In the continuous battle over stricter gun control, few forces hold as much influence as the dreaded special interest groups, which can, if they apply enough pressure, intimidate even the most stubborn politician to see things their way. So is the case with one Representative Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon’s 5th congressional district. Gun-control ideologues have succeeded in getting a capitulation from Schrader even though, ironically, he is one of the few Democrats supported by the NRA.
Schrader is just one of many lawmakers who are feeling the pressure from both sides of the gun-control fight these days, as anti-gun forces step up the fight for tougher laws after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting in December 2012. Pro-2nd Amendment forces are turning out in droves to do everything they can to counteract the pressure from anti-gun special interest groups.
In early September, gun-control zealots provided Schrader with several schoolchild backpacks overflowing with petitions demanding he become a co-sponsor of a specific piece of legislation that strengthens federal laws on background checks for firearm purchases. This continues the well-known pattern by the American left of using children in their strong-arm tactics for causes in which they believe.
The Oregon Democrat, for his part, has been trying to play both anti- and pro-gun forces with his non-committal stance on the issue. For Schrader, it’s a matter of political survival by way of not angering gun lovers too much, but still attempting to mollify anti-gun ideologues, whose votes he needs, by promising to support gun-control laws.
While he has publicly declared that he will support the background check law, he has completely refused to sign on as a co-sponsor, frustrating anti-gun ideologues from Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the two groups that organized the backpack effort. According to Schrader spokesman Cody Tucker, the congressman, as a matter of policy, does not sign every single piece of legislation that he supports. Tucker also was quick to add that Schrader already publicly supported background checks and ending gun-show loopholes.
The piece of anti-gun legislation at the heart of the issue is H.R. 1565, which is sponsored by both Democrat Mike Thompson and Peter King. The bill is the House version of the Senate’s Manchin-Toomey amendment that already went down in flames in mid-April. H.R. 1565 would dictate background checks from federally licensed dealers as well as gun-show and Internet sales. This is a moot point for Oregon since the state already imposes background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows, and, in general, firearm sales over the Internet already require background checks except in rare situations.
While President Barack Obama’s gun-control agenda has utterly died as he now focuses on waging war against Syria—which has seen his approval number plummet to worse and worse lows—gun-control zealots like Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are still going strong.