If you were desperate to convince the gun community that you’re pro-gun, how would you go about doing it?
What’s clear when reading it is that there’s no personal connection to firearms. There’s no sign that it was written by someone who loves guns, hunting, and/or shooting, etc.
Is this surprising?
No, it is just campaign rhetoric, but at the same time when you’re running for president, and your competitors are hammering you on this issue, one would think that there would be an attempt to convey a strong, personal affinity for guns.
Instead, the statement is a string of platitudes, all prefaced with “Mitt believes” or “Mitt supports,” etc.:
“Mitt strongly support [sic] the right of all law-abiding Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to own firearms and to use them for lawful purposes, including hunting, recreational shooting, self-defense, and the protection of family and property.”
I know this would be unconventional, but how about some first-person declarations that show a keen understanding and awareness of 2nd Amendment issues, “Hell yeah, I support the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act” or “If elected president, I will only appoint Justices who are pro-gun” or “Michael Bloomberg is an idiot when it comes to guns rights.”
Okay, maybe not the Bloomberg comment. But what we need from Mitt is some genuine enthusiasm about guns, not prefabricated, this-should-help-me-curry-favor-with-gun-owners-type, rhetoric:
“Mitt does not believe that the United States needs additional laws that restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
“He believes in the safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms and the right to lawfully manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition.”
I’ve gone on the record and said that Mitt would be a fine president on Second Amendment issues (mostly because it serves his own self-interest). But, unfortunately, I’m still not convinced.