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Posted: 8/2/2001 9:22:25 PM EDT
The LA Times August 2 2001 The GOP Has a Way to Win Back Women: Shift the Debate on Guns By SCOTT REED In U.S. politics, some issues traditionally have generated substantial heat and very little light. Abortion is one; guns are another. These issues are the classic "losers," because a strong position on either side antagonizes nearly half of the electorate. Historically, politicians shun these issues because almost nothing an advocate can do or say will sway the other side. Now that may be changing a bit when it comes to the firearms issue. Shifting the focus from "gun control" to "gun safety" opened a large middle ground with the potential to engage all but the zealots on the extreme fringes of the issue. For the rational middle, there is agreement that the right of gun ownership brings with it a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of kids and criminals. For the Republican Party, this movement toward gun safety is particularly fortuitous. As the Republican National Committee chairman, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore, noted at a recent meeting in Boston, the GOP's hold on the White House and the House of Representatives is tenuous at best. It will continue only if the party does better with women voters. Had only women voted in 2000, Gilmore pointed out, Al Gore would have won in a landslide and Dick Gephardt would be speaker of the House. No one plausibly can suggest that women are a monolithic voting bloc. But nearly all surveys show that women are particularly interested in the health, education and safety of their children, and that certainly includes gun safety. It is an issue that is staring us smack in the face as Republicans. Continued across-the-board intransigence on gun questions will not only affect our viability as a national political party but also will call into question our moral fitness to lead. The hallmark of true conservatism is responsibility, and our party's attitude toward guns must not only be responsible; it must be perceived as responsible. How much longer will we have to watch in horror the televised reports of random shootings in our high schools before we take a few modest steps to restrict access to guns only to those entitled to use them? A simple first step would be to close what has been called the "gun-show loophole," which now permits criminals to purchase guns at gun shows without the same background check everyone faces at a gun store. The measure has almost universal support from all voting segments, but it is steadfastly opposed by the National Rifle Assn., a position that undermines the credibility of the organization and diminishes its backers. The NRA argues that closing the loophole would put gun shows out of business. And yet in the NRA heartland of Pennsylvania, the gun-show loophole was closed by state law and Pennsylvania still has more gun shows than all but two other states. In the pro-gun states of Colorado and Oregon, ballot measures closing the loophole passed overwhelmingly last fall, with support that was strong among gun owners and stratospheric among women. Even the conservative governor of Colorado, Bill Owens, supported this initiative and was able to hold his right-of-center coalition together.
Link Posted: 8/2/2001 9:23:00 PM EDT
In his campaign for president, then-Gov. George W. Bush said he believed that "the instant check system is the best way to keep criminals from buying guns at gun shows" and that he supported "changing federal law to give gun-show sponsors special access to the National Instant Check System." That view is now embodied in legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but there has been little movement on the bill this year. The need for the GOP to move to the center on gun safety is urgent. The Republican Party must collectively support this conscious first step toward gun safety. Our party must move from being perceived as largely captive to special interests on this issue to being seen as preserving gun rights while being tough on criminals who use guns. The NRA should come around on this common-sense initiative and help the GOP to remove its head from the sand. A party that regularly kowtows to the special interests (as the Democrats have done historically) calls into question its basic purpose and ultimately becomes caricatured as a Geppetto Party--controlled by many strings. Closing the gun-show loophole would be a declaration of independence from the NRA by the GOP. Doing so would also give Republican members of Congress an issue to campaign for, and in politics, offense is always better than defense. Scott Reed, campaign manager for Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996, is head of a Washington, D.C., consulting firm http://latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-000062694aug02.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcomment
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 6:54:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FRIZ: That view is now embodied in legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but there has been little movement on the bill this year. The need for the GOP to move to the center on gun safety is urgent.
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This guy Reed is full of bull $hit. I am glad he is sitting in an private office, rather than the Oval Office. Dole deserved to lose with this type of advice. If Geo W. Bush Jr, followed his advice he would be back home in Austin right now. Did this guy say he was Republican or a Democrat? people are complaining that there is not difference between either parties, and this man embodies those complaints.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 7:33:51 AM EDT
Yes, I think we should all pay close attention to what the campaign manager of the Dole 1996! Campaign has to say on this crucial subject - NOT! We should do the opposite! I can say without any fear of contradiction that the Dole Campaign in 1996 was the worst organized and run campaign in recent history. I'm getting a better understanding of just why that was the case. This country is divided between Conservatives representing approx. 40% of the voting public, and Liberals, also representing 40% of the voters. It's the 'moderate, undecided, independents' that make up the remaining 20%. This 'squishy' middle is the place we need to be hunting for voters, but not by abandoning our firmly cherished liberties. But by showing those folks that Washington simply does not have the rights answers when it comes to gun control or gun safety. The so-called 'gun show loophole' is simply not a problem. Any fix that might be proposed to a nonexistent problem is going to be an even larger problem. If the folks in D.C. think that it is, then they'll be trying to ban 'classified ads for guns' next. Where is the data showing that gun shows are a problem? Besides, I thought gun crimes were on the [b]decline[/b] in this country. Eric The(PreachingToTheChoir)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 9:31:17 AM EDT
For the rational middle, there is agreement that the right of gun ownership brings with it a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of kids and criminals.
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just goes to show how irrational the "rational middle" can be. we, "the zealots on the extreme fringes of the issue," have known this and subscribed to it from the beginning. it's not a new concept. "ooh, i've got it. let be responsible with guns."
women are particularly interested in the health, education and safety of their children, and that certainly includes gun safety
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yeah, and for the life of me i can't figure out why any mother thinks the government can make better decisions for her children on these issues than she can.
"gun-show loophole," which now permits criminals to purchase guns at gun shows without the same background check everyone faces at a gun store.
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not true, and why don't we ever hear the fact that less than 1% (i think i've got that number right) of criminals buy their weapons at a gun show. and you can't buy a weapon at a gun show in IN without an IN ccw or a background check. at least not from a reputable, legal dealer. and don't even get me started on all the other crap that they've added to the legislation for closing the so-called loophole. hear, hear, hun!
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 11:35:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 1:03:53 PM EDT
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