What Newtown and the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords didn’t accomplish, Parkland might. Why do I say this?
Because of two people. The first is a Parkland student by the name of Emma Gonzales who has delivered an eleven minute speech that is nothing short of magnificent. The speech has been posted by Ron and Foolish Monkey. You can go to either of their blogs to see it:
I will be amazed if Ms. Gonzales isn’t invited to speak at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The other person might be more important. He was interviewed the other day in the NYTimes. His name is Al Hoffman Jr., he’s a major Republican donor, a former Ambassador, and perhaps most importantly a former finance chair of the Republican National Committee, and he’s had enough. He has told the Republican Party that they won’t get another dime from him until they support an assault weapons ban. Further, he’s said that he intends to email other major Republican donors to get them on board.
If Hoffman succeeds, we’re looking at a very different ball game, because what the NRA has going for it is money, and that advantage could be at least partially neutralized by Hoffman’s efforts.
I suspect that if Hoffman succeeds, the dam will break very suddenly, in part due to Gonzales. This could look (God willing) a lot like what happened after then Gov. Nikki Haley came out against Confederate symbols in the aftermath of the Charleston church murders. There’s an awful lot of latent agreement out there to this position, even among the NRA membership. Politically, it could become a lot more dangerous to oppose gun control than to favor it, particularly when it comes to assault weapons.
I think we’ll know within a few days whether this is going to happen. I think if it doesn’t happen within a few days the fight will be way lengthier because the Parkland shock will blow over like Newtown did. But it won’t blow completely over, because the Parkland people are aggressive enough to keep this from disappearing and because I don’t think Hoffman is going away. At this point I think the dam breaking is more likely.
And I don’t think Trump can stop this. He won’t be central enough to this argument because he’s not the point man on gun regulation - it will happen around him. In this case, I don’t think his tweets will matter all that much.