AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Anti-Gun Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate Now Says He’ll Defend 2A in Congress

People change.

If you look back, you’ll see the points in your life when you held different opinions than those you hold now. Maybe you were even anti-gun. That’s fine because, as noted, people change.

But when you change opinions, it’s often a relatively slow process. It doesn’t happen overnight without something profound happening.

And deciding to run for Congress isn’t an acceptable “something profound.”

The reason I bring that up is because someone who ran for mayor of Indianapolis on a gun control platform now thinks he can convince people that he’s suddenly supportive of the right to keep and bear arms now that he’s running for the House.

Businessman Jefferson Shreve has nearly the same campaign branding for his run in the 6th Congressional District’s Republican primary as he did in his 2023 race for mayor of Indianapolis: white block letters spelling his last name on a black background. 
While that visual branding mirrors his 2023 run for office, Shreve’s messaging as a candidate for Congress is not the same. The Storage Express founder in his run for the 6th District appears to have shifted his positions further to the right than what he presented to Marion County voters during his mayoral campaign. It’s a move that his opponents have criticized, specifically when it comes to his views on guns
Critics point to Shreve’s public safety proposal for Indianapolis presented during his mayoral run last July that, among several items, called for Indianapolis to strengthen its gun control measures. Nearly six months after his election loss by 20 percentage points to Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett, Shreve’s congressional campaign website says the candidate will protect the Second Amendment and advocate for “policies that promote responsible gun ownership.” 
Gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, have criticized the shift in Shreve’s views in the race for a congressional district that in 2022 voted heavily for Republicans, including Greg Pence, who is not seeking another term. The 6th District’s boundaries include the southern townships of Marion County and then stretches east to where Indiana touches the western border of Ohio.  

In other words, Shreve needs more rural votes, so he’s going to soften his previous anti-gun rhetoric.

I honestly don’t know where Shreve actually stands on the issue, but that’s part of the problem. Even if he’s pro-gun deep down inside, his willingness to take whatever side is more convenient is a problem, as it should be for anyone.

The truth of the matter is that there’s no reason to trust him. Not without him at least talking about his “come to Jesus” moment on guns and gun rights. We need a reason to believe that he’s actually willing to defend the Second Amendment now when he was ready to sell it down the river just a year ago.

Had he run a decade ago and this was his first campaign back, some would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead, he comes back a year later and he’s hoping pro-gun voters in Indiana are too stupid to know better.

I’d say they already know who he really is, but I’m not entirely sure they could. After all, based on his flip-flop here, I’m not sure he knows who he really is.

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