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I’m pushing to finish this series before early voting starts in most states. In North Carolina, it starts on October 17th. This group of platforms will include those of the Democrat Parties of New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio. It is an interesting mix composed of three top-10 in population states along with two rather small states.
The 2018 platform of the New Mexico Democratic Party is interesting in that it is upfront about the influence that progressive and leftist groups and politicians have had on it. Of the 31 state platforms I’ve examined so far, it is the only one that has something like this in it. In a beginning section called “Representation”, the platform states:
While this 2018 Platform as a whole is new and original, reflecting New Mexico’s uniqueness and a fresh step
forward for the party, it is inspired by language from the 2014 and 2016 New Mexico State Platforms, the 2016
DNC platform, the Santa Fe and Eddy county platforms, Progressive Democrats of America- Central NM
Chapter, the Unity Reform Commission, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Campaign promises, and several
Obama era Executive Orders. The 2018 Platform borrows language that aligns with the priorities of
organizations who are unaffiliated with the Party but who share similar values and goals including: 350.org,
New Energy Economy, Food and Water Watch, Common Cause, Frack Free New Mexico, Taos Pueblo, Public
Citizen, Move to Amend, Sierra Club…
Given this background, it is not surprising to see a whole litany of gun control proposals in this platform under “Public Safety”.
- We must expand and strengthen background checks for firearm purchases and close dangerous loopholes in
our current laws
- Oppose the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines by reinstating and
strengthening the assault weapons ban
- Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that revokes dangerous legal immunity
protections for firearm manufacturers and sellers
- Support the enactment and enforcement of aggressive laws against illegal gun trafficking
As a side-note, this section also has quite a bit about nuclear arms contained within it including challenging the unilateral authority of the President to use nuclear weapons.
New York is home to the NY SAFE Act which was rammed through the legislature in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown murders. Thus, the platform of the New York State Democratic Committee is more of a patting on the back for what they’ve done than a what we intend to do in the future. The state’s gun control laws are already draconian so there is little more that could be added.
In the section of their webpage entitled What We Stand For devoted to firearms they say:
Reducing Gun Violence
When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, New York Democrats took common-sense action, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increasing penalties for people who use illegal guns, setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and establishing the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.
As a lifelong North Carolinian and former Democrat, I’m not surprised by what I’ve read in the North Carolina Democratic Party’s platform. The party that was composed of moderate and conservative Democrats has been fully taken over by the left wing. That trend started in 1972 with the McGovern campaign and went into high gear in the 90s and early 2000s. Some of this was indigenous and a good bit was due to in-migration from the Northeast.
In the section entitled Security and Law Enforcement, it states with regard to firearms:
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION As Democrats we recognize that there
is a serious issue with gun violence in our country, yet we also
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment. We believe the
promotion of standards to curtail gun violence is not inconsistent
with the Second Amendment. Among the measures we support are
strengthening background checks, closing loopholes such as the
well-known “gun show loophole,” holding gun manufacturers
accountable through repeal of their special immunity status, and
keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We believe
that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the
wrongdoing of those who seek to do harm, but that we must also
take proactive measures to slow and eventually eliminate this
epidemic in our country.
Given that the General Assembly no longer really has any pro-gun Democrats, I look at their “respect” for the Second Amendment as a joke. In an earlier section of the platform they state:
We support the fundamental rights to freedom of
speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly
2016 North Carolina Democratic Party Platform and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law. We oppose efforts to limit or eliminate these
fundamental constitutional rights.
They are big on the freedom of speech and assembly parts as evidenced by the “Moral Monday” protests but are paying lipservice to the taking of property without due process of law. The red flag law proposed by Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham) provides for ex parte orders taking a person’s firearms. This means a judge issues an order based upon what a family or household member or LEO says without the person whose guns are being taken being involved in the hearing. It is only days later that the person who is the subject of the order gets to have their day in court.
North Dakota Democrats are moving right along with the rest of the national Democrats in their support of gun control including age discrimination, training requirements for a first time purchase, waiting periods, and universal background checks. The NPL in the name of the North Dakota party is the Non Partisan League which merged with the Democrats back in the 1950s.
From their platform adopted March 17. 2018:
Firearm Safety – The Dem-NPL Party supports common sense regulations regarding the safe use of firearms for North Dakotans.
- The Dem-NPL supports legislation to close the loophole stating that it’s legal to sell and buy modification kits that can convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
- The Dem-NPL supports requiring North Dakota unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows, and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct, using the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.
- The Dem-NPL Supports school Resource Officers who are trained in law enforcement, and in adolescent behavior.
- The Dem-NPL supports secure processes for students and adults to anonymously report suspected gun violence behavior, along with organized community forums where groups can share ideas, parents and kids can learn where to turn for help, and training is provided in the community to learn the signs of potential danger, and provides information on how to seek out interventions.
- The Dem-NPL supports a mandatory Certified Firearm safety training for any first time purchaser of a firearm.
- The Dem-NPL supports increasing the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, and require a 3-day waiting period to purchase.
I presume that Item 1 refers to bump fire stocks as any other kit or sear would come under the National Firearms Act. Likewise, there is no such thing as a private gun dealer. You either are a licensed dealer or you are a private individual selling or trading your personally owned firearms on occasion but not as a business. This is an indication to me that whoever wrote this was unfamiliar with federal firearms law.
The Ohio Democrats have adopted the national DNC platform as their own and have not written a separate Ohio-specific platform. Therefore, to get an idea of what Ohio Democrats will do let’s look at the platforms or issue statements of Richard Cordray who is their candidate for governor and of Steve Dettelbach who is their candidate for attorney general. These seem to me to be the two major offices impacting firearms rights in the Buckeye State.
Cordray says his administration (if elected) would do the following:
- Require universal background checks
- Ban the sale of “high-capacity” magazines and bump stocks
- Raise the age to purchase any firearm to 21
- Extreme violence protection orders
- Appoint a “gun violence protection czar”
- Create “gun violence task forces”
Bear in mind that Cordray was Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s handpicked choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which should show where he aligns politically.
Dettelbach doesn’t mention firearms, gun control, or even “gun safety” on his campaign website. However, in an interview with WOSU Public Media, he says he is for the following:
- Taking guns away from domestic violence offenders
- Restricting guns for people who have an established record of serious mental health problems
- Reinstating the assault-style weapons ban
- Universal background checks
Moreover, in the state where the FASTER program began, he says he is against arming teachers and administrators regardless of whether they were former military or law enforcement officers. He says, “I think this is a politician’s plan quite frankly I mean it doesn’t protect people in any meaningful way it’s more than a day late and much more than a dollar short.” I guess he is ignorant of the studies that have shown the speed of response is key to saving and protecting students.