A contributor to USA Today wrote that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) should be disqualified as a candidate for the Democratic nomination because she's a gun owner.
The article was written by Peter Funt. In it, he compares Harris' stance on guns to that of the National Rifle Association, and accuses her of perpetuating the notion that a "good guy with a gun" is the best way to stop armed and violent criminals.
"This under-publicized revelation (that Harris owns a gun) comes as Harris is getting a lot of ink for being tough about guns. Her words are fine, but for a progressive like me, they are undermined by that handgun. And I can't be the only one who is disturbed. Keeping a handgun for personal safety is a bedrock conservative view."
Harris told Iowa voters that she owns a gun for personal safety, and that she began doing so when she was a prosecutor dealing with sometimes dangerous criminals. A Harris spokesperson said the gun is kept locked away now.
Funt writes that personal protection is no justification for exercising the Second Amendment right to bear arms:
"But Kamala Harris doesn't seem to have the courage to concede that owning a handgun for protection is a bad idea. Instead, she has given voters a real choice: Back candidates who care enough about gun control to not own handguns, or support the only major Democratic contender who has one and won't throw it away."
Despite Funt's criticisms, Harris has promised to take aggressive action to implement gun control if she is elected president. She said during a CNN town hall that she would give Congress 100 days to pass gun control legislation before taking executive action to move toward her goals of universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.