10/99 Elections Proved Public Against Handgun Control

Elections proved public against handgun control

The Washington Times
Thursday, October 14, 1999

In his Oct. 6 column, “Political misfires on the gun control range,” Morton Kondracke claims that Republicans will be hurt at the polls if they don’t pass gun control legislation this year. Every poll, he says, indicates that the public supports the strict handgun control measures being, pushed by Democratic presidential candidates and their allies in Congress.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Kondracke may give a lot of interesting polling data, but he ignores the most important poll — the poll that is taken every Election Day. Let’s look at some recent history.

In 1994, the Democratic Party took a beating at the polls. The very party Mr. Kondracke considers to be so enlightened for pushing gun control got hammered on Election Day. Why?

According to President Clinton, “The fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their seats in Congress … [and is] the reason the Republicans control the House.”

That was Mr. Clinton in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer in January 1995.

Well, was Mr. Clinton just having a bad day? Did a reporter simply catch him off guard? No, if there is one truth Mr. Clinton has managed to keep straight for the past four years, it’s the question of why the Democrats lost Congress.

As recently as June, Mr. Clinton told the audience of ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “This Congress came to power after the 1994 elections because in critical races the people who voted for more modest things, like the Brady Bill … got beat. They got beat, Charlie.”

Some will say that was 1994; things are much different now.

Wrong. In 1997, one of the ballot initiatives in Washington state would h ave required gun owners to lock up their safety by putting trigger locks on their guns. That measure was very similar to a provision in the juvenile crime bill that is before Congress now. What happened? The voters of Washington shot down the initiative by a whopping
    71-29 percent.

National Public Radio last month billed the race to fill the seat of the late Rep. George Brown, California Democrat, as a referendum on gun control. The favored candidate in the Sept. 21 Democratic primary, Rep. Brown’s widow, supported gun control. Her opponent, Joe Baca, opposed a ban on so-called assault weapons.

The winner? Voters rejected the gun-control candidate and nominated Mr. Baca.

It is ironic that so many candidates seem to make the mistake Mr. Kondracke makes. But as they say about history: If you don’t study it, you’re doomed to repeat it.

If candidates continue to ignore the lessons from the ultimate poll which is taken every Election Day — they are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

Executive director
Gun Owners of America

The Election Day Poll is Clear:
Voters Don’t Like Gun Control!
Please Oppose the Juvenile Injustice Bill

Provided by Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, (703) 321-8585