Monday, June 16, 2014

Gun rights GOP's demise?

A few days before the primary, a letter from the National Association for Gun Rights went out urging Mississippi voters to vote for Chris McDaniel, claiming he is in "100% support for your gun rights." Despite his 100% rating and endorsement from the National Rifle Association, the NAGR's letter claims Senator Thad Cochran is hiding his anti-gun views because he did not return their candidate survey.

While this might seem like a fairly innocuous mailer, a similar survey unanswered in Virginia by Rep. Eric Cantor is being partially blamed for his defeat last week. From Politico's analysis:
"A few weeks out from the election, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group, pressed Cantor’s campaign to perform what they saw as a routine request: reaffirm his support for the Second Amendment by completing a simple questionnaire. It was the kind of request any typical Republican running in a conservative district would answer.
But Cantor ignored the group, which claims 26,000 supporters, as he had for years. The congressman never responded to the survey or its plea to relocate an annual GOP event in the district from a pavilion that banned concealed guns... The slight, his critics argued, was emblematic of Cantor’s broader attitude that he was untouchable."
The bigger picture in Virginia, and the same picture being painted here in Mississippi, was of course that the Washington folks are out of touch with the people back home. This particular issue also represents the Tea Party and GOP's incessant fight to out-conservative one another. Though rumors are circulating that many outside groups are not participating in this runoff, we'll see how the mailers and commercials evolve over the last few days.

As for the NAGR, they touted their own victory in Virginia over Cantor last week. The article also highlights the press conference they gave last year to a room full of their staffers posing as reporters. A simple search of the group produces some equally bizarre message board threads.

The entire NAGR letter endorsing McDaniel is below.

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