose wrong. Have lesser magistartes cave to such blustering, rather than strictly adnerhing to upholding the written law, is why we’ve fallen so far down the four inch black vertical pipe……

    BBC
    Guest
    BBC

    Take notice that the biggest losses to our 2A Right came from states that passed or already allow recreational marijuana.

    Wayne Clark
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    Wayne Clark

    I really, really thought that California, Nevada & all the other rediculously strong anti-gun states, were part of the United States & therefor, obligated to uphold the same constitutional standards as the rest of our nation. Since when did billionaires money, get to mandate who gets to exercise their 2A rights? I just don’t get it! If we are a nation of laws…& one of those laws is…”shall not be infringed”, then how do these states exempt the U.S. citizens living within their borders, from exercising that right? I don’t care if it’s overrun with democrats, they still have to…or… Read more »

    Mike kahn
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    Mike kahn

    Charlton Heston, “out of my cold dead hands” if my memory serves me correctly is the only way Bloomberg and his mindless minions will get my firearms.

    RWE
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    RWE

    I agree! I have written to the NRA (of which I am a member) as well as Gun Owners of America and a few colleges that feature Constitutional Studies. I asked a simple question. How are ANY gun laws allowed to stand as they all appear to be unconstitutional. No answer.

    There are laws for every conceivable breach of the peace. The tool doesn’t cause the violence, it’s the person.

    I also hope Mr Trump gets Congress back to it’s Constitutionally mandated duties and limits. I further hope he chooses Justices for the Supreme Court very carefully.

    Jeff Knox
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    Jeff Knox

    Under the law, the Second Amendment only means what the majority of nine people in black robes say it means. That’s why this election was so critical. Had Hillary had the opportunity to name the next Justice – or two, or three – the Court would have ruled that all of those laws in CA, NJ, NY, etc. are constitutional, and litigation would have been completely lost as a tool for restoring rights and opposing stupidity. Hopefully Mr. Trump will honor his promise and we can get a couple of more justices in the mold of Clarence Thomas on the… Read more »

    ruraltexas
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    ruraltexas

    I nominate Ted Nugent to the supreme court.

    Jim Macklin
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    Jim Macklin

    September 1789, the US Senate rejected adding the words FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE between the word arms and shall. This was too establish that the amendment was an individual right to be protected. In the Cruikshank case in the 1880s, the Supreme Court said the right to keep and bear arms was not created by the Second Amendment and it did not depend solely on the Bill of Rights, it is one of those inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. The Congress submitted the Bill of Rights to the States and the States ratified it with ONE COMMA,… Read more »