Pennsylvania/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When you are judging a public official on Second Amendment issues, the general rule of thumb is that the longer their track record, the more certain you can be. Granted, there can be sudden defections (see Bob Casey as a case in point), but usually, the longer the track record, the better idea you have of where a politician comes down.
With that long track record, you get familiarity. You learn if they are stalwart defenders, or if they need to see a lot of (polite) letters and e-mails opposing anti-Second Amendment legislation. You learn if they are leaders, a vote you can count on, or if they are mushy. It’s why the NRA’s kept a friendly incumbent policy for a while. In most cases with a politician with a favorable voting record, better the devil (or angel) you know than someone who can be a complete wild card (see Larry Hogan as a case in point).
Sometimes, you don’t need much to tell a politician’s views on the Second Amendment. That’s the case with Joe Sestak, who has a grand total of two terms in the House of Representatives and a pair of failed Senate campaigns against Pat Toomey, a generally pro-Second Amendment voice in the Senate. In fact, Project VoteSmart lists a grand total of three votes on Second Amendment issues.
The first vote involved legislation to repeal the onerous laws in the District of Columbia in the wake of the 2008 Heller decision. The Supreme Court had ruled that Washington D.C.’s gun ban was invalid on Second Amendment grounds. It passed the House by a 266-152 vote – and it had bipartisan support. Sestak was one of the 152 Nays.
The next vote came the following year, in 2009. While President Obama was an anti-Second Amendment extremist, Second Amendment supporters did make a marginal gain in one piece of legislation – expanding the right to keep and bear arms in national parks. The House concurred with a Senate amendment that wiped out a bad on carrying firearms in national parks, 279-147. Again, Sestak voted against the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Sestak did have one minor pro-gun vote in 2010, when it came to exempting guns from bankruptcy proceedings. Financial problems that come from non-criminal activities shouldn’t cause a person to lose the tools for self-defense or to put food on the table. It was a very necessary tweak. But Sestak’s vote here doesn’t cancel out two very awful votes.
In an appearance on Hardball during the 2010 general election for the Senate seat then held by Arlen Specter, Sestak laid out what he really thought of Toomey and our rights: “Congressman Toomey once said that his idea of gun control is a steady aim. And he’s opposed to an assault weapons ban for military weapons,” Sestak said.
Well, if you know anything about the current state of federal firearms law, you’d know that the modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms that are available in most states are not the same as the select-fire assault rifles we used in the War on Terror. In short, Sestak, who served for 31 years in the military, lied about what people could legally buy in order to smear Toomey.
When it comes right down to it, Sestak didn’t need to say much to give Second Amendment supporters enough information. His disdain for our rights is more than enough to make his presidential ambitions a non-starter.
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.