Yes, he did. Global hot air producer Al Gorezeera joined all the other progressives of pallor at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, to swill lib talking points. He scored big last night with his attack on the National Rifle Association.
Here’s a fun flashback from 2000 on Gore’s convenient conversion on gun control.
When it comes to iconic campaign images, it is hard to beat the moment, a month after the tragedy at Columbine High, when Al Gore strode into the Republican Senate, commandeered the ivory gavel and broke a tie to require background checks on people who buy weapons at gun shows. It was, he declared, “a turning point for our country.” You could almost see the ad in the can. But in that same chamber 14 years before, Gore cast some other pivotal votes–ones that made him a hero to the gun lobby and that could come back to haunt him. “We could have made Al Gore NRA Man of the Year–every single vote,” says National Rifle Association honcho Wayne LaPierre. “It’s the most spectacular conversion I’ve ever seen. It’s worthy of being investigated by the church.”
In an interview last weekend, the Vice President said his early views of the issue reflected the perspective of a Congressman from a rural part of the South where “guns did not really present a threat to public safety but rather were predominantly a source of recreation.” As a young representative of a conservative Tennessee district, Gore opposed putting serial numbers on guns so they could be traced, and voted to cut the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms budget by $4.2 million so that it could not carry out regulations that had unleashed a torrent of 300,000 letters from gun owners.
What is likely to be more troublesome now are the votes he took in 1985 when the Senate–taking its first major stand on gun control in almost two decades–significantly weakened the gun law it had put into place after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. By then elected statewide, Gore was representing Memphis and Nashville and other urban areas where, he acknowledges, “gun violence was even at that time beginning to increase.” But he voted against a 14-day waiting period for handgun purchases and for allowing their sale across state lines. And as recently as 1986, the future Vice President told the Washington Monthly that gun-control laws “haven’t been an effective solution to the underlying problem of violent crime.” Now Gore says he was in a “process of changing one’s understanding that doesn’t occur overnight.” And, he adds, “there are certainly some votes I would cast differently knowing what I do about the issue now.”
Principled evolving? Nah. Once a phony, always a phony.
Just ask Gore’s old employees at Current TV: