Hillary hasn’t gotten much credit for being bolder than past Democrats on gun reform during this election, but her willingness to take on the NRA and campaign with the Mothers of the Movement is a big deal. It’s not a coincidence that there has been a Senate filibuster and a House sit-in by Democrats on gun reform since she launched her campaign.
Hillary is very serious about gun reform, and it is a reassuring sign she intends to pursue meaningful gun reform that she chose Tim Kaine as a running mate.
In making her progressive case for Kaine, Virginian Krystal Ball observes:
[P]erhaps you should just ask the NRA how they feel about Tim Kaine. Here’s how his elections in Virginia typically go: the NRA gives him an F rating, fear mongers about how he’s going to take everyone’s guns, spends massively against him, and then Tim goes on to win anyway. Keep in mind, the NRA is literally headquartered in Virginia. If they are powerful anywhere they are powerful in the Old Dominion but that didn’t stop Kaine from signing an executive order following the Virginia Tech massacre to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. It also didn’t stop him from pushing additional gun control measures as governor like eliminating the gun show loophole and it hasn’t stopped him as Senator from continuing to lead the charge for sensible rules like increased background checks. As someone who ran for Congress, in Virginia, I can tell you that perhaps the definition of political courage for a Southern Dem is willingness to buck the gun lobby. Tim Kaine has been unflinching.
And in a 2013 op-ed for The Virginian-Pilot, Kaine was blunt in his assessment of the NRA and about his willingness to take them on:
There are those who believe the National Rifle Association and its allies are so powerful that no legislation will pass. But the power of the organization’s leadership is vastly overrated. I’ve run three statewide races in the NRA’s home state. Its leadership campaigned vigorously against me each time, spending nearly $800,000 against me in my 2012 Senate race. I won all my races anyway. The NRA leadership’s track record in other statewide races is equally lackluster because poll after poll shows that Americans believe in reasonable gun safety rules. When even an overwhelming majority of NRA members supports universal background checks, it shows just how out of touch the organization’s leadership has become.
There is a job that needs to be done in this country. Someone needs to lead the charge, with fervor and intrepidity, on gun reform. It seems like Kaine is the person for the job.
Hillary retweeted this Everytown tweet this morning:
I hope that means my instincts were right, and she is looking to Kaine to play a crucial role in one of the most urgent and persistent and deadly problems facing our nation.
The time is now. Let’s do this.