Maryland – -(AmmoLand.com)- In some states, supporters of the Second Amendment have few good options. One of those is Connecticut, where their best choice is to bank on Bob Stefanowski, who did well on a NRA-PVF questionnaire. In Maryland, the options are not as hopeful and underscore the risk of relying on just a questionnaire.
In 2014, Larry Hogan gained the NRA-PVF endorsement with an AQ rating, like the one Stefanowki has this year. But he’s now got a C rating and no endorsement. This comes from signing some bad bills, including a bump-stock ban. Now, part of this is because Hogan faces veto-proof majorities led by anti-Second Amendment Democrats. Maryland requires a three-fifths vote to override a gubernatorial veto.
Presently, Ballotpedia.org noted that that the Maryland State Senate has 33 Democrats and 14 Republicans, while the Maryland House of Delegates has 91 Democrats and 50 Republicans. A little math shows us that given the present number of Republicans, the Democrats have more than enough to enact anything they want. They only need 29 votes in the Senate (they have four to spare) and 85 votes in the House of Delegates (they have six to spare).
It’s kind of hard to defend the Second Amendment with a veto pen when the other side has enough votes to override a veto, and then some. Much of the reason is that the bulk of these districts are centered in the city of Baltimore and four counties: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, and Baltimore – all of which are Democratic strongholds. These days, the winner of the Democratic primary in those areas is the likely winner in the general election.
What gets missed in a lot of debates and complaints is that sometimes, there just aren’t good options in an election. You have your choice of less-than-ideal options. It may be a choice between a lukewarm Second Amendment supporter versus an outright opponent. That is the case in Maryland.
Former NAACP President Ben Jealous is running against Larry Hogan and has an F rating from the NRA. He’s opposed the common-sense idea of allowing teachers who wish to carry a firearm to protect their students in case of a mass shooting to do so with proper training. You think Maryland’s gun laws are bad already? He’ll do what he can to make them worse, if given the excuse. He will also make some of the things that contribute to the misuse of firearms worse, like seeking to reduce Maryland’s prison population by 30 percent.
Meanwhile, Baltimore is one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country, with 342 murders in 2017, according to the FBI. Does anyone think that letting criminals out, or not jailing those convicted, will make the situation there any better?
Look, there is no denying that Larry Hogan has disappointed Second Amendment supporters big time. But, there is also an important lesson that can be taken from Maryland: It’s not enough to have the governor’s mansion. Here’s the dirty little secret: Down-ballot races matter. The outcomes of state legislative races can strengthen or weaken a governor’s hand. If the votes were there to uphold a veto, Hogan may well have been able to stand up, rather than decide to exercise the better part of valor.
There is no denying that Maryland is one of those states where turning things around will take a lot of work. For supporters of the Second Amendment, re-electing the disappointing Larry Hogan is the best option, combined with helping elect more pro-Second Amendment candidates to the state legislature.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.