In the final weeks before the 2008 election, Barack Obamas campaign sent mailers to Florida voters reassuring them that he supported the Second Amendment. In the opening days of the 2020 Democratic primary, its hard to imagine any candidate feeling the need to make a similar gesture.
Guns are no longer the third rail, said Steve Schale, a political operative who ran Obamas Florida campaign in 2008. Ten to 12 years ago, Democrats had to for political necessity be really careful about how they talked about it. Now, if you dont talk about it, youre not part of the political conversation.
Democrats are increasingly emboldened to embrace gun control as the anniversary of Americas deadliest mass shooting at a high school approaches on Thursday. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students and staff members and roused a group of young activists who sought to make gun violence a generational issue for younger voters.