Telling Gun Owners ‘Trust Me’ is No Way for Youngkin to Win Election

He managed to work in (and bury) the obligatory Fudd gun photo. He just won’t tell us what he has in mind beyond that. (Glenn Youngkin/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Scathing media fact checks have not stopped Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe from employing debunked attacks against GOP opponent Glenn Youngkin,” The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday. “The Virginia GOP has responded to McAuliffe’s ‘repeated lies’ by labeling the Democrat ‘Two-Faced Terry’…”

That McAuliffe is “a chronic and habitual liar” is no secret to Virginia gun owners, at least the ones who keep themselves politically informed — even that ridiculous and hypocritical subset that supports Democrats regardless knows their man can get away with saying anything.  That’s why it’s no surprise to see others who depend on lies to advance their citizen disarmament agenda laying down the Astroturf to enthusiastic media cheerleading.

“Everytown for Gun Safety, backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plans to pump roughly $1 million into its efforts to elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with another $500,000 going to support a dozen Democrats running for the House of Delegates,” CNN practically crows.

Youngkin is being attacked on two fronts, abortion, and guns, which is instructive because he’s proven to be a squish on both. No matter, anyone to the “right” of a Democrat absolutist is pegged as an “extremist.”

“Glenn Youngkin, GOP nominee for Virginia governor, goes mum on guns and abortion,” The Washington Post headlined in May. “[S]ome conservative Republicans — hungry for a win after losing every statewide contest for the past dozen years — seem to be greeting Youngkin’s messaging shift as a smart way to appeal to a wider, general-election audience.”

Part of “going mum” includes refusing to fill out the questionnaire from the National Rifle Association and the state grassroots “gun rights” group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Youngkin spokesflack Macaulay Porter explains:

“Glenn is a gun owner and a lifetime member of the NRA who will defend Virginians’ Second Amendment rights. That’s one reason conservatives and groups like The Middle Resolution are supporting him. Politicians love to fill out surveys, but just like President Trump, Glenn isn’t a politician and isn’t spending all his time filling out surveys. Glenn is traveling Virginia, meeting with voters, and telling them exactly what he believes. The best way to protect your Second Amendment rights is to nominate Glenn so he can win in November.”

Trust him. It’s not like “moderate” Republicans unwilling to take an unequivocal stance have ever betrayed gun owners before, right? For some reason, nothing comes to mind so much as a line by the “Fletcher” character in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

What Porter and the rest of the establishment Republicans (if WaPo calls them “conservative” you can bet they mean of the Karl Rove variety) are ignoring is that taking the fire out of the bellies of core constituents is no way to win an election. That’s assuming a GOP turnaround is even possible anymore in Virginia after a demographic shift even The New York Times has crowed about:

“Guns, that is the most pressing issue for me,” said Vijay Katkuri, 38, a software engineer from southern India, explaining why he voted for a Democratic challenger in Tuesday’s elections …“There are lots of other issues, but you can only fix them if you are alive.”  Mr. Katkuri’s vote — the first of his life — helped flip a longtime Republican State Senate district and deliver the Virginia statehouse to the Democratic Party for the first time in a generation. It was a stunning political realignment for a southern state, and prompted days of prognosticating about President Trump’s own standing with suburban voters nationally in 2020. But while political leaders come and go, the deeper, more lasting force at work is demographics.

That this represents the greatest developing threat to continued “legal” recognition of the right to keep and bear arms is demonstrated not just by all credible polls, but by real-world experience, starting in California and spreading everywhere. Meanwhile, our national and state “gun rights leaders” fear to even mention it, using a delusional “single focus” excuse, let alone hold politicians accountable for it, lest they be accused of xenophobia and racism (as if media-amplified gun-grabbers don’t smear them with that lie already).

Youngkin, to no one’s surprise, has taken the opposite tack. Undoubtedly, it’s a good thing to outreach to other demographic groups, but if the mutual attraction is not based first and foremost on Constitutional fundamentals, what he’ll pick up will either be overwhelmed by the rest of those populations or rendered irrelevant because most are not (yet) eligible to vote. Give that last bit a little time.

What about those who are eligible, and who when motivated have proven themselves committed and engaged? What about gun owners?

Virginia Democrats are doing their damnedest to harass and marginalize them, from canceling Lobby Day with fabricated and insulting excuses, to an official in-your-face dismissal of the state’s growing Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.

There are some angry gun owners out there who would respond to the right kind of leadership. So what does Youngkin do? He gives them no reason to vote for him outside of the fact that he’s not McAuliffe but he still won’t tell them what he plans to do for and to them if elected.

Votes are what win elections but it takes a lot behind the scenes to attract them, and successful campaign managers know that. Give the Democrats credit, they know how to organize.

Candidates need to be able to inspire citizens to do more than just show up at the polls. They need to give them reasons to claim campaign “ownership” by donating and especially by volunteering, that is, by walking precincts, hosting or attending events, manning phone banks, poll watching, and plenty more.

What gun owner can say – with enthusiasm – he’s on board with doing any of those things for a rope-selling capitalist who won’t even fill out a damn questionnaire? And who will be to blame if Youngkin loses? Him, or those of us trying to warn him how he and other weasel-wording “Vichycons” are blowing it?


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea


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