Dems Have to Lie to Voters About Their Stance on Guns to Win Statewide Office in Texas

[State senator Roland] Gutierrez is one of nine Democrats vying for the party’s nomination to challenge Republican senator Ted Cruz in the November general election. More than any of his opponents in the primary, he has made gun control a central tenet of his campaign. Even if he loses, he says, he will never stop pushing for the legislative reforms demanded by Uvalde parents. “I will advocate for those people for the rest of my lives,” he said.

Making guns a central issue in a campaign wouldn’t be as big a risk for a national Democrat, but many in Texas have long believed it’s a toxic issue here. In 2014, Wendy Davis, a Democratic state senator challenging Greg Abbott for governor, posed for a photo with a shotgun and announced she supported an “open carry” law—which would have allowed Texans with handgun licenses to wear pistols on their hips while in public. Davis believed that backing gun rights was necessary to win a statewide election in Texas. (She lost her race by twenty percentage points and later said she regretted the position she took on guns.) Four years later, then-congressman Beto O’Rourke adopted a very different approach during his Senate run against Cruz, making gun control a central part of his campaign. He came closer than Davis, but then, during his 2020 presidential run, he doubled down on his position after the El Paso Walmart shooting in his congressional district. He called for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons, saying, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” When O’Rourke ran for governor in 2022, Abbott hammered him for that position and cruised to a double-digit victory. …

Some Democratic voters who support gun control recognize that it may not be a winning issue statewide. At Gutierrez’s meet and greet in Leander, I spoke with 73-year-old Ken Chamberlain, a bespectacled retiree, who was still torn on whom to support between Gutierrez and [Congressman Colin] Allred. He came to the event on a whim, he said, not having much else to do on a Wednesday night, and was open to hearing any sort of policy pitch. He told me he was familiar with Gutierrez, given his work after Uvalde, and wanted to hear what the Democrat had to say. “I do believe in the Second Amendment,” Chamberlain said, “but I don’t believe there’s a need for AR-15s.” Then he added a note of caution: “I just think it’s difficult to get that message out in redder parts of the state.”

Political operatives in both parties believe the gun issue is one on which Democrats can’t win statewide. “I worked in my first statewide election in 1972, and I’ve never, ever known when it has been a benefit to any candidate to say that they want to severely restrict or eliminate the right for people to purchase firearms,” said Steve Munisteri, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and the leader of one of its main voter-registration efforts. 

Jeff Dalton, a North Texas political consultant who led Democratic state senator Royce West’s unsuccessful 2020 campaign for U.S. Senate, was only slightly less dubious about framing a campaign around gun control. “I think it can be one of the things they talk about, but it can’t be issue number one,” said Dalton. “And when they talk about it, they need to moderate their stance and be clear they support the Second Amendment and the right to responsible gun ownership.” When pushed for specifics on which “responsible” gun message might resonate with most Texans, Dalton expressed hope that most “practical” voters agree with partial limits on certain “powerful” firearms and making access to those weapons harder. 

— Alexandra Samuels in Can a Texas Democrat Get Elected on Gun Control?

5 Responses

  1. When the border is wide open, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When crime is out of control, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When inflation is creating poverty, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When China and Bill Gates are buying up USA farmland, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When we are sending tens of billions to Ukraine, and spending tens of billions on folk who came here illegally, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When climate hoaxers are destroying our energy independence, why would you campaign on gun control?

    When pedophiles are infiltrating our schools, why would you campaign on gun control?

    I’ll tell you why, because all of the disastrous happenings cited above are you party’s platform, the results of your advocacy and activity. THAT is why you campaign on gun control. You do not want to talk about how you are destroying this great country.

    1. @LifeSavor Why do they campaign on gun control? There’s another reason. It’s an extremely easy topic to campaign on. Do you want innocent people to be killed with guns? Don’t you want to Do Something? What is an extremely important voting blok for Dems? The youth! What group of people have traditionally not showed up to vote? The youth! How do you get them to show up? Highly emotional issues! What are those issues? Gun control and climate change. Oh and student debt, of course.

  2. They lie about everything. They go on and on about how popular their ideas are then proceed to lie, misdirect, obfuscate and deny those very ideas until they get their power position then ram those ideas down everyone’s throat by whatever means necessary.

    And when you complain about their shitty ideas you get called racist.

    1. Exactly Shire-man. They have to lie about everything because if they were honest about their intentions, and the consequences of those intentions, then the middle/independent, low-information voters would never support them. Old school, propaganda-infused Democrats who still love this country (yes they exist) wouldn’t even support them. Instead, they might vote third party, or not show up. (The people I’m referring to would pretty much never vote for Republicans.)

      On that other site, I’ve started to repeatedly ask one of their adherents why they don’t just say that open borders are a good thing. Why don’t they say that secksually* indoctrinating children is a good thing? Why do they hide behind phrases like the border is secure or book bans? So far, I haven’t gotten an answer.

      *I haven’t tested for a moderation system here yet since I can’t edit my comments.

      Dan Z, will we be able to edit comments in the future?

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