Views expressed in opinion columns are the authors’ own.
As our generation marched on Washington, D.C., this past weekend, we proudly stated that enough is enough and promised to prevent politicians from valuing NRA ratings and donations over the lives of our future leaders. We vowed to vote them out, and that no politician who has ever accepted a dime from the NRA and done their bidding would get a free pass come November.
Now that the marches and rallies are over, it’s time that we start to deliver on these promises. In Maryland, that starts with defeating the Republican, NRA-supported governor, Larry Hogan.
Hogan’s furtive relationship with the NRA started back in 2014, as he was in the thick of his campaign for governor. Hogan repeatedly made private promises and deals to gun rights advocates, all while refusing to take any public stance on gun safety during his campaign.
If this doesn’t reek of the politics-as-usual Hogan often rails against, he also filled out a questionnaire issued to him by the NRA, which then bestowed him with an A- rating and donated thousands of dollars to his campaign.
To this day, Hogan hasn’t released his questionnaire answers to the public, and even in the face of recurring mass shootings, he’s refused to return any of the NRA cash his campaign received.
As governor, Hogan has received direct praise from the NRA for passing “Pro-Gun Legislation” in Maryland, such as measures meant to water down laws that required gun buyers’ fingerprints when they attempted to renew their handgun permit.
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, Hogan was pressed to pass new legislation banning bump stocks (devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to become similar to automatic weapons) in Maryland.
Such a ban was even supported by President Trump. Yet when it was proposed to Hogan, he demurred, saying, “I don’t think anyone in the history of our state has ever been killed with a bump stock.”
Hogan is up for re-election this year, which means he will try to patronize us with the right sound bites, and take a series of politically motivated steps to convince us he’s on our side when it comes to preventing gun violence. However, we know where his real allegiances lie.
Granting Hogan another term will give him another four years to do the NRA’s bidding, and not having to worry about re-election may result in even more radical measures than we’ve seen him take thus far.
Our governor is no different than any other NRA-backed politician, and he’s more than worthy of the title of the organization’s favorite Marylander. It’s time we honor our generation’s call to “vote them out” and show Larry Hogan exactly what happens to those who cozy up to the NRA.
Come November, when we show up at the polls, we will make sure our voices are heard, and we’ll be the ones who have the pleasure of voting Hogan out.
Signed by the University of Maryland College Democrats Executive Board,
Jake Polce, president
Government and politics; law and society ’18
Cayli Baker, vice president
Government and politics; English; Spanish language ’18
William O’Malley, communications director
Government and politics, ’20
Chris Richter, treasurer
Government and politics; finance ’19
Jason Pang, campus liaison
Government and politics; criminology and criminal justice ’20
Sydney Poretsky, community liaison
Rhetoric and political culture (COMM); Spanish language, literatures and cultures ’19
Kathleen Bender, social chair
Government and politics, ’18