As it becomes more clear who will be in the running for the Republican nomination for a Presidential run in 2016, there will be plenty of issues that divide the candidates. Gun rights will not be one of those issues.
A strong belief in the Second Amendment at a minimum, and in most cases gun ownership, is a common theme among the notable Republican candidates positioning themselves for a presidential run in 2016. According to this article from the Washington Post, the 15 most likely candidates own over 40 guns between them, both for protection and sport.
Former Texas governor Rick Perry is well-known for jogging around Austin with a .380 Ruger pistol to dispatch coyotes that might cross his path, and former Hewlett Packard exec Carly Fiorina has outlined her self-defense plan which includes access to a Glock 17 9mm pistol.
While there are some notable non-owner exceptions—in particular New Jersey governor and once perceived front-runner Chris Christie—others in the limelight have made it plenty clear they are armed and ready for whatever may come their way. In a party certain to quibble about the finer points of its collective politics as election-time nears, candidates are snatching the low-hanging fruit in emphasizing the importance of the Second Amendment and its relationship to smaller and less restrictive government while they have a chance.
You can rest assured many of these candidates will “become” hunters—even if temporarily—as a way to further drive home their allegiance to gun rights issues. It’s all a part of the theater of politics where appearances can tell as much of a story as reality.
Theatre wins attention, and ultimately attention will lead to the Republican nomination.