Bad assumption

Gun sales have surged among new buyers the past few months leading some to speculate this will translate into positive action at election time:

“… Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights …”

“… Several of the country’s leading gun-rights groups are working to convert many more first-time owners into new gun-rights voters in the run-up to the 2020 election. Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that the group’s success could change the political landscape at the local, state, and national level. “The NRA believes voters who recently purchased guns for self-defense will join other Second Amendment voters and be an even more formidable voting bloc,” Hunter told the Washington Free Beacon. “They’re educated, passionate, and they know anti-gun politicians are the biggest threat to their fundamental right to self-defense …”

Both of these are fundamentally wrong.

Simply buying a gun does not automatically turn a person into a 2A activist voter. That requires work by a special interest group able to appeal to that new gun owner. NRA in particular does not do that very well having developed an increasing reputation over the years as being a Republican/Conservative organization as opposed to a single issue, non-partisan group.  That is the main reason why they have no clout in states like New York and Massachusetts that have Democrat voter majorities.

If gun groups want to gain political advantage from these new gun owners they must recognize that a good portion of them are not conservatives and will not vote for Republicans regardless of the candidate’s position on 2A.

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