Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Guns on the comeback trail?

In two seats of government it appears guns are reclaiming their dominate place in society.

Guns on the comeback trail?

In two seats of government, Washington and Harrisburg, it appears guns are on the comeback trail as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote Wednesday on a measure to expand gun-purchase background checks.

The Wall Street Journal reports the background check measure crafted by Republican PA Sen. Pat Toomey and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is teetering "on the brink of failure."

And The Washington Post cites new polling that shows "ebbing" supporting for gun control. The Post says an Associated Press poll this month shows 49 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws, a number that is down from 58 percent in January.

The new AP poll also says a majority, 52 percent, disapprove of President Obama's handling of the issue.

And, as if on cue, it was announced in Harrisburg that a major outdoor sports show cancelled earlier this year after boycotts over a decision to ban assault weapons from the show will now be run by the NRA.

The former Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, a national event held annually in Harrisburg for 60-plus years, is being renamed the Great American Outdoor Show and is scheduled for next February. The nine-day show traditionally draws hundreds of thousands of people and pumps an estimated $80 million into the regional economy.

A selection committee including the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and a Dauphin County commissioner said the NRA was chosen as the show's new promoter because of its financial and organizational capacity to run an event of such size.

NRA president David Keene is quoted in the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal saying the NRA is thrilled to reach a long-term agreement with local officials.

“After the tragedy of the cancellation, we began to think of what we could do to help,” Keene said.

And so it seems in Washington and in Harrisburg -- when it comes to guns -- the show must go on.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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