There’s something interesting in the works courtesy of our friends at Defend Louisiana, the state’s newest gun-rights group.
Defend Louisiana is hosting a 2nd Amendment tele-town hall with U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) on Wednesday, December 18th at 7:00pm CST to discuss efforts to protect Second Amendment rights of gun owners in Louisiana and across America.
Representative Jeff Thompson, founder of Defend Louisiana, will host the telephone town hall event and discuss the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, the gun rights movement in Louisiana and efforts to preserve citizens’ rights to protect their families.
U.S. Senators Vitter and Cruz will join Rep. Thompson and give callers an update on efforts in Washington, D.C. to protect the Second Amendment and the rights of law abiding citizens. Participants are invited to take part in this topical discussion and ask questions.
“We’re excited to host Senators Vitter and Cruz and look forward to their update on the ongoing battle in Washington, D.C. and across America to defend our right to bear arms,” said State Rep. Jeff Thompson, founder of Defend Louisiana.
To join the tele-town hall you can call in at 7 p.m. to 877-229-8493 and enter PIN # 112303.
For more information, visit Defendla.org.
Lots of people we’ve talked to since Defend Louisiana made its debut earlier this year have asked what its purpose is. Theories abound – for example, is it a vehicle for Thompson to ride to higher office?
Here’s ours, without a whole lot of inside information – but we think we’re correct.
Gun owners, particularly in Louisiana, fit a demographic and psychographic profile which makes them overwhelmingly good prospects as conservative – or Republican – voters. But other than the work the National Rifle Association has done nationally, they’re underdeveloped as an organized political force.
So, if you’re looking to experiment with ways to mobilize gun owners as bloc voters the way, say, the Left works to mobilize people of African ancestry, or college kids, or people on public assistance, a great place to start is to play around with gun owners in a state like Louisiana where gun ownership is taken extremely seriously.
So Defend Louisiana, which sprang up as a response to the Obama administration’s gun-grabbing ways of a year ago, is such an experiment.
And if it becomes a big and powerful group, it could have an effect on elections in the state.
Defend Louisiana didn’t play a role in the 5th District congressional race earlier this year, which is natural because on one side you had Neil Riser, who was the author of the constitutional amendment strengthening Louisiana’s 2nd Amendment protections, and on the other you had Vance McAllister, the Duck Dynasty endorsee. Gun rights wasn’t an issue in that campaign; both candidates in the runoff agree that the government needs to leave your guns alone.
But what about future races? What about those races where Democrats haven’t gone away yet?
Mary Landrieu has a “C” rating from the NRA. Bill Cassidy has an “A.” If gun rights were to become an issue in that campaign, an organization like Defend Louisiana could be a nightmare for Landrieu.
For that matter, Cedric Richmond has a “D-” rating from the NRA. If there’s a conservative contender against Richmond next year, or in 2016, an organization like Defend Louisiana could cause him some trouble he’d rather not have.
And then there are lots of state legislative races in districts where politicians who pretend to be pro-gun might not quite have the record to back it up but have never been challenged on that basis.
Put 100,000 people into a gun rights organization which is politically active and aggressively patrols its turf, which is what Defend Louisiana could well be, and it could move the needle.
And yes, Vitter and Cruz see that.
Vitter wants to be Louisiana’s governor, and he’s likely to run for that job in 2015. It would appear Vitter’s top competition for that job is Jay Dardenne – who isn’t know for strong positions on gun rights one way or the other. He sees an opportunity to gain support from a large group of politically-active people, so he’s embracing Defend Louisiana by appearing at that town hall.
And Cruz? Cruz would like to be president, and he’s likely to run for that job in 2016. In what should be a relatively crowded GOP field, primaries like Louisiana could be important. And knowing that Louisiana’s GOP primary vote is a conservative one, why not make nice with one of the biggest mobilizers of conservative voters the state has to offer?
These guys get it. They’re going to embrace this organization and do what they can to help it grow, and hope that as it grows it remembers them when they’re in a position to ask for favors in return.