Scott Brown Changes His Mind on an Assault Weapon Ban

Just in time for a special election?

Senator Scott Brown reversed his position on a federal assault weapons ban today in the wake of the shooting at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school … which sounds to a lot of people like a shift one might take if one were, oh we don’t know, trying to appeal to the Massachusetts electorate in a hypothetical upcoming special election.

In an interview with the Springfield Republican, he said:

“What happened in Newtown where those children were subject to that level of violence is beyond my comprehension. As a state legislator in Massachusetts I supported an assault weapons ban thinking other states would follow suit. But unfortunately, they have not and innocent people are being killed,” Brown said. “As a result, I support a federal assault weapons ban, perhaps like the legislation we have in Massachusetts.

In the wake of the shooting in a movie theater at Aurora, Colorado, he and Elizabeth Warren differed on a federal ban. She supported it, and he thought it ought to be left to the states. (He had an “A” rating from the NRA, while Warren, like the entirety of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, has an “F.”)

Brown is a lame duck so his change of heart could come from a genuine shift in feeling spurred by the horror of last week’s shooting, but of course that’s not how political punditry thinks, so many people are assuming that Brown is continuing to position himself for a potential special election should Senator Kerry step aside to serve as Secretary of State. (Which is pretty much guaranteed at this point.) Roll Call’s David Drucker notes:

Oh, politics.