Last week, U.S. Sen Doug Jones, D-Birmingham, trotted out an interesting thought during an appearance at the Civil Rights Institute.
"People in Alabama love their guns, but they also love their children," Jones said. "And they like to be safe in theaters, and they like to be safe in churches, and I think there is common ground."
A few points.
First, all of Jones' comments are true on face value. Alabamians, by and large, love their guns and kids and want to be safe. The key is the common ground Jones mentions.
Second, there are no empirical studies that I know of that show Alabamians' prevailing distaste for gun-control measures is weakening.
Third, Alabama is among the nation's most conservative, most Republican and most pro-gun states. Common ground on gun issues is highly unlikely.
And, fourth, as a Democrat, Jones should be expected to support some measure of sensible gun laws. The mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month has only brought these discussions back to the nation's attention, as they should be.
"I’m the kind of person that believes especially in an issue like this, if we can make any progress ... it opens the door to so many others,” he said. “We got to get something done, don’t get me a list of things that have to be done ... let’s not cut our nose to spite our face. I went into the Senate with my eyes open about partisan politics ... but I think we are moving in a way that gets things done.”
-- Phillip Tutor