WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of President Barack Obama's gun-control proposals are planning a methodical, state-by-state campaign to try to persuade key lawmakers that it's in their political interest to back his sweeping effort to crack down on firearms and ammunition sales and expand criminal background checks.
To succeed will require overturning two decades of conventional wisdom that gun control is bad politics.
The National Rifle Association is confident that argument won't sell. But with polls showing majorities supporting new gun laws a month after the Connecticut shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six adults, gun-control activists say the political calculus has changed. Their goal in coming weeks is to convince lawmakers of that, too, and to counter the NRA's proven ability to mobilize voters against any proposals limiting access to guns.
Back in 2000, Smith and Wesson made an expedient deal with the Clinton Administration to get out from under lawsuits seeking to tap gun manufacturers' deep pockets. S&W's status as a producer of "bread and butter" gun store products didn't protect it from gun owners' severe financial punishment for its betrayal. I fully support the NRA's long reach and longer memory in dealing with politicians who sell out gun owners.