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Connecticut gun group opposes anti-gun GOP candidate for governor

Connecticut gun rights activists are asking "With Republicans like John McKinney, who needs Democrats?" and pledging to withhold votes accordingly.
Connecticut Senate Republicans
David Codrea
Gun Rights Examiner

July 23, 2013

State Senate Minority Leader and gubernatorial hopeful John McKinney can expect no help from the Connecticut Citizens Defense League due to his anti-gun legislative actions, CCDL President Scott Wilson announced in a press release today from Groton.

"Senator McKinney was instrumental in implementing a historic gun control law with zero consideration for the constitutional rights of law abiding gun owners," the head of the state's largest grass roots gun rights group explained. "With his deliberate act of siding with gun control supporters, there will be no support from CCDL for his run."

"[O]ther elected officials who went along with the Senate leader and voted in favor of the gun control law could expect the same from the organization," the release pledged.

"If you are a registered Republican, contact the Conn. state GOP chairman," CCDL advises in a related post on its website. "Contact your two State Central Committee reps. Tell them gun owners are not happy with McKinney. Tell them if there is a primary we will vote for his opponent. If he still wins the primary or there is no primary, we will not vote for him in the election."

Reminding members that Gov. Dannell Malloy won his last election by a narrow margin of votes well within the capability of motivated gun owners to overcome, the CCDL pledge demonstrates they understand the consequences and are not bluffing.

"If the CTGOP wants four more years of Malloy, go ahead and put up McKinney because gun owners would rather keep Malloy in office than reward McKinney," the post flatly states. "We're that mad."

While some may attempt to discredit that approach as self-defeating, hard core activists will realize taking this unequivocal stance is the only way to discourage betrayals from Republicans who think they can continually take the gun owner vote for granted, and that the traditional "lesser of two evils" motivator they rely on will be enough to secure them political power.

As GOP losses in the last two presidential elections demonstrated, contestable elections are generally not won without instilling fire in the belly of core constituencies. And as more and more gun owners are beginning to realize, continually rewarding politicians who betray them always produces more disappointments along with no incentive to change.

For someone whose legislative actions dropped him from an NRA "A+" rating in 2000 to an "F" in 2010, with an eight percent key vote record in 2012, there is no appreciable difference between Republican McKinney and Democrat Malloy anyway. CCDL is taking the lead to show gun owners -- in Connecticut and everywhere else -- that coordinated activists can force change, and that their demands can define a standard office holders must adhere to -- if not out of principle then out of a basic political survival instinct.

With a recent example to point to demonstrating a pro-gun Republican can capture a traditional Democrat seat in Connecticut, CCDL's line-in-the-sand stance is something that the GOP leadership will ignore at its peril, and that activists nationwide, who are fed up with being taken for granted, can heed and follow.