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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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He's excellent in many ways!

The small-farm exemptions that exempt primarily family, local, direct-retailing agricultural endeavors from having to follow rules designed for Wal Mart scale farms are called the Tester-Hagan Amendment due to MT's Senator Jon Tester and NC's former Senator Kay Hagan. These two Democrats were the leaders in protecting family farms while also ensuring that the Food Safety Modernization Act could advance food safety practices on large scale produce farms in this country.

Unlike Hagan (who unfortunately lost her reelection bid a few years back), Tester also respects the Second Amendment in an entirely fair and consistent manner. And this consistency, while not always popular with some who would redefine the right to keep and bear arms practically out of existence, proved essential to Tester's successful reelection bid in his rural state.

Many Democrats could learn important lessons from Senator Tester: look out for the little guys, stand by your beliefs, embrace Constitutional rights even when doing so can be unpopular. I'm glad to hear that Rachel had him on, and will look for the clip.


I suggest a national legalize weed bill, stat!

Make the Repubs vote against that, so called libertarian-leaning ones included. Or maybe enough of them find a spine to have it pass the Senate. Win either way.


I'd like to see a more nuanced approach to 2nd Amendment issues

From afar (I'm in NC), the O'Rourke candidacy looked great to me overall. I was on-board with just about every approach to every issue he raised. As a potential VP pick for Harris or Warren, I think O'Rourke could be great. That he came so close to beating Cruz shows that he has widespread appeal.

But before any of these three candidates vie for the office of the President (or, perhaps, accept a VP slot in service to another Democrat), I think it's worth learning some lessons from the O'Rourke loss in TX, along with Abrams' loss in Georgia and many others (e.g. - my local Congressional race where DD Adams lost to Virginia Foxx).

All three of the losing candidates I mention above had endorsed a so-called "Assault Weapons Ban" as part of their platform. For reasons that have been hashed-out over and over again at length here in GD as well as our Gun Control & RKBA forum, AWB's are losing issues for Democrats. To summarize, for one, "Assault Weapons" are used in a tiny proportion of crimes. For another, AWB's violate both the letter and the spirit of the Second Amendment. Thirdly, AR-15's and similar rifles have been the most popular long guns sold in America for DECADES now. And a fourth big reason why AWB's are a losing issue for Democrats is that a significant plurality Americans (particularly Americans in TX, GA, and rural NC) just don't want them.

I think that O'Rourke, Abrams, Harris, and Warren (etc.) would all appeal to a broader constituency if they approached the gun violence issue by attacking the violence rather than the guns. A nice contrast to the losing races I mentioned above is Jon Tester's victory in MT. Tester has never embraced an AWB as a policy. Trump came to MT four times to campaign against Tester, and still he held on. The RKBA voting bloc in MT was certainly part of this victory, while these respective blocs in TX and GA certainly went elsewhere. In Montana, the failed Repub candidate, Matt Rosendale, just could not use the gun-issue cudgel against Tester successfully.

The 2020 election will be all about peeling portions of many constituencies and issue-based voting blocs away from Republicans in order to assemble a winning majority across the Electoral College range. While O'Rourke, Abrams, Harris, and Warren (etc.) all have said enough to alienate the gun fiends of America, a simple "we plan to respect the Second Amendment, enforce the gun laws already on the books, and find new ways to address actual violence rather than pursuing feel-good but ultimately ineffective and unconstitutional bans on particular hardware" would do worlds of good for them in attracting a number of voters who want the Second Amendment left as-is while we address more pressing issues of health care, economic justice, women's rights, etc. In fact, I think that such an evolution is essential for O'Rourke, Abrams, Harris, Warren, and any Democrat as they step to the national stage. They can take a cue from Barack Obama, who was smart enough to mostly leave gun control alone once in office.

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