Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) represents the Memphis area in Congress. His Congressional district is majority African-American and is considered one of the safest Democratic seats in the country. A win in the Democratic primary is tantamount to winning the election.
Cohen is also extremely liberal. According to the website, ProgressivePunch.org, his lifetime score is 95.84% which puts him ahead of such liberal icons as Nancy Pelosi and the Queen Bee of Gun Control, Carolyn McCarthy. It is hard to find anyone more liberal than Cohen and he tends to wear his politics on his sleeve. Indeed, Cohen caused a stir back in January when he said “Republicans are like Nazis” when discussing healthcare.
Unsurprisingly, Cohen is listed as one of the co-sponsors for Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s HR 308 which seeks to ban standard capacity magazines and eliminates the grandfathering that the Clinton-era AWB had.
So you can imagine my surprise when I was checking the co-sponsors of HR 822 – the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill – and saw his name listed as becoming a co-sponsor this week.
I don’t know how and I don’t why he decided to become a co-sponsor but I certainly welcome his support. It may have something to do with his comments after the Tucson shooting when he said he was planning to apply for his Tennessee CCW permit. According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Cohen did vote for right to carry legislation as a State Senator and has said he owns a pistol. I might even suggest he contact Tom Givens at RangeMaster for his CCW permit training.
The upshot of all of this is that sometimes strange and unusual coalitions can form around gun rights legislation. It is a mistake to think that all Democrats and all liberals are for each and every gun control measure put forth. Sometimes they are and and sometimes they aren’t.
As to HR 822, it now has 197 co-sponsors including 26 more so far this week. The leading gun control measure, HR 308, is stuck at 107.