Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton may be taking a big gamble on gun control in Iowa, urging supporters over the weekend to make the issue something of a litmus test when they vote in Monday night’s caucuses.
Iowa is the heartland of “fly over America,” and gun ownership is as much a part of the culture as wheat, corn and other crops.
As the Des Moines Register reported several days ago, in December, the state had more background check requests with the National Instant Check System (NICS) than in any other month last year. The state logged 25,941 NICS checks in December, the newspaper said.
The Washington Post, Associated Press and other news agencies have reported that Clinton encouraged her supporters to consider her stance on gun control to be the deciding factor in how they vote at the Monday caucuses. Lately, she has been critical of chief rival Bernie Sanders’ votes on gun issues, arguing that he hasn’t been tough enough on the so-called “gun lobby.”
Yahoo news reported Clinton claims about being regularly “approached by gun owners and hunters who agree with her stance” on gun control.
The Associated Press reported in mid-January that Clinton has pushed gun control harder in New Hampshire than she has in Iowa, noting, “One of every four political ads she’s aired in (New Hampshire) over the past month has been about tougher gun laws. But in Iowa, only 1 in 17 of Clinton’s spots has featured her stance on gun control.”
Meanwhile, the surge in gun buying and carry permit applications is not just an Iowa phenomenon. The Washington state Department of Licensing Monday morning reported a startling spike in that state’s active concealed pistol licenses during the month of January. The state added more than 8,000 licenses during the month, from 509,578 on Dec. 31 to 517,665 on Jan. 31.
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