Hillary Clinton will certainly have supporters at Sunday's rally in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, but could face some stiff competition from another event: the final day of a three-day gun show. The show is one of six being held during 2015 at the fairgrounds, and one of more than a dozen put on around Iowa during the year by the show's promoter, Trade Show Productions:
The gun show is located in one of the fairground's 24 venues, the William C. Knapp Building. The Clinton campaign does not specify the venue for Sunday's rally, but a 2007 rally for Mrs. Clinton on her first run for president was held at one of the fairground's outdoor staging areas. According to CBS News, that event featured "an elaborate stage of hay bales, American flags and even a fireworks show at the conclusion."
Last summer, Mrs. Clinton had some harsh words for Second Amendment supporters, saying (via The Hill):
“We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a view point that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said during a CNN town-hall event.
It is unlikely Mrs. Clinton will address gun control Sunday, and not simply because of the proximity of the gun show. The second-time candidate has been hesitant so far in 2015 to articulate many specific policy proposals, and The Hill even speculated that muting her support of gun control measures could benefit Mrs. Clinton in the general election:
The extent to which Clinton embraces gun control in her White House bid remains to be seen.
While an emphasis on guns could help Clinton win over the left, it could prove to be a liability in several battleground states that could decide the presidential election.
For the first time in decades, a majority of Americans say it is more important to protect gun rights than it is to limit gun ownership, according to a December poll from the Pew Research Center.
The same Pew poll found that a slight majority of women now believe owning a handgun can protect them from becoming victims of crime.
The gun show is not the only event competing with the Clinton relaunch rally. The Iowa State Fairgrounds schedule shows that a flea market is also running Sunday concurrently with the rally. If Mrs. Clinton intends to continue to make her appeal to be the "champion" of Everyday Americans, plenty of them should be on hand this weekend in Des Moines.
Just this week, news broke that the "world’s first entirely 3D-printed gun" was successfully built and test-fired by an engineer in Texas. The technology involves a special printer that uses melted polymers to generate plastic components for a variety of uses, now including working firearms. Today, in a press release announcing a $200 million program for a "Competition for Three New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes," the White House also touted a $30 million award in a similar competition in August 2012 for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
In a petition emailed today to supporters, Organizing for Action, President Obama's former campaign group, uses violence in Chicago to push for more gun control.
"In 2009, my schoolmate Greg Robinson was in the backseat of a car returning home from a basketball game when someone with a gun opened fire," the letter from "Ronnie Mosley," of Morehouse College Class of 2013, emails.
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte announces this morning that she will not support the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate. Instead, Ayotte says, she is supporting "the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act."
Senator Pat Toomey has finally posted the full text of "The Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act," the so called gun Senate compromise bill, agreed upon by Toomey, Joe Manchin, and Chuck Schumer. Here's the text of 7,800 word bill:
At a fundraiser last night in San Francisco, President Barack Obama said that the Newtown killer gunned down 20 children using a "fully automatic weapon." From the official transcript, provided by the White House:
At a Virginia townhall for Congressman Jim Moran, a woman asked, "I know you're pro-choice, but why aren't you pro-choice when it comes to self-defense for women?" The crowd applauded. "For example, why don't you guys listen to the young rape victims in Colorado when they said that if they had a gun that they could have prevented their attacker."
After some heckling, the congressman tries to move on to the next question.
A new poll measuring public opinion of gun control measures being considered in Colorado finds the issue could be politically dangerous for Democrats. And most don’t think “sweeping gun control measures will make them any safer,” according to the pollster.
Vice President Joe Biden was asked today whether a "ban on guns" would be more effective than outlawing drugs. "Are you suggesting that we have no -- we just legalize all drugs?," the vice president asked.