The Hill is reporting that Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer is counseling fellow Democrats to stay away from the gun issue.
That may come as a surprise from the man on Capitol Hill who has made a career of pushing gun control. His party has come to be known as “the party of gun control.” The article spells out Schumer’s motivation:
“In next year’s midterms, however, Democrats will be defending 10 seats in states won by Trump in last year’s election — including West Virginia, Montana and North Dakota, where guns are a big part of the local culture.
“Schumer’s strategy is based, at least in part, on saving those seats and potentially winning back the Senate majority next year if Republicans falter badly.”
Many believe Donald Trump’s victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan were due to a turnout of gun owners who did not want Hillary Rodham Clinton anywhere near the Oval Office. She took those states, and the voters in them, for granted. Trump didn’t make that mistake.
Meanwhile, the Republican majority in Congress still does not seem all that energetic when it comes to satisfying the gun owners who were critical in providing that majority. There has still been no action on the national concealed carry reciprocity or the Hearing Protection Act, which is now part of a larger bill aimed at sportsmen.
Gun prohibition lobbyists want the Democrats to once again push for additional gun controls, capitalizing on the Las Vegas attack Oct. 1. But Schumer was around in 1994 when gun owners threw more than 50 of his colleagues out of office due to their votes on the Brady Bill – which he authored – in 1993 and the Clinton semi-auto ban in 1994. He evidently understands the wisdom of the adage, “If you kick a dog enough, sooner or later he’s going to bite.” Democrats, as a party, have been rattling the dog’s cage for decades, which has done no favors for party members who are traditionally faithful to the Second Amendment.
What Schumer may really be thinking about is the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts. Right now, President Trump has the opportunity to fill scores of federal court vacancies with solid conservative and even pro-rights moderates. If another vacancy or two should come up on the high court, Trump can reinforce Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Schumer and his anti-gun allies would not like that at all.
If Democrats win back control of Capitol Hill, that scenario will change. They would block Trump’s conservative nominees.
Lethargic gun owners seem to need constant reminders that their votes count if they wish to preserve their gun rights for the next generation.