''Democrats recast gun control image''. But is it a true conversion?

By Chad D. Baus

The Boston Globe is reporting that the Democrat party, long identified with gun control, is rethinking its approach to the gun debate, seeking to improve the chances of its candidates in states where hunters have been wary of casting votes for a party with a national reputation of being against guns.

According to the story, the Democrats' effort to soften their rhetoric on gun control is similar to the party's recent efforts to recast its message on abortion, maintaining their support of abortion rights but welcoming more Democrats who favor restrictions on the procedure.

From the story:

    Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, who had been a critic of some forms of gun control during his tenure as governor of Vermont, has urged candidates to view gun control laws as state issues, allowing those in rural states to reflect the values of hunters and others hostile to gun control, while supporting restrictions in urban areas with serious crime problems.

And later:

    Democratic Party officials say they expect their candidates to have a wide range of opinions on gun control, and insist that the national party's message of ''responsible gun ownership" is not hostile to law-abiding gun owners. But some Democrats from rural states say the party still needs to do more to be inclusive and sympathetic to gun owners.

    Candidates opposing gun control ''are depicted by some in our party as a bunch of yahoos, and we're not," said Paul Hackett, a Democratic Senate candidate from Ohio and a member of the National Rifle Association. ''We are just good Democrats who are pro-gun.

    ''As a party, our lack of understanding of gun sports is hurting us," said Hackett, a former Marine who owns about 20 guns.

Hackett's statement is only the first of several parts of this article which suggest that Democrats still want us to believe in the purpose of "sporting arms" definition of the Second Amendment. The Democratic Party appears to still appears to lack an understanding (and caring about) is the true Second Amendment. To try to explain this any other way is still trying to fool us --- or possibly themselves.

The article goes on to note that the NRA, (like the Buckeye Firearms Association) has found more opportunities to endorse pro-gun Democrats in various races in recent years. In fact, three of the four state Senate Democratic caucus leaders voted for Ohio's concealed carry law.

Still, many gun owners are likely going to have trouble trusting any new-found pro-gun positions taken on a national level, since this exact move of "recasting the gun control image" was called for by anti-gun billionaire Andrew McKelvey just a few short years ago...

Monster.com billionaire Andrew McKelvey* first became interested in doing something about guns after the various high-profile school shootings which occured during the Clinton years.

His first step was to donate a sizable chunk of money to the legal and research arm of gun control group Handgun Control, recently retread as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

But the more he got involved in the group, he said, the more convinced he became the words "handgun control" were harmful and that a more moderate approach was needed.

McKelvey figured out that "gun control" doesn't sell, and thus began to suggest that people who still support gun control, as he does, try to avoid being called that, since he says it turns off a large portion of the population who reject interference.

"I told them that Handgun Control was the wrong name. I thought what they were doing was great but I thought it could be done differently," McKelvey said.

In the year 2000, this billionaire, who has never even owned a gun, founded Americans For Gun Safety. According to Newsweek magazine, he committed more than $12 million toward its creation.

A quick visit to the Americans for Gun Safety website will let the visitor know that they aren't the least bit concerned for firearms safety. There is no information on the website about the proper handling of firearms, safety practices on the range, or anything of the kind.

A review of their legislative priorities will confirm the truth - no matter what the rhetoric, this is yet another group devoted to taking firearms out of the hands of the innocent, in a futile attempt to prevent criminals from obtaining them.

So what are the more overt gun ban extremists saying about the new tone at the DNC? Suspiciously, not much. One more, from the Globe article:

    Some gun control supporters question Dean's stance that gun control should be a regional matter. Such an approach is not workable because people can buy guns legally in one state and use them to commit crimes in others, said Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    But Hamm also acknowledged that gun control supporters have done a poor job framing their arguments in ways that do not make lawful hunters fear their lifestyle is under attack, Hamm said.

Given our knowledge of McKelvey's plotting, and having seen how John Kerry attempted to implement it, we hope Democrats will forgive America's gun owners if we're a bit skeptical until were are absolutely certain that Democrats have truly come to an understanding that gun control hasn't worked in Australia, Great Britain, or Canada, and that they've abandoned any idea that it will work anywhere in America.

Related Stories:
Chameleon Democrats Can't Truly Change if They Don't Know Why

Houston Chronicle: Concerns about gun stores misguided
A Washington-based non-profit group called Americans for Gun Safety claims to take the middle ground on gun ownership. I question its neutrality.

Can Democrats avoid gun talk

*Information on Andrew McKelvey compiled from a Reuters story by Sue Pleming.

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