Hick Plays To a Core Strength: Guns

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

AP reports via Colorado Public Radio from the early 2020 campaign trail in South Carolina, where former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is touring the state highlighting one of his strongest progressive issues: reducing gun violence.

During a campaign trip to South Carolina, Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper is meeting with church members who survived a racist massacre in 2015.

The former Colorado governor is scheduled to have dinner and a roundtable discussion Saturday with survivors of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME, Hickenlooper’s campaign announced this week. Nine black parishioners were slain as they prayed during Bible study at the church. The shooter, a white man who said he hoped that the killings would start a race war, is on federal death row…

Hickenlooper is known as a staunch advocate for gun control legislation. Following the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, the then-governor called for and signed bills requiring universal background checks and limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds.

Although every Democratic candidate who travels to the early primary state of South Carolina pays their respects to the victims of the church shooting in Charleston carried out by an avowed white supremacist assailant, Hickenlooper’s bonafides on gun violence legislation are stronger than most of the Democratic field. Hickenlooper hasn’t been gaffe-free on guns since signing 2013’s landmark reforms into law, but simply weathering the test of time after six years has made Colorado’s gun laws a hard-won model for reform as the issue has steadily shifted away from the gun lobby.

And it’s a useful reminder that even as the debate over guns rages out of control once again in Colorado, the relatively modest measures Colorado has passed into law, and is soon to again with the expected signing of the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill, enjoy very broad public support in nationwide polling on the issue–even in Texas. Whether or not this breaks Hickenlooper out of the depths of the pack of the presidential primary is less important than noting, as gets lost in the din locally, that this is an issue that politically plays very well.

Sorry Dudley Brown, the numbers don’t lie.


3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    The Seinfeld candidacy.

  2. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Hickenlooper on guns is like Hick on a number of other topics — get people talking about a problem, find a long-discussed possible policy, and get it passed.

    In today's WaPo, Hick does improve his pundit placement to #10 — perhaps due to the one who sees a lane for him.

    With Biden plummeting, the “moderate old-school Dem” lane goes to John Hickenlooper.

    Going to be interesting to see if his fundraising is going anywhere and if any staffers with national experience are signing on.

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