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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Platforms

Last week, delegates to the Republican National Convention approved a party platform that contained a 300 word plank related to the right to keep and bear arms. Today's Guns and Patriots e-newsletter had a link t0 the entire 300 word plank, but here is how it starts:
"We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizens' God-given right of self-defense,"
This writer never really doubted that the RNC Platform would come out strongly pro-rights given the Fast and Furious debacle and the fact most of the delegates are far more conservative than the establishment GOP.  

The larger question is what would the Democrats do.  Four years ago, then candidate Barack Obama tried to convince gun owners that they had nothing to fear from him when it came to their right to keep and bear arms.  He even had an astro-turf gun organzation, American Hunters and Shooters Association, which apparently is now defunct, schilling for Team Obama.  Fast forward to 2012.  Team Obama has tried to use the fact he signed two bills with pro-rights amendments as proof he is no threat to the 2nd Amendment Rights of Americans, omitting the fact that he did not push for the amendments, and also omitting the fact that he wanted the underlying bills more than he did not want the pro-rights provisions. Would Team Obama try and at least mouth support for the rights of gun owners in their party's platform?

Well, we got our answer yesterday.  The Hill Newspaper reported that the Democratic Platform calls for gun gontrol, but that some advocates don't believe the plank goes far enough.
The draft language of the Democrats' 2012 platform — set for a final vote this week in Charlotte, N.C. — argues that current safeguards protecting the public against gun violence are insufficient and urges "an honest and open conversation about firearms."

The document also calls for "reasonable regulation" governing guns, including laws banning assault weapons and requiring all gun sellers — not just licensed dealers — to perform background checks on potential buyers.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) think the drafters are being too timid.
"The platforms are largely irrelevant, except as evidence of how confident a party feels on a topic, and the Democratic language on guns is a terrific example of how completely they blow this issue," Glaze said Friday in an email.
With polls showing a yearly decrease for support of the anti-rights position, it appears that it is MAIG who doesn't understand the issue.  The Hill notes that the 2012 Democratic plank mirrors the language in the 2008 Platform, with the exception that they haved added the part about an "honest and open conversation about firearms."  When it comes to an "honest" conversation on firearms, don't look to MAIG.

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