During President Obama’s signing of 23 Executive Orders on gun control and mental health he offered an assault weapons ban as a new necessity and cited the support of President Ronald Reagan for the 1994 ban. The Blaze did a great job of looking back at Reagan’s support and offering ideas as to why the former President may have taken up the issue.
I won’t go into the specifics here because you should read the article. I will say this. The Republican Party and its members haven’t always been consistent. Reagan represented a more libertarian vision of conservatism than our nation had previously seen but it was still infused with the support of the religious right and surrounded by others who believed it was the governments job to legislate morality and the negative sides of human behavior.
The modern vision of our Party espoused by many, myself included, is less centered on the religious right and neo-conservatism and more focused on a truly limited government that stays as far away from our daily lives as possible. There is a wealth of elected Republican contradictions that can be pointed to because many in our Party have tried to cater to us in rhetoric while embracing big government in action.
My hope is that the more libertarian vision will take over our Party and we will slowly erode the less-than-stellar legacy of many who came before us. I adore Ronald Reagan but am under no illusion that he was perfect. He was a politician and while some are better than others, they are all to be scrutinized.
Did Ronald Reagan support the ban? Yes he did and he lobbied for it. Unlike Democrats though the Republican base doesn’t and shouldn’t simply take orders from our leaders and run with them. That position fit Ronald Reagan and others at the time. It doesn’t fit with me and others now.