Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Maybe This Time Really Is Different

On Sunday, newly minted North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was not only dismissing the President's position on gun control out of hand, sight unseen, but then she called gun control something that "shouldn't even be talked about."

That lasted approximately 48 hours before the rookie got her welcome to DC. This time around, it's different.

Chalk one up for the gun control crowd? A spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said Tuesday that his group had scared freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) off of her tough criticism of the White House gun violence task force.

The group ran newspaper ads on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and North Dakota, two days after Heitkamp went on television to express serious concerns about gun control ideas the White House was reportedly considering in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre. A spokesman for the group said the ads worked.

“She got the message,” Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the CSGV, told TPM. He said the 48 hours since Heitkamp went on TV showcase a new, more aggressive tactic by gun control advocates to push politicians to back its agenda.

In fact, it didn't take long at all for Heitkamp to go the Full Manchin:

“Senator Heitkamp believes that Americans have a right to bear arms. But with that right, come responsibilities. And we have a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, while protecting the rights of law abiding gun owners. Senator Heitkamp also believes that the problem of violence in America must be dealt with in a multifaceted way. While every option must be considered there is no one single answer. The discussion and ultimate solution to these mass violence tragedies must go beyond a singular focus on gun laws, and that the discussion must examine mental health, school security, and community development to help parents identify and address children potentially suffering from mental illness. Senator Heitkamp has clearly stated that all options must be on the table when it comes to addressing gun violence in America.” 

It's a start, at least.  We'll see where her votes lie.

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