In an effort to win the Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District special election, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson is taking a position on guns that’s to the right of some Republicans.
During Sunday’s candidate forum at Trinity United Church of Christ, Halvorson announced her opposition to President Obama’s proposed assault weapons ban.
“We’ve buried far too many of our own children over the years—every day. When are we going to go after the criminals? When are we going to go after the people who buy guns for those who aren’t able to go get their backgrounds checked? We need to strengthen the laws we already have instead of keep talking about new ones,” Halvorson said. “We need to do more about the criminals. Cook County has an assault weapons ban. We have the highest amount of murders in the country. Let’s do more about enforcing the laws we have at the same time doing more about keeping our streets safe.”
Even Sen. Mark Kirk supports an assault weapons ban. He’s the only Senate Republican to do so, but that means Halvorson would be more conservative than her state’s leading Republican on the issue.
The Annie Oakley of Illinois has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association in her last two races, and she’s not backing down on her support for the NRA’s Second Amendment absolutism, even as her opponents air ads demanding gun control. POLITICO thinks that may be a smart strategy. Halvorson, who lives in Crete, is a white, rural Democrat running against 16 black, urban candidates.
“Voicing her opposition to gun control measures probably makes the most sense politically for Halvorson, because she’s counting on heavy support from more conservative suburban and rural parts of the district,” POLITICO wrote.
It could also attract crossover Republicans who realize that their own primary is meaningless and want to elect a candidate who’ll vote against the assault weapons ban. If Halvorson wins on an anti-gun control platform, she’ll probably only get one term in Congress. After another year of violence in Chicago, the black community will unite behind a single candidate to kick an NRA Democrat out of office.