Mark Pryor and the Non-Existent Toomey-Manchin Backlash

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Last month, Mark Pryor, a Democratic senator from Arkansas, voted against the Toomey-Manchin gun-control bill. For this, we were quickly assured by various fuming progressives, he and his fellow “No” voters would pay a terrible price. Gun-rights advocates may have won the day, they said, but it was a pyhirric victory — and the backlash would be swift. Come 2014, many of the senators who voted against it would be desperate to vote for a gun bill.

I have always considered this to be little more than wishful thinking, demonstrating more how out of touch gun-control proponents are with the distribution of gun-control enthusiasm across the country than anything else, and showing an unpleasant tendency to project the priorities of city dwelling elites onto the country at large. I stand by my prediction from April: The issue of gun control will not substantially change a single race in 2014. It is a non-issue.

Here is Mark Pryor’s first campaign commercial of the 2014 campaign season. Not much contrition here. Could it be, perhaps, that, as Pryor implies, he knew what Arkansans wanted?