It’s no secret that Heidi Heitkamp, despite touting her “A-rating” from the NRA, is wobbly on gun rights issues. Unfortunately, North Dakota’s other Senator John Hoeven hasn’t exactly been outspoken in his support of gun rights either.
On January 4th Hoeven appeared on C-Span’s Washington Journal program and was asked about his position on gun control. In his answer, Hoeven tried to deflect the question by going off on a tangent about mental health, but host Steven Scully was having none of it and asked the Senator again what his position would be on gun control.
“Would you support any restrictions on these high-power rifles and magazine clips…used in these most recent shootings in 2012?” asked Scully.
“I’m going to have to see what the solutions and recommendations are.”
That answer was bad enough, but later in the program a viewer responding via Twitter said Hoeven hadn’t answered the question directly. Again, Scully asked Hoeven if he’d be supportive of new gun control laws, and again Hoeven was something less than forthcoming in his answer:
Is Hoeven likely to be a leader in calling for more restrictions on gun rights? Probably not. Say what you want about Hoeven, but he’s politically astute, and isn’t about to let his gun-loving constituency see him out in front on that sort of legislation.
Is Hoeven a wobbly vote that might come down on the side of gun control in the right circumstances? That seems to be the case, which is extremely disappointing.
Maybe Hoeven didn’t want to tarnish his “moderate” credentials on a DC-based program, but those who advocate for the 2nd amendment as Hoeven claims to (he did mention that he’s an NRA member) should be prepared to articulate why gun rights are important, and why restrictions on gun rights have little impact on crime.