Now that Donald Trump went down to North Carolina and sent a clarion call to Gun-nut Nation to save his presidential bid by going after Hillary with everything they’ve got, we might take a minute to try and figure out exactly what the Second Amendment gang can really bring to the attempt to change the color of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from blue to red. Of course Trump will say that his victory would once again make the White House really white, if you know what I mean, heh heh.
It does seem that the Trump Express has not only run off the rails, but in the process just about run out of steam. Those huge leads in the polls are now a distant memory, and even with all that money he allegedly raised last month the campaign is basically broke. The Fox News freebies meant a lot more when he was running in the primaries against other Republicans whose supporters also only watched the ‘fair and balanced’ news shows produced by the now-departed Roger Ailes.
If the GOP can’t beat the most vulnerable candidate the Democrats have nominated since I don’t know when, they can’t beat anyone at all. Which means the GOP may also lose the Senate and there are whisperings that the House might be in play. If that happens, we will have the one political alignment in Washington which produced the gun-control laws in 1968 and again in 1994, namely, a Democratic Congress and a liberal president with strong ties to the South.
Anyone who tells you that HRC will be content with a gun bill that just widens the NICS background check system to cover secondary gun transactions doesn’t know the history of the Clintons and gun control at all. Because one of the big, unfinished pieces that was left behind in 2001 when Bill and HRC departed from the White House with some of the silverware in tow was an agreement with Smith & Wesson that basically required the company to not only forge ahead with smart gun technology and other safety standards, but also made the company responsible for downstream behavior of everyone ― wholesalers and dealers ― who sold their guns.
I don’t think it would have been possible for the company to have met those terms and retain a fraction of its current financial strength and manufacturing size; I also believe that this is the kind of regulations that might just reappear in a Clinton-sponsored gun bill next year. Because the truth is that many of the provisions of that agreement have become the stock-in-trade of the gun violence prevention movement today, and if Mister Trump owes something to Gun-nut Nation for helping him secure the Republican nomination, HRC will certainly owe GVP big-time if she ends up grabbing the brass ring.
The problem of course, is that everything else which Trump used to pull himself to the top of the primary heap when he was talking only to Republicans, particularly the most activist Republicans, won’t count for all that much against the other side. And this is the first general election in which even the vaunted power of the NRA membership will be competing against a motivated and large GVP community which didn’t even exist in any real numbers just four years ago.
Shannon Watts didn’t sit down at her kitchen table and start contacting her Moms until after Obama beat Romney in 2012. Guess what? Moms Demand Action now counts more than 3 million energetic members which ain’t chopped liver when it comes to grass-roots activity and support.
The NRA’s attacks on Hillary are right out of the same playbook they have been using for twenty years. And to me, even Trump’s snarky and stupid threat muttered in North Carolina sounded a little stale. If he thinks that the NRA still has the playing field to itself when it comes to the Second Amendment, he better think again.