Jay Root at the Texas Tribune highlights an initiative that Davis undertook when she was on the Fort Worth City Council. Fort Worth, as in Cowtown, the home of the Stockyards and the city “where the west begins.” Davis tried, unsuccessfully, to impose new regulations at gun shows held in city-owned venues back in 2000. She also tried to force individuals who sell firearms at gun shows to perform background checks on their buyers.
We’re not talking about licensed gun dealers who make their living selling firearms, who are already required to perform background checks on gun purchasers. We’re talking about the individual who wants to sell a gun to another individual. The former is uncontroversial; the latter puts the federal government into private citizens’ business and opens up the possibility of a national gun registry being created. Davis attacked the so-called “gun show loophole,” which has been a favorite boogeyman of the gun-grabbing left for decades.
She failed. But Root reports that if she was elected governor, she would sign such restrictions into law, in Texas.
In a recent interview, Davis didn’t back down from her position on gun shows, though she acknowledged it’s not a politically popular one. She said that if she were governor, she would leave the issue to the will of the Legislature but would happily sign gun show regulations into law.
“I haven’t pursued it as a senator because I know it’s like spitting in the wind,” she said. “But I still believe it’s the right thing. And if I were governor and a bill came to my desk that provided for background checks at gun shows, I would sign that.”
The second part of Davis’ anti-gun effort was to kick gun shows off city-owned property, according to a July 19, 200o story that appeared in the Dallas Morning News. That would turn city-owned convention centers into tools of politics, which they were never intended to be. Given that the Second Amendment is written right into the Constitution, it would also have put Fort Worth in the position of militating against its own citizens’ civil rights. Davis would do the same across the whole state. Of Texas.
The city of Austin tried a similar move this year, and not only failed, it earned the very public ire of Attorney General Greg Abbott. He promised Austin it would face a “double-barreled lawsuit” if it proceeded. The bluest city in Texas quickly backed down.
Wendy Davis could be sitting on three strikes before she even really comes up to bat in the governor’s race. She will attempt to mitigate the damage by pointing out that she owns a gun and that she voted for a law that allows students to carry guns in their vehicles on college campuses. Owning a gun is nearly mandatory in Texas, and that single vote regarding guns on campuses probably won’t carry as much weight as Davis’ longstanding double-barreled assault on gun shows. It wasn’t as though Davis was taking a brave stand on that campus bill: It passed the Texas Senate 27-4.
Attorney General Abbott is now the front-runner in the GOP primary in the Texas governor’s race. Should Davis win the Democratic primary, she is likely to face Abbott in the general election. It’s safe to say that Davis’ record of trying to kick gun shows off city property, and mandating background checks for every single gun purchase in the entire state of Texas, will come up. Often.
Democrats will probably respond with some variation on “Well, this just makes me like her more!”
That goes a long way to explaining why Democrats don’t win anything in Texas.