Heitkamp Still Sending Mixed Signals On Gun Control


Senator Heidi Heitkamp was on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos today. She didn’t really have much of interest to say – generic pleadings for working togetherness, etc., etc. – but on gun control she was downright confusing.

“Are you willing to sign on to some of the reforms that Vice President Biden and President Obama are already talking about?” Stephanopoulos asked, referring specifically to gun control. Heitkamp did say that what the Obama administration is proposing is “too extreme,” but when she was asked if she was willing to talk about gun control she said “I think you need to put everything on the table.”

Heitkamp also appeared on CNN’s State of the Union where she was equally incoherent about her support for gun issues:

HEITKAMP: I’m not going to comment on what’s in a Washington Post story. I want to see the proposal. But I’m a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, but I also believe that we need to do things that will prevent what happened at Sandy Hook elementary. When I was —

CROWLEY: It would be gun control that you’re talking about?

HEITKAMP: I think you need to look at everything in the mix, but I’m not a big believer that this is a one-size-fits-all solution, and we absolutely need to have a balanced approach, and then we need to live in reality. What can you actually get passed? What can you actually get done that’s going to make schools and communities safer in America? And I don’t think that that proposal necessarily as you’ve described it to me fits the bill for me.

Back in November, before the election, NRA President David Keene expressed some doubts about Heitkamp’s position on guns. The media is quick to tout Heitkamp’s “A rating” from the NRA, but Keene points out that rating isn’t based on any actual policy making, but rather Heitkamp giving the right answers on a questionnaire. Further, Keene pointed out that in 2000 Heitkamp didn’t even bother to fill out their survey.

Heitkamp, ever the savvy politician, knows well that she represents a constituency that is very much pro-guns. It doesn’t seem as though Heitkamp herself, though, is nearly so-pro gun as evidenced by the fact that she seems willing to tell us what she’s against in terms of gun control, but not what she’s for.

Heitkamp may not take an overtly anti-gun stance, but it would be a safe bet to say that Heitkamp will take more subtle steps toward an anti-gun agenda.

North Dakota’s new Senator is nothing if not insufferably dissembling in these matters.