WASHINGTON TIMES — LOUISVILLE — Gun rights backers lament what they describe as a leftward drift on Second Amendment rights by Democrats in recent years, and predicted the push for stricter laws in blue state bastions such as California and Illinois will cost them even more independent-minded voters.
Within the last decade, Democrats, including then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were making overtures to gun groups including the National Rifle Association.
But the 2012 Newtown school shooting spurred a realignment, with Democrats at the national level increasingly adopting a gun control posture, pushing gun rights Democrats to suppress their own views, said attendees at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, which kicked off Thursday in Louisville.
“They have shifted. Oh, heavens yes I’d say the last eight years,” said Sandy Jarrett, a 60-year-old retiree from Troy, Ohio. “You go back to Kennedy and all the other Democrats — they were pro-gun. There was never an issue.”