By James Fite
Maryland’s so-called Republican governor, Larry Hogan, will no longer enjoy the support of the NRA. Several months ago, Hogan advocated for, then signed, multiple gun control bills that further clamped down on the already heavily infringed right to keep and bear arms in his state. In response, the NRA downgraded Hogan’s rating from A minus to C and will no longer be endorsing him in the upcoming election.
While the NRA’s response is appropriate – if long overdue – it doesn’t change the fact that Hogan is probably still Maryland’s best bet. That is, of course, unless Libertarian Shawn Quinn manages to pull enough votes to replace him. While Hogan has recently dipped his toe in gun control, at least he’s not as bad as Ben Jealous, the Democrat hoping to replace him.
Larry Hogan isn’t the only Republican governor to engage in such an unfortunate dalliance with the gun-control movement. Vermont’s Phil Scott signed three new laws back in April, banning bump stocks and high capacity magazines, and raising the firearms purchasing age to 21. In May, Texas governor Greg Abbott, who had previously resisted the fear of the gun, said that he would support stricter storage laws. And in July, Bruce Rauner of Illinois signed one law to extend the waiting period for all guns to 72 hours, and another that establishes “orders of protection” that allow judges the power to order the confiscation of guns from citizens they deem dangerous.
Thanks to Larry Hogan, Maryland now has its own “red flag” law, allowing judges to revoke the gun rights of anyone deemed dangerous – even without a criminal conviction, or for that matter, even an allegation.
Yet, as irksome as it is to vote for pro-gun Republicans only to later watch them sign your rights away, the sad truth is that these politicians are still better than their Democrat alternatives.
Gun Control’s Old Line State
Maryland is no stranger to gun control, or progressive leftism in general. As far back as 1886, the only way a gun could be carried – concealed or otherwise – was if the person carrying was a public official for whom a firearm was part of the uniform or equipment of the job. Maryland passed the Uniform Machine Gun Act in 1933, banning machine guns in the state a year before the National Firearms Act restricted them nation-wide. The Old Line State even instituted a seven-day waiting period for gun purchases back in 1966 – many years before the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. And of course, in 2013, Maryland passed an assault weapons ban.
It should come as no surprise that Marylanders would continue to forfeit their own rights so willingly – they are voting these people into office, after all. But they haven’t just drank the progressive left’s Kool-Aid, they’re drowning in it.
On the way to DC last year from the home of a Marylander who definitely has not drank the aforementioned progressive poison, I couldn’t help but notice a church displaying a large banner that read: “We apologize for our white supremacist origins.” Well, that about says it all, doesn’t it? I quickly found that, as a colleague had once told me, driving from Virginia to Maryland was like visiting an entirely different country.
Is all hope lost for liberty in the Old Line State? It’s certainly beginning to look that way. But at least something is finally being done about it. The Governor remarked after signing the new laws that he no longer wanted the NRA’s endorsement. Well, he finally got his wish. The NRA now needs to take similar action against the other RINOs currently enjoying their support. With any luck, this could end the trend of alleged defenders of the Second Amendment trysting with gun control.