The frustration that the experience engendered remains with me. "Abandon and repudiate" does NOT mean, "express a willingness to compromise", it means abandon and repudiate. If the Democrats want to split the pro-gun vote, they need to be pro-gun. Not just less anti-gun, but truly pro-gun. This is not QUITE as difficult a change as it might appear.
Examine the planks of the Democratic platform, and you will find that there is a true matter of conscience underneath nearly every one of them. Some of them (for instance, opposition to the death penalty) are extremely questionable public policy, but are still backed by distinct moral principles.
This is not the case with gun control. Dig as deeply as you wish, you will NEVER find a sound moral principle under the anti-gun movement. Lots of good (and bad) public policy issues, but not one shred of morality. On the other hand, the pro-gun movement can trace itself back to fundamental liberty: "So use your own that is does not injure that of another." Firearms are ONLY significantly dangerous if they are misused (Yes, there are firearm accidents, but ladders are more dangerous based on accident rates).
"I don't like guns; they scare me; they should go away," is not a moral principle. It shouldn't be a basis for public policy.
It's simple, really. Abandon and repudiate the gun control plank, embrace the pro-gun movement, and wave goodbye to the Republicans. It's that simple. But it won't happen with halfway measures.