To move their agenda on reducing gun violence forward, congressional Democrats will have to woo, and reassure, gun owners. But that won't preclude some tough political maneuvering.
If President Obama and congressional Democrats are going to make headway on the gun violence proposals Vice President Joe Biden is set to deliver to the president on Tuesday, their strategy will probably look a lot like gun-owning Rep. Mike Thompson – and move with the energy and purpose of political cage fighter Rahm Emanuel.
“Federal law prohibits me from having more than three shells in my shotgun,” Thompson said Monday at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP). “So federal law provides more protection for the ducks than it does” for people, he said, referring to ammunition magazines that can hold 30 or more bullets.
Thompson, chairman of a Democratic committee charged with making recommendations for new “gun violence prevention” measures (Democrats want no part of being pro-“gun control”), is emblematic of the central plank of Democrats’ strategic approach to gun control: put on a friendly face.
Both Thompson and Mr. Biden, the leader of the president’s own task force, are lifelong gun owners who are quick to point out that no, the federal government is absolutely not coming to seize your arms.