Thursday, January 7, 2016

President Makes Gun Control Campaign Issue – KOA Radio Interview

An emotional President Obama announced some modest steps increasing gun control and gun safety. Because it featured executive action on changing the definition of gun sellers, which expanded federal requirements for background checks, the action will be strongly resisted by the Republican presidential field and become part of the campaign.
Photo: The Independent

Will Colorado’s federal races be affected? In a KOA Radio interview with Mike Rice and Susan Witkin, the question was discussed related to the 6th Congressional District given the Democratic candidate, Morgan Carroll, was highly identified with the issue when she was part of the Democratic State Senate majority in 2013 that passed new gun control restrictions.

Democrats suffered immediate blowback from gun rights supporters and saw two of their members recalled, including the Senate President. It’s not clear how the issue will play, but it is polarizing and will motivate the base of both parties in the district. It could help Carroll with urban white-collar voters, especially women, but hurt her among blue-collar suburban voters. Incumbent Mike Coffman is a gun rights advocate.

Gun control has not been a Michael Bennet issue, but as the Democratic senator, he will no doubt support the President’s actions while bemoaning senate inaction. But Bennet is well-known for hedging highly controversial issues and more gun control or executive action does not play well in much of Colorado.

But, as pointed out in the December 23 blog, “All in for Gun Control,” led by their presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, Democrats have overcome any caution they had on the issue and have given it a top position in the presidential race.

Public opinion strongly likes background checks, but is very divided on more gun control as a generic question.
In general, the public would like guns out of the hands of the wrong people, but they are skeptical that new restrictions will work and they are worried that the desire among some to ban guns overall will produce even stricter and less popular restrictions.

National Journal: How Obama’s gun-control move reflects major cultural shift among voters
FiveThirtyEight: Most Americans agree with Obama that more gun buyers should be get background checks

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