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Arthur Schaper: Gomez, The Globe + Guns

Friday, October 04, 2013


Gomez has been digging himself into a hole since his failed Senate campaign.

Despite everything gunning for him (so to speak), Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez could not capture the US Senate seat from Ed "Where Do You Stay?" Markey. A young, Columbian-born immigrant turned financier and a former Navy Seal with backing from Senator Scott Brown, Gomez hoped to wow Bay State voters with his commendatory heritage.

Then his campaign lost any semblance of integrity when Michael Sullivan announced the disappointing truth that Gomez was an early Obama supporter. Gomez played Democrat-lite, supported Keystone, yet believed in climate change as catastrophic (no proof). He wanted to cut taxes, but raise the minimum wage (a tax increase in itself).

Reflecting on his ten-point election loss, Gomez flip-flopped on the assault weapons ban in a Boston Globe editorial, confirming not just his lack of integrity, but profound disrespect for the voters.

Gomez is another John Kerry, with "more waffles than a house of pancakes". Perhaps Gomez deserved to win the seat, after all (not for any good reason, of course).

Instead of taking a stand and risk getting shot at by the press or the bastion of liberal Boston elites, Gomez panders to the current power structure, convinced that tinging his soft red highlights to purple or blue will win him more votes in the Commonwealth. He represents everything wrong with political leadership in every state, including Massachusetts.

Then again, maybe I am being too harsh on Gomez. After all, I called Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee “Governor Grinch” (so did the media).

Family affair

About Gomez’s shift of aim on the assault weapons ban, let’s review why he changed his mind. According to his Op-Ed, Gomez shared:

Americans don’t trust their leaders to stand up against conventional wisdom.

Then he explains why he has rejected rejecting an assault weapons ban:

The overwhelming number of citizens and experts throughout Massachusetts supported banning these weapons and high capacity magazines. At the time, given my Navy SEAL experience, I felt they were wrong.

In other words, the conventional wisdom in the Commonwealth demanded an assault weapons ban, and he caved. Confused? His experience as a Navy SEAL was relevant not only to the dangers of assault weapons, but more importantly that a gun ban will not prevent our communities from the evil that lurks in the hearts of men (with apologies to the Shadow).

Gomez then writes:

Since the campaign, free from the burdens of a grueling spotlight, I have spent much time reflecting on these exchanges. I asked myself whether my position against banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines represented what is best for the people of our Commonwealth and our Country.

In short: on this issue Massachusetts is right, my wife Sarah is right, and I was wrong.

No, Mr. Gomez. Because you miss the reflection of the electoral limelight, you say that you are wrong. “Massachusetts is right”. States are not right or wrong. They need governance to make these decisions. With all due respect to your lovely wife, what difference do her views make on the issue of an assault weapons ban? Right and wrong, wise and unwise cannot be dictated by feeling or family, but facts.

Gun laws not effective

Pushing past the conventional and familial wisdom on the matter, does an assault weapons ban work?

Sam Wong of Princeton Election Consortium presented a divergent graph of rising and falling gun deaths, before, during, and after the federal assault ban expired. CNN reported that the National Academy of Sciences could not find one report which supports gun control. Is there a meaningful correlation between strict gun laws and less gun violence? Not really.

According to Violence Policy Center in 2012, Massachusetts did have a lower rate of gun violence, but Reuters reported the higher incidence of suicide in states with easier access to firearms. In any research, the source and the cause of gun deaths matters.

The same paper which published Gomez’s about-face reported that gun-related crimes have “Dramatically increased” since Massachusetts’ comprehensive gun control legislation from 1998. The Globe’s conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby further indicated that gun crimes rose significantly in the Commonwealth following the passage of strict gun laws. Rising gun deaths in gun-controlled Chicago, Newark, and a report on California’s gun laws all suggest that gun control regulations do not prevent gun violence.

Where he went wrong

In their final debate, Markey accused Gomez of supporting “old, Republican ideas.” While Markey never had any ideas to begin with, Gomez’s ideas are based not on fact or the rule of law, but whatever will get him into office. Because of his flagrantly flawed editorial, Gomez the private citizen, in making a public announcement on a policy shift, has shot himself in the foot and permanently assaulted any chance of his running for statewide office in Massachusetts.

People want grassroots, fresh faces with fresh ideas and a frank appreciation for the problems which affect the average Joe. How can anyone vote for a man who has no convictions? Pink like Pepto Bismol, tepid like lukewarm water, Gomez should go away before voters puke him out for good.


Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.


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