“Democrats give up gun control issue” – For Now…

MSNBC.com carries a Washington Post article on the Democrat abandonment of gun control as a policy topic. Money quotes:

Democratic presidential candidates are distancing themselves from tough gun control, reversing a decade of rhetoric and advocacy by the Democratic Party in favor of federal regulation of firearms.

MOST DEMOCRATIC White House hopefuls rarely highlight gun control in their campaigns, and none of the candidates who routinely poll near the top is calling for the licensing of new handgun owners, a central theme of then-Vice President Al Gore’s winning primary campaign in 2000.

“It’s very important for us as Democrats to understand that where I come from guns are about a lot more than guns themselves,” said Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), one of nine Democrats seeking the presidency. “They are about independence. For a lot of people who work hard for a living, one of the few things they feel they have any control over is whether they can buy a gun and hunt. They don’t want people messing with that, which I understand.”

In the presidential race, several candidates said the gun issue contributed to Gore’s defeat in 2000 and could backfire on the party again next year if Democrats do not quickly lose their anti-gun image.

Indeed, the Democrats’ shift away from gun control is rooted more in politics than in a belief that gun laws do not help prevent crime and death, several Democrats said privately.

“The gun issue is the silent killer” of Democrats, said Deborah Barron of Americans for Gun Safety, which is tutoring candidates on the gun issue. “Democrats will be extinct in red states unless” they change how gun owners view their party.

In some ways, the shift is more rhetorical than substantive.

No, REALLY? Color me shocked.

Remember, kiddies: Gun Safety = Gun Elimination, just like Gun CONTROL used to.

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