By Damon W. Root
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino teamed up for a pro-gun control ad that aired during yesterday’s Super Bowl. At The Daily Beast, liberal UCLA law professor Adam Winkler argues that not only is the ad likely to backfire, it might just hurt President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign as well. He writes:
Gun-control proponents can only pray that Obama doesn’t take Menino and Bloomberg’s bait. Making gun control a more important issue in the election would be a terrible mistake for the president—and for the cause of gun control....
For many pro-gun independents, Obama is not seen as a real threat to gun rights. They are focused on more pressing issues, like the economy and jobs. If Obama starts talking about gun control, however, they may begin to believe the NRA’s dire warnings. And the impact will be felt not just in the presidential race. It will hurt Democrats all the way down the ballot. Recall that when the Newt Gingrich–led Republicans seized control of the House in 1994, President Bill Clinton blamed the gun-control laws he himself had pushed through during his first two years in office. Obama’s talking about guns would be a disaster for Democrats and—necessarily—for the prospects of new gun control.