Anti-Gun Group Declares Victory Over Heitkamp: “She Got The Message”

Heidi Heitkamp

Over the weekend Senator Heidi Heitkamp made headlines when she called President Obama’s rumored gun control proposals “extreme.” That got the attention of the anti-gun left, who responded swiftly with an ad intending to shame Heitkamp into submission.

Heitkamp’s media flaks responded quickly, assuring the anti-gun folks that Heitkamp isn’t ruling out gun control. “The discussion and ultimate solution to these mass violence tragedies must go beyond a singular focus on gun laws, and that the discussion must examine mental health, school security, and community development to help parents identify and address children potentially suffering from mental illness,” Heitkamp said in a statement released in response to the ad. “Senator Heitkamp has clearly stated that all options must be on the table when it comes to addressing gun violence in America.”

The anti-gun folks at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who ran the ad, liked what they heard from Heitkamp:

Chalk one up for the gun control crowd? A spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said Tuesday that his group had scared freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) off of her tough criticism of the White House gun violence task force.

The group ran newspaper ads on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and North Dakota, two days after Heitkamp went on television to express serious concerns about gun control ideas the White House was reportedly considering in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre. A spokesman for the group said the ads worked.

“She got the message,” Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the CSGV, told TPM. He said the 48 hours since Heitkamp went on TV showcase a new, more aggressive tactic by gun control advocates to push politicians to back its agenda. …

Everitt said his group is “happy” with the statement, and that it proves the ads had an effect. “We liked it,” he told TPM. “We were happy to see more moderation there.”

Of course, Heitkamp herself is indignant at the idea that she’s caving to the anti-gun folks. “Senator Heitkamp’s position has not changed, nor shifted,” Heitkamp spokesperson Whitney Phillips told Talking Points Memo.

That might be more believable if someone could actually, you know, define what Heitkamp’s position is in 100 words or less. Senator Heitkamp is all over the map on this issue, which is what happens when you’re a far-left liberal who campaigned as a center-right candidate and now can’t quite figure out how to govern.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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