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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Opinion

NRA vote won’t be easy


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney goes back and forth on issues so often that I’m starting to think he doesn’t even know his own ideology.

His whole campaign has been like a pancake, flipping every time things get a little too hot, and his attempt to please everyone for votes is going to backfire when he’s up against the president.

Romney, who insists he is an avid hunter of “small varmints,” spoke to the National Rifle Association last week, and professed his love for looser gun laws and the NRA’s “American” values. It’s a little strange, considering while he was running for governor of Massachusetts, he made multiple statements pertaining gun rights that contradicted everything he preached last Friday:

“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won’t chip away at them. I believe they help protect us and provide for our safety,” Romney once said. Statements like these have NRA members skeptical of Romney, and he has some making up to do. His speech attacked Obama, informing the NRA’s audience that they “need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners.” He continued to say, “President Obama has not. I will,” just in case the audience missed the point.

Romney has come off as a centrist next to the likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — one now former and one still distant contender that were both also in attendance at the NRA convention — and made some bold statements themselves.

In his usual over-the-top and delusional demeanor, Gingrich suggested everybody in the world should be given a gun. “A Gingrich presidency will submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet,” he told the excited audience. “Because every person on the planet deserves the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, exploit them, rape them or kill them.” Well said, Newt. If for some wild reason that doesn’t work here on Earth, maybe we can try that on your moon colony.

On the other hand, Santorum — who recently suspended his campaign — kept his statements relatively mild. He simply said that he doesn’t get the opportunity to shoot guns as often as he would like, and that his wife has more guns than he does. Oh, and he also announced that he just purchased a lifetime NRA membership for his 3-year-old daughter, Bella.

The NRA audience ate up everything Santorum and Gingrich fed them, hooting and hollering along the way. Romney got some cheers as well, but it’s obvious that he’s the least trigger-happy out of the three. However, it obviously hasn’t hurt Romney too much, as he continues to stutter his way to the top of the polls.

Maybe his speech last Friday sounded sincere enough to gain the NRA’s trust and support. But until he buys a lifetime NRA membership for an infant, or gives a rifle to every person on the planet, I don’t know if the NRA is going to buy it.

Lucas Sepulveda is a creative writing and media production junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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