BELLEVUE, Wash. – “Democrats may finally be getting the message from Middle America,” observed Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Gottlieb was responding to news reports that quoted US Rep. Charles W. Stenholm (D-TX) as noting the “gun (control) position that we traditionally take, and Al Gore nationalizing that issue in the campaign did not help us in the marginal districts.”

“I could not agree more,” Gottlieb commented. “Gun control had been the issue that started driving away blue collar workers and other middle class Americans from the Democratic Party twenty years ago. Under Clinton/Gore, gun control became an albatross the Democrats have been unable to shake ever since 1994, when enraged gun owners went to the polls and threw control of Congress to Republicans for the first time in 40 years.

“That happened,” he continued, “because Clinton, Gore and the Democrats rammed through the Brady Law in 1993 and the semi-auto import ban in 1994, and made it clear that was just the beginning. That brought gun owners literally out of the political woodwork, but it’s taken Democrats six years and the loss of the White House to understand that the Second Amendment really is sacred to American voters and that their gun control mantra just doesn’t sell.”

The gun rights advocate suggested that it’s not just the message that has hurt Democrats in recent years, it’s the far-left agenda of the party leadership, which has placed demonizing, and outlawing, guns at the top of its priorities.

“To hear Stenholm tell it, maybe it’s time for the Democratic party to not just re-evaluate its horrible policy on gun ownership, but to actually go through something of an epiphany,” Gottlieb said. “The DNC has been acting deaf and blind for years. Californians rejected Proposition 15 in the 1980s. Connecticut turned back a similar proposition. Washington voters buried Initiative 676 in 1997. Now, thirty-two states have passed right-to-carry laws that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns for their personal defense, with Michigan joining that list Dec. 13.”

“Perhaps it is time,” Gottlieb suggested, “that Democrats not only evaluate and change their position, but also change their leadership. Blindly loyal Clinton/Gore supporters now in leadership positions ought to be replaced by more reasonable members of their party; people who understand that the Second Amendment means what it says.

“If the Democrats want to regain the trust and support of middle America,” Gottlieb contended, “they need to abandon this effort to destroy our gun rights.”