McDonnell Shift on One-Gun-a-Month
Maybe Creigh Deeds' campaign should send a copy of this story by my colleague Freddy Kunkle, filed this weekend from Virginia's biggest gun show, to former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.
Because in the story, Republican Bob McDonnell says his position on Virginia's law limiting handgun purchases to one a month has changed. He voted for it in the legislature; now he says it should be repealed.
That law was a signature achievement of Wilder's. That Deeds opposed it--and McDonnell supported it--was one reason Wilder withheld his endorsement from Deeds during the 2005 race for attorney general between the two.
It's also one reason why Deeds picked up the surprising support of the NRA in that campaign. But the NRA's nod is probably out of reach for the Democrat this year, given that he's shifted on guns too. In response to the Virginia Tech shootings, long-time gun rights advocate Deeds now supports closing the so-called gun show loophole. Which McDonnell opposes.
Is McDonnell moving on the issue to make amends with the NRA? In Kunkle's story, McDonnell says he supports repealing the computerized background checks have made it unnecessary.
McDonnell has been aggressively courting Wilder, whose is unpredictable enough to be worth the Republican's time. And, in an interview last week, Wilder said he'd like to hear from Deeds about a variety of issues before making up his mind.
Still, he also indicated that one-gun-a-month remains an important issue to him.
McDonnell's move may kill his already unlikely chances of getting Wilder's nod. It's not clear how it will play with voters.
July 27, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Virginia Tech massacre
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