In order for the Second Amendment to be truly preserved, it must have support of both of our major political parties. That's evidenced by the fact that in the most Democratic Conresss a generation, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has not only been preserved, but has been enhanced, and we owe much of that support from pro-gun Democrats, including Harry Reid.
Gun Owners of America has once again shown that it is unwilling to help make supporting the Second Amendment a bipartisan issue, and it is shameful. Shameful that Gun Owners of America, in the 2008 election cycle, spent less than 200 dollars supporting pro-gun Democrats. In contrast, National Rifle Association, which is a bipartisan Second Amendment advocacy group, spent almost 1300 times as much supporting pro-gun Democrats, despite still spending 78% of its PAC money supporting Republican candidates. In the 2010 election cycle so far, NRA has spent infinitely more money supporting pro-gun Democrats, spending close to 150,000 dollars compared with GOA's whopping $0.
But I don't just want to focus on Gun Owners of America's poor record of supporting a bipartisan Second Amendment. I'd also like to address their double standard when it comes to Republican pro-gun candidates versus Democratic pro-gun candidates. Their opposition to Senate Majority Leader Reid is a prime example of this.
Harry Reid did, in fact, vote for the Brady Act. This vote was in 1993. Also voting for the Brady Act was Kay Bailey Hutchison, who GOA gives an A grade to. Funny how Republicans get forgiven, isn’t it? Oh, but Reid voted for the evil assault weapons ban! Well, he did, but he didn’t. The assault weapons ban was attached to the Crime Bill, which was a must-pass part of a highly popular President’s agenda. See my post on the history of the Assault Weapons Ban. The actual AWB was called the Feinstein Amendment, and Reid voted against that. There were only four Senators who voted against the final Crime Bill. One of the other votes for the final bill? GOA A-Rated Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby. Shelby also joined Reid in voting to eliminate CMP funding. And here too, along with Hutchison again.
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But I’m not going to sit here and do this all day for decades old votes. I mean, yeah, Reid did vote against the Lott Amendment back in 2000, but so did Fred Thompson. He did vote for trigger locks back in 2004, but so did Hutchison. But he also voted against renewing the Assault Weapons Ban on that same bill. Reid also voted against the final version of the bill that was amended with the trigger lock provision, gun show provision, and assault weapons ban.
Also worthwhile to note Harry Reid voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was a major legislative initiative for the the Right to Keep and Bear Arms movement this past decade. But I think what stands out the most is Harry Reid’s leadership on the issue in the current Senate. Shall we name what we’ve gotten?
- An amendment to allow National Park carry inserted into the Credit Card bill.
- An amendment to fix DC’s gun laws inserted into the Voting Rights Act.
- An amendment to create national reciprocity recognition that even included recognition for states that did not issue licenses, like Vermont. We lost his one, but the vote never would have happened without Harry Reid.
- Funding rider to force Amtrak to allow guns in checked baggage.
- Let’s also not forget all the other funding riders which are important for us, which Reid helped us get.
It's certainly true that conservatives have plenty of reasons to be upset about Harry Reid, but Gun Owners of America bills itself as a gun rights group, not a partisan conservative group. But you'd never know it from their actions. The fact is that Harry Reid is solid on the Second Amendment. We’ve gotten more out of the Senate under Reid than we got out of Republicans in the roughly 14 years they ran things. Harry Reid is not perfect, but there’s no politician that has a voting perfect record, and many that have records on guns comparable to Reid which GOA grades highly. I will leave it to you to determine whether GOA have any credibility at all when it comes to help making sure the Second Amendment is protected by both parties.To me the answer is clear, and it's been obvious for a while Gun Owners of America is more interested in tearing down others in order to promote itself, than it is about keeping this important right for future generations.