Democratic Debate Skirts Extreme Gun Control Stances Yet Again, Bloomberg Doesn’t

posted on January 22, 2020

All photos by Gage Skidmore courtesy Flickr under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0; composite by A1F staff.

The Democratic Party presidential debate Jan. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa, followed the trend set by recent debates and failed to address the extreme stances taken by candidates regarding your Second Amendment rights.

Though he wasn’t present at the debate, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg still found a way to peddle his anti-gun agenda in a Washington Post opinion piece. In it, he called for more background checks, red-flag laws and more.

The piece, titled “Here’s a key moment from the Iowa debate — and what I would have said,” included statements from five of the six major candidates not at the January debate. Of them, only Bloomberg mentioned firearms, all while calling out the NRA in no uncertain terms. He also promised that if he is present at future debates, he will make sure that his crusade against your Second Amendment freedoms takes center stage.

Bloomberg’s campaign to limit gun rights has been no secret. He has advocated for “universal” background checks, bans on the most commonly owned firearms, raising the minimum age limit to buy a firearm and many other anti-Second Amendment policies.

The former New York City mayor also alluded to why the topic of gun control wasn’t discussed at the January debate. “This is no doubt, in part, because some of the leaders on this issue – such as Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke and Kamala D. Harris – are no longer in this race,” he wrote.

He is correct in noting that the absence of each of the former candidates mentioned likely contributed to why the topic of gun rights – or gun control – wasn’t discussed. Each of these failed candidates made extreme gun control a central platform in their respective campaigns.

During the September debate, former  proclaimed, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” when asked if he was proposing gun confiscation. He even went on to sell campaign materials with the phrase on them.

O’Rourke’s poll numbers dipped following the September debate and he withdrew from the race on Nov. 1, 2019, citing an inability to raise sufficient funds to continue.

Harris and Booker also made gun control central platforms in their respective campaigns. Both supported mandatory “buyback” programs—the politically correct euphemism for confiscation—gun registries and more anti-Second Amendment stances. Harris dropped out Dec. 3, 2019, citing a lack of funds amidst internal turmoil. Booker announced his decision to withdraw a day before the January debate – which he did not qualify for – and will instead seek reelection to his seat in the U.S. Senate.

In both the November and December 2019 debates, no candidate gave gun control more than a passing glance as they buried their stances amidst other issues in their well-rehearsed campaign pitches.

“Apparently the unpopularity of gun control is no longer up for debate…” tweeted the NRA during December’s debate.

The Oct. 15, 2019 debate, over three months ago, was the last time that the candidates actually discussed their anti-Second Amendment views in a debate. Much of that was O’Rourke defending his comments from the previous debate and fending off attacks from former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, who said O’Rourke “needs to pick a fight in order to stay relevant,” before the debate in reference to his previous comments.

Following their back-and-forth, Booker waded into the conversation to advocate for a gun-licensing scheme before Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Harris discussed “voluntary buyback” programs. That same debate featured former Vice President Joe Biden taking another shot at the NRA, too.

The January debate was the final one before the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 3, which are seen as crucial to establishing a frontrunner to be the nominee. Following that, the Democratic Party will have three debates in the month of February. During that time, several other states will be holding early primaries, all in the lead up to Super Tuesday on March 3.





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