Maryland Watch: Gov. O’Malley’s Strategic Miscalculation on Gun Control Legislation

We’ve already discussed that pretty much everything Governor Martin O’Malley does is geared toward his presidential campaign, which he has already kicked off with visits to New Hampshire and Iowa. In order to appeal to the base of the Democratic Primary voters throughout the nation, he has taken a tactic of pushing the most liberal agenda that he can to appeal to these folks. It makes sense from a Political Science 101 foundation. But by coupling it with his disinterest in the General Assembly and the politics required to pass legislation, he has been left with a string of failures.

The latest looks to be his far reaching gun control legislation. The other leading Governor in the 2016 presidential campaign, Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a sweeping piece of legislation through a Republican controlled Senate in Albany with overwhelming majorities. Governor Martin O’Malley had to play catch up since he hadn’t done anything on gun control (just like President Obama) until after the Newtown shooting. New York had already required licenses to own a handgun which along with an assault weapons ban is what Governor O’Malley is seeking.

Governor O’Malley, Attorney General Gansler and the supporters of gun control argue that it is the same as a driver’s license. You are required to take a training class, pass a test, and be licensed prior to driving a car. Of course, Republicans argue that driving a car is a privilege, whereas your right to bear arms is a right guaranteed by the bill of rights, just like speech and religion. They argue that it is the same as a poll tax. Senate President Mike Miller has already indicated he is against the licensing requirement, which may spell the doom of the requirement. The Baltimore Sun reported that the amount the state is charging for people to exercise their 2nd amendment right will raise twice as much as it actually costs, spelling further embarrassment for the O’Malley Administration.

Had the Governor met with key legislators ahead of time, and worked the proposal it would have been smooth sailing. It’s the type of negotiating that requires work, and while the result may appear to be less impressive on the sliding liberal scale, it shows a mastery of politics that the American public is searching for right now. Cuomo can show success, O’Malley can show a press conference.

Will the Governor’s entire proposal go down in defeat? No despite the thousands of protestors that showed up yesterday, the votes are there for substantial gun control legislation, but the failure in controlling the process, in a legislature completely controlled by his own party, means that he can only blame the Democrats for the failure of his proposal.

As Cuomo will argue in the primary, do you want a President who said “I tried” or one who says “I did.”


  1. Kharn says

    Everyone forgets you can buy a car (more commonly a truck) without a license or registration if you do not drive it off your property (usually a farm). If I want to own a firearm and do not want to carry it off my property, why should I need a permit?

    The current laws are sufficient, and I should not be punished because Baltimore can’t empanel an honest jury. The state’s attorneys should either change the venue to the Eastern shore for dope/firearms cases or send them to federal court via Project Exile and stop trying to trample my civil rights.

  2. Fed up says

    Why would O’Malley meet with anyone and have a reasonable conversation? He’s using the Obama model – I’m king and I’ll do what I want. No Marty, that’s not how it works! You don’t “give” us rights, you only give us a burden! How ’bout he just focuses on the things that a reasonable government should do – pay attention to law enforcement, work with the judicial system to be sure we manage criminal justice from top to bottom and keep the violent thugs off the streets for a good long time – not 1 to 3, out on good behavior or worse yet, plea deals or dropped charges!

  3. HYDESMANN says

    O’Malley is a hypocrite. He has his armed posse with him and his family 24/7 but wants to deny the right of self protection to the average law abiding citizen. How quickly the constitution can be disregarded if we let the liberals have at it.

  4. Richard Schafer says

    I understand that the minority whip for the Republican Party in the Maryland House of Delegates, Anthony O’Donnell is in trouble for his re-election. (“Good”)! What has he done for Harford County or our party? He is more like an extension of the democrat arm that controls Maryland. He is defiantly not a conservative and does not deserve re-election. I urge that our delegates vote against his re-election.

  5. Fed up says

    How does anyone without the word “democrat” in front of their name win an election in MD? One party States are disfunctional. Even when you don’t like the second party the citizens are better off. No party is “good” when unchecked, and the libs in this State prove that every day.

    • Yup says

      Easy. Don’t run for office in Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard Counties or Baltimore City.

  6. Yup says

    Laws only effect those with the moral compass to follow them. This can’t be said enough. Instead of proposing and enacting more laws, maybe Maryland politicians should take a look at why Maryland doesn’t fully comply with the NICS system, and potentially allows numerous people who should be prohibited from purchasing firearms to be buy them. Maybe they should look at all of the firearms charges that are nol prossed or plea bargained away just to secure the easy guilty plea and “win” on lesser charges. The vast majority of firearms violence is perpetuated by gang members and in the drug trade. Where’s the outrage over that? Why is there no increased enforcement in that regard?

  7. says

    O’Malley is a disgrace! Another democratic liberal, who takes a stupid pill every day….He has cut the budget for the handicapped over 2 1/2 years ago…

  8. Jaguar Judy says

    Mike Miller is against this? You mean to tell me that I agree with Mike Miller? On anything? How in the world did that happen? I’m missing something here. Mike Miller and I couldn’t usually agree on the time of day if we were looking at the same clock. I smell a rat.