The Wild West worked pretty well.
That's Rick Santorum's view on the gun control debate. The former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 Republican presidential candidate - gearing up for another possible run in 2016 - recently said on CBS's "Face The Nation":
You know, everybody romanticizes the OK Corral and all of the things that happened. But gun crimes were not very prevalent back then. Why? Because people carry guns.
Santorum, 55, is pushing a new book, Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works. The Associated Press writes that "Santorum offers ideas on energy, education, the economy and health care. It comes across as part think tank policy paper, part campaign playbook and part communications advice on how to connect with working-class voters."
"For instance, Republicans should not focus exclusively on business leaders and 'job creators' and should speak to employees, Santorum said."
"Anxiety among those voters remains high, and Republicans have for too long talked to the top earners and not the workers."
Santorum won an upset House seat victory in 1990, then ascended to the Senate four years later. He rose to the third-ranking Republican leadership position. But Santorum lost his seat in the 2006 Democratic landslide.
Santorum ran an upstart presidential campaign in 2012, surviving long enough to be Mitt Romney's last remaining rival. He struggled to raise money or support among establishment-minded Republicans, but his socially conservative profile drew enough backing for Santorum to pick up victories in 11 states.
Lots Of Critics
But many doubt the strength of Santorum's populist appeal. Consider these tweets:
Rick Santorum rebrands himself as working class populist, promptly announces ppposition to minimum wage hike http://t.co/qyYL1UnCeX- ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) April 29, 2014
What if we never talked about Rick Santorum again?- Dorsey Shaw (@dorseyshaw) April 29, 2014