Democrats politicize Las Vegas while Trump prays for grieving families
Even as the president prays that God "bless the souls of the lives that are lost" and "give us the grace of healing" and "provide the grieving families with strength to carry on" in the wake of Las Vegas, Democratic politicians are off to the gun control races.
The off-year Virginia gubernatorial election, which has national import, is likely to be a focus of the renewed anti-gun rhetoric from the left, as noted at washingtonpost.com.
Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Ralph Northam wasted no time in politicizing what the president called "an act of pure evil." Just "hours after" the shootings, the Democratic candidate, speaking at a forum in a northern Virginia suburb, said:
There is a tremendous proliferation of guns throughout this country[.] ... We as a society need to stand up and say its [sic] time to take action, and stop talking.
The Post reports that Northam added that "such actions in Virginia include requiring universal background checks for firearm purchases and reinstating a Virginia law that restricts purchases to one gun per month," a Virginia law that "expired in 2012."
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally and presidential hopeful who "embraced his 'F' rating from the NRA when he ran in 2013," has dropped more than $1 million on "his state's Democratic candidates," with the "bulk of the money" going to support the Democrat nominee to replace McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Northam.
The NRA-endorsed Republican, Ed Gillespie, who is a former Republican National Committee chairman and was a 2014 Senate candidate, trails Northam by 4-5 points in the Real Clear Politics average, in a state that Hillary Clinton won by 5 points.
The Post adds that Virginia is home to the NRA's headquarters along with the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting and the June shooting of House majority whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and that guns "have long been a major factor in political races in Virginia":
After long avoiding gun control, Democrats running for statewide office in Virginia in the aftermath of Virginia Tech and several other mass shootings began calling for tougher laws – and found they could still win.
McAuliffe proves the point, as does Democrat senator and Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, who also carries an NRA "F" rating.
Post reporter Fenit Nirappil points out, however, that Republicans, who control both houses of the Virginia legislature, "remain opposed" to Democrat gun control measures, "calling them an infringement on Second Amendment protections."
The power of the Virginia Republican legislature in a state divided between the liberal northern suburbs and the more conservative rural and military areas was demonstrated when McAuliffe's attorney general announced in December 2015 that "the commonwealth will no longer recognize out-of-state concealed handgun permits, part of a national push to circumvent legislatures opposed to tightening gun laws."
A month later, after the issue "had threatened to poison the remainder of the governor's term in office," McAuliffe "agreed to legislation that says the state must recognize concealed-handgun permits from nearly all states – a reversal of Attorney General Mark R. Herring's decision" a month earlier "to sever the reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states," in a deal that was backed by the NRA.
On top of the money McAuliffe has poured into the Northam gubernatorial campaign, Michael Bloomberg's gun control group is adding $700,000 to the Northam coffers, and former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords's "gun control group" has pledged $150,000 to Northam.
At a Monday D.C. press conference, Giffords's husband, Mark Kelly, didn't hesitate to politicize the Nevada shootings:
Don't let anyone tell you not to talk about politics when we talk about guns.
The NRA will spend "more than $1 million" in support of Gillespie, on "ads airing on broadcast networks in markets around Virginia," according to thehill.com.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile is "headlining" a New York City fundraiser for the Democrat candidate Northam this Wednesday, according to another washingtonpost.com account. Northam at last count had more than twice as much cash on hand as Gillespie, in a race that has "garnered national attention as a proxy for partisan battles in Washington."
Mrs. Clinton politicized the Las Vegas event Monday morning by demanding we "put politics aside":
We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.
Among the responses to Hillary's typically ham-handed silencer comment were:
- Ben Shapiro: "Ignorant, irrelevant and exploitative"
- Buck Sexton: "She knows nothing about firearms, and even worse, she doesn't care."
- Dana Loesch: "Suppressors only reduce by a few decibels, still same decibel level as a jackhammer."
An NRA-ILA post less than two weeks ago quoted a washingtonpost.com article that finds that "a suppressed firearm is as loud as a jackhammer." The article reviews noise reduction ratings for ear plugs and ear muffs used by shooters and concludes that suppressors, also known as silencers, provide "around the same reduction level of typical ear protection gear often used when firing guns."
The NRA-ILA post also cites a politico.com column that quotes the "head of the Fraternal Order of Police," which "claims to be the nation's largest police union," on the House suppressor bill:
With respect to the silencer provision, we have taken a position that we do not object to that provision. The reasoning is because silencers are not – and have not been in the recent past – a law enforcement problem.
(The "Hearing Protection Act" has nevertheless been put on the back burner in the wake of Las Vegas, according to politico.com.)
The point of this suppressor digression is that, to paraphrase Mr. Sexton above, Hillary Clinton either has no idea what she is talking about or just doesn't care about the facts. What a surprise either way.
With Mrs. Clinton headlining support for the Northam campaign, what could go wrong?