At Drinking Liberally last night, a Boeing machinist pointed out that a lot of his fellow union members vote Republican because of the Second Amendment. They fear Democrats will take away their guns.

That's not a particularly new observation. In fact, it's why most Democratic leaders refuse to even discuss gun control, let alone pursue obvious, reasonable reforms like closing Washington's indefensible "gun show loophole" that permits private sales of firearms without a waiting period or background check.

And yet, despite their adamant refusal to act on gun control, many voters still fear Democrats will take away their guns.

I suppose one reaction might be to roll our eyes at voters for being so stupid as to cling to their Democrats-want-to-take-away-our-guns perception in the face of several decades of political inaction that persuasively argues the opposite. But personally, I choose to roll my eyes at Democrats for being so stupid as to cling to their belief that deliberately pandering to the gun-rights camp on this issue could possibly sway public perception.

I mean, if gun enthusiasts are going to vote Republican regardless of what Democrats do, wouldn't it just make more sense for Dems to pursue responsible gun policy rather than futile gun politics?