Romney could use some new advisers on guns

I have commented on this before, but the people advising Romney on guns seem to be the same people who advised Kerry. Going shooting or becoming a lifetime NRA member are nice, but they aren't what matters to most of the people who care about the gun issue. What matters is that the candidate understands the issues. Romney is such a smart guy. I have been impressed by so many of his answers on many questions, but on the gun issue there are just a few minor things that he could do to convince people that he understands the issue. For example, when he starts talking about "assault weapons" I am sure that many gun owners instantly know that he doesn't have a clue about guns.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was wrong to suggest he was a lifelong hunter even though he never took out a license, campaign rival Mike Huckabee said Sunday.

"I think it was a major mistake," said Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor. "It would be like me saying I've been a lifelong golfer because I played putt-putt when I was 9 years old and I rode in a golf cart a couple of times."

"I think American people are looking for authenticity," Huckabee added. "Match their record with their rhetoric." . .

While I was traveling last week through Texas, I heard Huckabee on the radio. No one is going to be to his right on the gun issue. He could have given you an hour discussion on why the guns covered by the so-called assault weapon ban were not machine guns and why statements that no one would ever using these so-called assault weapons for hunting show that the people who make them don't know guns. Fred Thompson and Huckabee (and even Ron Paul) will be dividing some of the same vote, but in the Republican primary it is a bigger vote than what is being divided by McCain, Giuliani, and to some extent Romney.

If Romney wants to put his Massachusetts gun record behind him, one big thing that he could do is change his position on assault weapon bans. There is an easy way to do it: point to the fact that the claims about crime going up after the ban was sunset didn't occur. I have tried offering other simpler advice to Romney people, but I have found a completely unreceptive audience.

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Anonymous Mike said...

Interesting points. While I'm far from a single issue voter, any candidate who cannot or will not understand the importance of the Second Amendment and the basic concept of self defense makes me worry that they are also incapable of understanding a great many other concepts relating to liberty and safety. What good might it do to have a president who understands the importance of being appropriately firm in fighting our international enemies, if he thinks it necessary to disarm the polulace at home? I find any politician who thinks it wise to disarm the honest, or who is so foolish as to believe that gun control has any effect on criminals utterly untrustworthy.

I'm afraid I'm not terribly impressed by Mr. Romney. He's proven himself to be too much of a slick, stereotypical east coast politician for my tastes, and his tone deafness on this issue is usually the calling card of the slick, stereotypical east coast politician.

Given a choice between Romney and virtually any democrat, I might hold my nose, avert my eyes, and make an X on the ballot at arms length with a very long pencil, or I might just stay away. I suspect a great many other feel otherwise.

4/09/2007 11:16 PM  

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