2020 gubernatorial dossier: Second Amendment

This is the fifth part of a series taking a deeper dive into various important topics in the 2020 Delaware gubernatorial election. On the 100-point scale I am using to grade candidates, Second Amendment issues are worth 11 points. These will once again be presented in a randomized order.

It’s an event I may revisit in due course down the road, but over the weekend I was at a local gun club for its family day. And one thing I quickly learned was that it was a place with hot and cold running politicians – no surprise with a primary coming up.

While there were a few local politicians of note – oddly enough, I realized who some were by the legislative plate on their cars – it turned out via happy accident I was due for this part of the dossier. (My wife told me about this event Saturday morning so we squeezed in a little free shooting before heading up to see her family.) So for the purposes of this section of the dossier I’m adding bonus content.

My disclaimer: I wasn’t there for the entire event so some of these candidates may have circulated there prior to our arrival – for example, I saw U.S. Senate candidate Jim DeMartino working his way out as we were walking in.

Most candidates on the GOP side are quite willing to explain their 2A bonafides, so this is a lively category.

Julianne Murray: Of all the gubernatorial candidates, Julianne had the most formal setup and was engaging with voters, including me:

Yet our brief conversation didn’t touch on 2A issues – heck, I was impressed enough that she knew of this website.

The meat of what she states about the topic can be summarized this way: “Julie knows that limiting our Second Amendment rights does not translate into tough-on-crime measures. It doesn’t make anyone safer. It only punishes law-abiding citizens. Like you, Julie worries about the violence in our communities. She wants safe streets and safe gathering places for our friends and family. Julie will look beyond the rhetoric to find the real source of the problem and find solutions that do not infringe our rights. By addressing the true problem, we will be taking the politics out of the issue. Unfortunately, our Governor and the media like to perpetuate misinformation and dangerous rhetoric in order to push an unconstitutional agenda that threatens the rights of law abiding citizens. As Governor, Julie will defend the rights of our law abiding citizens, hold law breakers accountable and support our first responders.”

This is intriguing to me on two levels. I notice the way she states the proposition gives her a little bit of wiggle room, but, more importantly, there’s the phrase, “the real source of the problem.” I can’t fathom if she doesn’t agree with the adage “an armed society is a polite society” or if she really wants to begin a one-woman, one-state war on the cultural rot and lack of respect for life that may well be a root cause of gun violence. Moreover, if we don’t have a tyrannical, overreaching government, the need for Second Amendment protection on that front abates. That’s why I find this interesting. I have yet to listen to a three-hour (!) podcast with Murray so I hope to get more answers there.

David Graham: Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything relevant on Graham’s 2A stance and don’t believe he was at the event to ask.

R. Scott Walker: I haven’t come across his Second Amendment stance yet, which is really a shame because there could be a bit of gold among all the dross. I’m not holding my breath, but stranger things have happened like him winning a primary. (Speaking of which, the other statewide politician I finally met there at the open house was Lee Murphy.)

Bryant Richardson: As comprehensive as Bryant’s site is, I honestly thought there would be more than, “Law-abiding citizens have a right to protection. ‘Shall not be infringed’ means just that.” (I managed to find that on social media.) He also deserves props for being at the event although I didn’t get the opportunity to speak with him (and introduce myself as a constituent of his.) When I wasn’t waiting my turn to fire a weapon I saw Bryant talking a lot to a person I’m presuming by the shirt he had on to be fellow Senator Dave Lawson.

Colin Bonini: I did not see Senator Bonini there; however, I will remind you again that I didn’t stay the whole time. He did, however, have a table there with a volunteer handing out palm cards touting Bonini’s A+ rating from the NRA. It adds, “Colin is responsible for blocking the so-called ‘assault rifle’ ban from getting out of committee, and has always voted in favor of protecting our constitutional rights.” That legislative effort is a good start, but can we assume he will work to reverse the excesses already in the laws? (Bear in mind Bonini is a former monoblogue Legislator of the Year in Delaware based on his voting record, while Richardson has been a Legislative All-Star. Overall, Bonini’s lifetime score ranks first in the Senate while Richardson is third.)

David Bosco: Again with my disclaimer, but once I saw the extent of political involvement at the event I was surprised Bosco wasn’t there considering it was practically in his backyard. David has a very proactive 2A stance, railing against gun-free zones and red flag laws while openly admitting his belief that everyone should have a gun.

His most intriguing proposal: “I believe that the state should be able to put a program together, where if you, as a regular person, walks into a gun store, says ‘I’ve never owned a gun before and I want to buy one because I don’t feel safe,’ I would like to put a program together that the state of Delaware could give that person a card that has names of businesses on them, or consultants, where they can go and -for free – learn how to use, store, clean, and basically utilize that handgun as a safety factor. We need to educate those people.”

Essentially I read this as an interesting idea, although those people who have the side hustle of training people for their handgun license may object.

I believe any of these Republicans (except Walker and perhaps Graham) would be a vast improvement on the current administration in Dover insofar as 2A issues are concerned. By the same token, I don’t need to hustle to find more from the candidates on the next subject, which will be job creation.

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