By Dan Shea
One of the blessings we might forget to count every day is that since the new regime took over in Washington, they have virtually left the firearms community alone. I don’t expect that to continue to be the case after the November 2010 elections here in the U.S. unless the American voters manage to neuter the Obama agenda like we did to the Clinton agenda in 1993-5.
Surprisingly, one of the allies of the Pro-Second Amendment community in this regard has been Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (Democrat, Nevada). This has led to a political schism for many on the Right. While Senator Reid has pushed forward a large part of the Liberal agenda that many of us find unpalatable to say the least, he has held the line firmly on not allowing new legislative encroachment on our Second Amendment Rights in the face of a severely left wing power group. That is the case regarding new legislation, but he has also supported many anti-firearms appointees in other sections of our government including the judicial, which will in all probability bite us all where it hurts later on. Many of us suspect that the plan from the White House was to not push that fight before these midterm elections, because the firearms community will go figuratively up in arms again and the Liberals would lose far more seats than they probably will anyway. In any event, Senator Reid held the line like he has in the past.
Recently the NRA considered endorsing Senator Reid over his opponent Sharron Angle, who enjoys the support of the Tea Party activists as well as a stated 100% support of the Second Amendment. Puzzling as this might be, the NRA must support candidates on the record regarding the Second Amendment, not all the other issues. When I look at their proposed endorsement of Senator Reid, I see that they must reward his legislative protection of the Second Amendment, and that they are not discussing any other issues than this. Rightly so, since the NRA is a focused group: if they were a “Conservative” or “Libertarian” group, this endorsement would never happen, but Senator Reid certainly has held the legislative line on this one specific Conservative and Libertarian goal.
I suspect this fight in Nevada, echoed in many other states in the coming November elections, will be a tough one. Senator Reid brings a lot of “voice” to Nevada, and that’s actually what a Senator’s job was. If memory serves, it was 1913 that the Constitution was amended with the 17th Amendment and changed the way that Senators were elected. Up until then, the House of Representatives was elected by the votes of the people in their districts. The Senators, two from each state, were elected by the state legislatures, and the purpose of the Senators was to ensure that the interests of the people in their state were represented unimpeded by any current political frenzy or the distraction of having to campaign for office publicly. After 1913, the Senators were elected in pretty much the same manner as the Representatives, thus making all elected officials part of the bi-yearly (six years for Senators) mud-throwing contest that has devolved as our national elections. The Senators were supposed to be elevated above this, and not be distracted by local politics, to ensure their concentration on representing the interest of their State/population.
That said, his opponent, Sharron Angle, is conservative on many, many other issues, and will probably benefit from the “anyone but the incumbent” mood that is running through our state.
I bring this up in the hopes of fostering intelligent discussion among our readers as they carefully weigh what is important to them in the coming November mid-term elections. It is my sincere hope as a Libertarian/Conservative gun owning American that we have a massive changing of the guard, and that President Obama’s ability to get “Change we all can’t live with” is neutered like we did to the Clinton agenda back in the day. For me, it’s not only about the Second Amendment, it’s about all of them, and the Constitution, and the Freedom we hold so dear.
For our friends across the Pond, grab yourselves some dinner; turn on the TV, because our Mid-Term elections should truly be “Dinner AND a Show.”
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V14N1 (October 2010)|