Given the current landscape of the 2012 Election (that is: GOP candidates raking each other over the coals to try and get elected and not banding together to promote GOP agendas or ideologies necessarily), it probably doesn’t matter that much in the end: the likely candidate is Mitt Romney. Agree or disagree: it doesn’t matter because the one guy coming under fire for the things these readers care about is Romney.
Few are going to question the gun record of NRA A-Rated Ron Paul, but despite his fresh approach to politics, he isn’t going to get the Republican primary endorsement because he cannot beat Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich has been part of D.C. for a long time, and served in some fairly Pro-Gun capacities, especially in the Eighties, but no one really cares about Newt’s stance on Guns because he probably isn’t likeable enough with his awkward public/private life concerns, and his vindictive and pointed approach, regardless of how much he can’t stand Obama. He can’t win against Obama either. Mitt Romney has his own concerns in running against the incumbent president, but catches an awful lot of flak from other Republicans, considering he is the likely candidate and easily the most electable GOP candidate. It’s interesting to note the rise in popularity for Rick Santorum, but it’s likely a “too little too late” situation. Sure he’s pro gun, has a fairly impressive 2nd Amendment voting record, and speaks some genuine conservative truths in public. HE is easily the most conservative in the race and would be a refreshing candidate if he had gathered momentum a few years ago in preparation for this. He should gear up for 8 ½ years from now, because he looks like a decent proposition for the next guy.
Am I THAT confident Mitt Romney will win? Maybe I’m not as confident in his winning as I am in the overall distaste for Obama, in a Country full of conservative ideals (by the numbers). Anything that changes the current administration is better than letting it happen for another four. I think many who voted as moderates or centrists, or unaffiliated voters, realize the mistake they made; Romney is moderate enough to appeal to many of them (Santorum is probably left enough to appeal to them: that’s how much Obama alienated Campaign promises and voters). The Conservatives will back anyone other than the liberal President; many liberals feel lied to, and may not vote at all, which takes out some of the buffer that landed Obama the presidency in the first place. It looks like a decent opportunity to put a Republican President back into the Oval Office. With as big an election as the NRA is making it out to be, it stands to reason that we should know what’s going on.
Firstly a bit of a lecture and rant that no one will care about:
You GOP candidates should be ashamed of yourselves. The only ones who have behaved in a remotely respectable manner are Romney and Santorum, and they are no saints at this point either. This is the anti-GOP way according to Ronald Reagan, the father of the modern GOP platform (so to speak). You should remember you are fighting against an evil, the likes of which has never before been equaled. Call me a staunch conservative, but it’s not just about my personal opinion, it’s about individual freedoms, something threatened for extinction every day we stay under this administration and their “progressive” ways.
That said: this isn’t about my personal political affiliations or what I want to see happen: it’s about the effect on the second amendment rights that the founding fathers and early patriots were willing to fight and die for. The second amendment is so sacred to the founding fathers that it cannot be summed up in a few quotes. It demanded an incredible amount of attention then, and it is ever more important now as we have watched the erosion of liberty and individual freedom, and the god given right that the early Americans ushered into existence: the right to bear arms and to defend oneself and one’s freedoms. If one quote did have to be picked to try and explain the importance of such mandates it is perhaps: “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Written by Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Constitution, though another also comes to mind: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” As written by Benjamin Franklin in 1759.
Neither of these men was known particularly for their prowess behind the musket, but rather, the amazing progress they inspired with their oration and their written words. They proved time and again that the pen is mightier than the sword, and explained even more often that the gun is more powerful than the tyrants who planned to ever control them.
In such a pivotal time for the freedoms we enjoy it’s important to understand what we stand to gain with a more conservative politician running things. Romney isn’t any true conservative’s cup of tea, but a true conservative wasn’t ever likely to win the 2012 election, otherwise, a freshman Senator wouldn’t be running the most powerful country in the world. It was always going to take someone with broader appeal, and it was always going to take someone relatively conservative to rectify wrongs created by the “left” in the last 4 years. But Romney, who seems to fit the bill (both liberal enough to appeal to liberals, but conservative enough to appeal to centrists and those on the right), seems flimsy enough in his stances to just about fit in as a competent president of the United States in a country made up of liberal conservatives. What does that mean? The Conservative base in the United States makes up some 55-65% of our voting public on paper, but there is rarely proof of that in the state or federal elections. Even though the numbers state that the United States is relatively “Right” in their alignment, they vote decidedly “Left” or not at all. Romney is probably the only guy in contention that stands a chance to sway both sides enough to create his own buffer of votes. He looks to be strong enough in the North East from a political and Economic standpoint to grab “Blue” states, and he is certainly conservative enough to get the standard votes in the Red States. No matter how you look at it, with the money he has, and the oration and persuasion skills he possesses, he stands a good chance against a guy who has helped orchestrate a downgrade in our Nations credit Rating, caused a massive increase in debt, and hasn’t delivered on enough promises to make the most of the gift he was given (the presidency).
Romney however, doesn’t inspire the hope for change in the minds of many staunch conservatives, as much as he should. But I would contend, maybe we want too drastic a change, or maybe we are out of touch with reality, rather than he isn’t the guy. He’s the only guy this time around. At least we can’t vote for Santorum in the General Elections, because surely, then (if running on another ticket), he would take enough votes away from the conservative base to get BHO elected for a second term. Let’s end his presidential seat in the same timeframe as his U.S. Senate seat: 4 years is enough. Again: Romney is the only guy we have that can win the election: but first he has to win the Primary. Small and simple steps, I guess. Just like undoing the wrongs with a more conservative approach: small and simple steps.
Where does that leave gun owners? I once heard a rumor that Mitt Romney agreed with current bans and regulation on overtly “lethal” weapons, whatever that means. That doesn’t bother me so much as the fact that he does have a tendency to flip flop a bit if you look at specific wording in different topcs. In general: Mr. Romney has a decent record when it comes to conservative ideals, but he is certainly not as far right as they come.
Let’s face facts as well: Massachusetts is probably a contender for worst ten 2nd Amendment states. What did or could Romney have done to improve that? Well in all honesty, he made it worse…sort of. (Please read further below to see why it was made both, worse, and better) Don’t worry: I’m not a Mitt Supporter as much as I am a Conservative who will pick the lesser of two evils in such a situation. I don’t think Romney is evil, and I certainly don’t think he is as bad for guns as Obama is: a second term is usually the messed up one, when a president tends to get pretty loose with morals and ethics (the understatement of the week).
Lesser of two evils?
SO what do we expect? We don’t expect Mitt Romney to come in and take away gun bans. It simply isn’t going to happen. In fact, Santorum wouldn’t do that either and neither would Perry, or McCain, or Ronald Reagan. OK, maybe Ronald Reagan could make something like that happen, but this is a lot harder than many people think it is. You can’t just roll through Washington to make something happen that reverses 15 years of ridiculous legislation and even more ridiculous “governance”. We can however, expect that Obama, if reelected would in fact take the liberty to make gun restrictions tighter, because as a meat puppet in the most accurate sense of the word, that’s part of what he was elected to do. So can we expect a better gun situation with a Republican candidate than a Democrat? Yes. A republican can push it off for 4 years, and in effect, avoid degrading the laws further. A Democrat incumbent would obviously utilize the time to find things to make the world more “democrat”. If Romney gets elected then in the second term we might see some loosening on the liberal gun rights stranglehold. Don’t get your hopes up though: undoing 15+ years of ridiculous legislation is not easy, and all that wasted funding to enforce it? A pro Jobs president isn’t going to dismantle the Government regulatory agencies.
The BATF is only going to be dismantled in a combination of freak events:
Republican president with great advisors, pushed into office by gun lobbyists and ultra conservative voters who actually own guns.
BATF doing something stupid like “Waco” or “Ruby Ridge” to complicate its awkward situation currently faced.
Nothing ridiculous by anyone who vocally supports gun rights (stop carrying your weapons in no-reciprocity states tea partiers) from the “right”.
No more Gabby Giffords situations. Idiots can ruin this for us, so do what you can to promote safe and responsible handling of firearms.
If all of these things happen for 3-5 more years, then you might see a tiny improvement in legislation on the federal level, but it won’t be about assault rifles, and it certainly won’t be anything like we want it to be.
So again: are we expecting too much? Have we lost touch with reality? Liberal Gun haters would of course like to believe the latter, but we all know deep down, that it is the former. We want the oppression of the last 15+ years to be removed to ease our pain and restore our constitutional rights, but it’s not going to happen like that.
We are entering a pivotal time in the history of our nation. We are cutting military spending by 450 billion this year, and we face more rogue nations wanting to cause us concerns than at any other time. We have 350+million guns in private hands (though that number may be a bit overzealous), and now we are smack in the middle of a primary race, where the candidates are clawing each other’s eyes out to replace a guy that can’t be beaten by a divided party. It’s certainly ripe for a change, but it isn’t likely that change will be on the gun front.
So what can Romney do? He can minimize the damage for four years, and if he does well enough in creating jobs and reversing a recession, he may just get another crack at it, where he can then…minimize the degradation for another 4 years, until a full conservative can ride his momentum and take the Presidency over. If in that time frame, we see substantial threats to our individual security on home soil, it’s possible that Mr. Romney could implement a program to increase the availability to firearms for mainstream citizens, but it will never undo what has been done unless the situation gets much direr. Realize too, that the ultra conservative that potentially comes after Romney (assuming he wins the primary, then the presidency, and then does enough to convince the nation that Republicans can do this change thing well) will not be interested in missing out on a second term, so we will still have to wait until the second term of a second republican in a row to see any substantial beginnings to a reversal of the ludicrous regulations now in place. Undoubtedly, there will be hurdles and problems along the way which will threaten even that, the rosiest of predictions. SO in 2024-2025 we might see a few addendums to the legislation we seek to displace.
Surely no one else can see a more realistic option at this stage in the game, surely.
Romney inherited a liberal state who hated guns, and he signed into legislation an assault weapons ban. None of him or his children served in the military, and none presumably have extensive experience from a self defense, tactical or a sporting perspective with weapons affected by the MA legislation. It’s not his fault he couldn’t do anything in order to maintain hope for a future at a higher level of politics. What did you expect a guy to do in one of the most “left” voting states in the union?
Romney or Obama is the real question, and surely my tiny arguments made in this text wouldn’t overshadow the overt reasons Romney wins in that matchup. The lesser of two evils is a pro job, pro economy, and pro “looking for new ways to get revenue” candidate. Perhaps Mitt can stage a coup by “taxing” guns a bit more somehow which allows some sort of a middle ground to get our guns to us, and the revenue to the government to fund the ridiculous debt load Obama has created. Either way, he IS the lesser of two evils.
You’ve got Mayor Bloomberg going off the deep end and claiming Mormons promote illegal gun purchases and straw purchases; The Brady Campaign tweeting Newt Gingrich supporting websites which comment on Mitt Romney’s gun record, and a president who will of course forget the “high moral standard” he tried to convince us he has had all along, despite trying to fundraise 24/7 instead of run the country the way he promised. It’s not a good situation we are going into.
So where do we really stand?’
According to Mitt Romney’s stance on all things Second Amendment:
- He claims that his current belief is that we have existing laws which do not require additional restrictions, but rather, more provident enforcement, and that he is against new legislation to tighten the regulatory circumstances.
- He says that there are not current bills or proposed legislation that fall in line with an improvement in gun regulation. If there were something to come up that did not provide substantial evidence for a decrease in law enforcement abilities to enforce the law, he would be opposed to such a new set of rules.
- His history with gun law seems relatively liberal and leftist, but only because he was a Governor in one of the toughest states in the U.S. and there weren’t many compromises to be had. In gun control issues (*unlike some other issues), he is incredibly consistent.
- He has said repeatedly, that he endorses and feels confident that the assault weapons ban makes sense and has real reasoning embedded in it, and that yet, he is 2nd Amendment friendly. He has not changed his story on this point. Whether or not you or I believe someone could support both the freedom to bear arms, and simultaneously, not to have access to certain arms, is inconsequential, as he claims to feel that way, and has not waffled on this stance.
When you look at the reality of the Assault weapon ban in Massachusetts, it actually took a very restrictive state, and avoided further future restrictions by identifying benefits as well as restrictions and finding a common ground between them. The “ban” although it looks like a bad decision, actually is seen by many gun owners in MA as a net victory/net gain compared to other options set before them at the time.
What happens if you stand by your guns (pun intended) and don’t vote for Romney (you know who you are)?
- If you vote for another Republican primary member, you risk helping to put in place a failing candidate, regardless of how conservative or moderate they are.
- If, when you have a chance to vote in the general elections, you vote for Obama, you secure a worse fate, by allowing an incumbent more freedom to manipulate the public and Government institutions controlling guns.
- If you choose not to vote, you risk allowing the incumbent more time to work his own personal brand of “change”; change is not always good.
Rest assured that if you are not voting for the more conservative candidate, you risk actively or passively helping a worse situation along, and allowing further degradation to the Second Amendment rights of this country.
Love him or hate him, he will do less damage than the incumbent; he is the easiest to elect; he has remarkably consistent gun stances, though many ultra conservatives would disagree because of the often misunderstood Massachusetts assault weapon ban; Mitt Romney will likely be our best bet, at least to set the stage for a more pro-gun candidate in 2024.
Remember that in this situation, it’s about small and simple things that will affect change, not in maintaining expectations that are beyond reality. If you are disillusioned into believing that the return of ALL of our second Amendment rights is an all or nothing event with immediate effect, then you are perhaps out of touch with reality, albeit one of the hopeful and faithful people.
I can respect a stance like that, but I can’t promote it as realistic. As much as I want to have a more realistic set of regulations (I’m a California citizen for at least another 9 months as it stands), and recognize real autonomy in our right to bear arms, I can also exercise a fair amount of reason.
If we can unite together to remove the plague that threatens to sink us down into a dangerous area, and we can bring about small and eventual change, then in reality, we have already won. As the world degrades further outside of the United States, we will eventually be able to exercise our god given, second amendment ensured, rights: whether by force or by choice.
Remember Ronald Reagan, one of the better Presidents we have had, said that the Conservative party can only thrive with a united front and by utilizing and promoting conservative ideals. At its core, there is perhaps no more conservative ideal than that which is secured and protected by the second amendment.