Ann Kirkpatrick makes predictable shift on gun control

| January 12 2013
Christopher Cook

It’s an all-too-familiar story: A democratic politician is elected from a district with a lot of rural territory and a lot of proud, law-abiding gun owners. During the campaign, that Democrat speaks with reverence for the Second Amendment and respect for gun ownership. But then, in a common and predictable pattern, that Democrat gets to Washington and becomes far less friendly to gun rights.

In some cases, it is a planned shift—the Democrat in question never actually respected the Second Amendment; he or she just needed to get elected. In other cases, they simply catch Potomac Fever—their left-wing colleagues slowly peer-pressure them into joining the cult of hoplophobia.

During her first term in office, gun control was not a big issue in Arizona or the nation. Consequently, there were no major issues or pieces of legislation with which to put Kirkpatrick’s declarations of support for gun rights to the test. Now, there are. And it looks like Kirkpatrick may be heading in the direction that so many others like her have:

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick was a staunch supporter of gun owners’ rights when she first served in Congress, but the Flagstaff Democrat is not making blanket statements supporting all such rights since the December school shooting in Connecticut.

Kirkpatrick wrote in a recent guest column for the Arizona Daily Star that “everything should be on the table,” including assault-weapon laws.

One of these things is not like the other . . . .

Kirkpatrick said in 2010 that she opposed bans on some types of weapons, and she called firearm ownership a fundamental right.

“I think people should be able to legally purchase and carry the gun that they want,” she told a caller to a radio show in 2010.

During a public call-in meeting she held in 2010, Kirkpatrick said she opposed bans on some types of firearms, opposed District of Columbia and Chicago laws barring private ownership of some types of guns, and supported allowing guns in national parks.

“It may be more important than ever to protect the right to bear and keep arms, because too many people in Washington right now do not share or understand our values,” she said in a 2010 prepared statement.

Either the convictions she professed to have in 2010 were never very strong, or they were never really there at all.

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