Take Your Guns to Town

David Kopel on how the Second Amendment fared yesterday:

The Second Amendment has emerged from the biggest Democratic victory since 1974 with relatively little damage. One reason is that in races all over the country, Democrats returned to their Jefferson-Jackson roots by running candidates who trust the people to bear arms....

[T]he class of pro-gun Democrats who will be joining the House and the Senate includes some who will eventually become party leaders, and who will help move the Democratic party back towards its traditional position of respect for the civil liberties of the American people. A very constructive development, in the long run.

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  • wingnutx||

    I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    There should be some highly amusing intra-party fighting over this at the very least.

  • ||

    Psshaw. Call me skeptic on this one. Civil liberties ^= Gun rights in Demo land. Not going after guns was just an election scheme to get votes.

  • ||

    Finkelstein,

    The Dems are just going to be more sneaky now. They will switch from outright bans to the courts and trying to sue thier way to gun bans. Being anti-gun is way too ingraned in the elite Democratic culture for this issue to ever go away.

  • Brian||

    I keep waiting for libruls to learn to groove on that whole armed citizenry thing. After the last 6 years you get the basic idea right guys? Guns or Gitmo?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    My friend Rochelle says I may be a bleeding heart, Sweets, but don't touch my guns.

    Unfortuantely she is one of only two Dems I know who thinks that way.

    I know the government is only throwing us a bone by allowing us to keep our shotguns and maybe a revolver or two, but like Amendment Uno I don't see anything in there that says we can't have howitzers, tanks, or grenade launchers.

    Hey, I haven't even posted this yet and a black Huey just flew past my window. Slowly.

  • ||

    I certainly hope this means the end of the Democrats' elitist contempt for all who don't share their views. The right to bear arms is very central to American culture. Wishing that America were more like Europe is stupid and insulting. Maybe the Democratic party is waking up.

  • ||

    Until I see proof to the contrary, the so-called support for the 2nd Amendment espoused by Democrats will be assumed to be nothing more than lip service.

  • ||

    "[T]he class of pro-gun Democrats who will be joining the House and the Senate includes some who will eventually become party leaders, and who will help move the Democratic party back towards its traditional position of respect for the civil liberties of the American people."

    The pro-gun Democrats joining Congress will promote civil liberties by giving control of both houses to the party which has always retained its position of respect for the civil liberties of the American people.

    Also, it will reduce gun control's status even further as an issue for the Democrats, and gun control has been shunted aside for a decade now.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    The thing we all need to remember is that the political culture differs vastly among the states. For instance, Arnie Schwarzengroper IS a moderate Democrat. But in Californicate that means he has to register and run as a Republican.

  • ||

    "The pro-gun Democrats joining Congress will promote civil liberties by giving control of both houses to the party which has always retained its position of respect for the civil liberties of the American people."

    The Republican record for civil rights in the last few years is positively loathesome.

    That the democrats look slightly better in comparison is hardly evidence that they have respect for the civil liberties of the American people.

    In fact, I find that statement downright laughable, joe.

  • ||

    TWC is right. Arnie isn't really pro-gun, so much as doing his best to appeal to both sides.

    As a result, he's happy to pick on a fraternity of shooters with a relatively small membership (.50 BMG competitors) while still smiling and cooing about how you can have your hunting rifle.

  • ||

    I don't trust the Dems with the Second Amendment, but I am encouraged by the fact that so many of their new freshmen come from Republican-leaning rural districts.

    It means that Speaker Pelosi will have to soft-pedal her anti-gun ambitions in order to keep peace in the House. The question is whether or not her liberal base will let her do that. Should be interesting to watch.

    Nevertheless, I ordered some new hi-cap mags Monday night. Just as a precaution.

  • ||

    "Until I see proof to the contrary..."

    I'd be interesting in knowing what form that proof would take...inaction? Repeal of something? what?

  • ||

    I don't believe either party can claim to respect the civil liberties of the people unless and until one of them starts to get serious about ending the drug war. It's the most blatant and costly assault on our liberty today and nobody wants to talk about it.

  • ||

    The problem is that too many folks here think the Dem gun control position was adopted out of some kind of moral principle. In fact it was politically expedient. Same goes for the Repub stance. With yesterday's shakeup, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see more Repubs read the tea leaves and begin adopting more stringent gun control stances in the effort to become more competitive.

  • ||

    I'd be interesting in knowing what form that proof would take...inaction? Repeal of something? what?

    Well, for starters, Senator Webb has promised to introduce a bill allowing concealed carry in National Parks and Monuments, an issue near and dear to my heart.

    If Majority Leader Reid allows him to do that, and Speaker Pelosi allows it to come up for a vote in the House, then I'd be willing to consider the possibility that the Dems are serious about gun rights.

    Until then, it's all just election-year rhetoric.

  • ||

    Zach-
    Well said.

    Shecky-
    I have no doubt that the Republicans adopted a pro-gun stance out of political expediency. But gun owners have a shorter leash on the Republicans via NRA/ILA and GOA than they do on the Democrats.

  • ||

    Catpain Holly,

    Pigs will fly when that happens, but if it did even I would be convinced that maybe the Democrats are not out to take away guns. Also, I would add getting the nutjob state attorney generals and city mayors to stop trying to sue gun makers out of business.

  • ||

    "a bill allowing concealed carry"

    Hmmmm... how come "right to bear arms" always leads eventually to "right to hide arms." You have my full support in your right to bear arms, but why hide them? What would be the point of that law? If you need a gun at a national park or monument, why would you want to keep that a secret?

  • Rhywun||

    The thing about gun control is, it's just not on the radar of the average Democrat, despite what their "leaders" might presume. I think it's conceivable that the Dems would cede the issue to Republicans in return for, I dunno, laying off teh gays or something.

  • ||

    I must agree that that part seems a bit odd to me too, MainstreamMan. I'm sure there must be more history to it than that. As far as I remember, originally 'open carry' was what was allowed in many places, with concealed carry allowed only to certain people.

    (if there's a good web site out there explaining this, love a pointer)

  • ||

    MainstreamMan,

    State and federal laws regarding open-carry are actually much more restrictive than those on concealed carry. For instance, in most states, if a person with a concealed-carry license reveals their handgun in a public place they can be arrested for brandishment.

  • ||

    Well, I think the point is that if you want to sneak a gun into an area for the sake of shooting someone, you're not going to have registered the gun and filed for all of the required licenses to conceal it legally. In other words, once you've done all that stuff, it's safe to say you're not trying to assassinate anyone, so there's no reason to force you to wear it a certain way.

  • ||

    Especially since walking around downtown with a gun low on your hip country-western style might cause more harm than good.

  • ||

    Matthew Brown-

    Open vs. concealed carry has mostly to do with a shift in cultural attitudes. In the 1800's, open carry in most places was common enough that it didn't warrant a second glance.

    Nowadays, for whatever odd reason, a lot of people view open carry as some sort of affront, which has resulted in the massive passage of concealed carry reform.

  • Robert Goodman||

    "The problem is that too many folks here think the Dem gun control position was adopted out of some kind of moral principle. In fact it was politically expedient."

    I thought it was out of pique at their figureheads' being shot dead in the 1960s.

  • ||

    There is no moral principle in politics. Parties only do anything they do so they can get elected. If the donkeys are willing to stop grabbing, I don't care why they do it. For the time being, I can evaluate them without being obviously threatened, which is good news from where I'm sitting.

  • ||

    Defend freedom. Defeat Democrats.

  • ||

    Brian | November 8, 2006, 11:49am | #

    "I keep waiting for libruls to learn to groove on that whole armed citizenry thing. After the last 6 years you get the basic idea right guys? Guns or Gitmo?"

    Speaking as a liberal visitor, that'll happen on the day when liberals can organize armed bands, talk about overthrowing the government, and *not* get crushed like bugs.

    The way things work in this country is that right-wingers can get away with sh*t like that; leftists get shot dead by the police when they try that.

  • ||

    "The way things work in this country is that right-wingers can get away with sh*t like that; leftists get shot dead by the police when they try that."

    That's what you get for trying to protest by doing an interpretational dance.

  • ||

    The way things work in this country is that right-wingers can get away with sh*t like that; leftists get shot dead by the police when they try that.

    Kinda like how Randy Weaver and David Koresh got away with it, right?

    Or are you saying they were "left-wingers"? I don't think I would disagree.

  • Paul||

    The Democrats previously have been so burned on 2nd amendment issues, that I actually have strong faith that they're going to leave me and my guns alone (for the time being). There are other areas that the Democrats need BIG help on in the arena of Civil liberties so we'll see how they fare. However, when Republicans turned into the Mr. Hyde that Dems always said they'd be, Repubs have very little to complain about.

    That being said, I'm still very skeptical overall. Because I still remember the 1994 era when a Republican received big-heap visceral hatin' by simply suggesting the whittling of a few budgets. Remember those days? Before terrorism was the excuse for Republicans to run amok?

  • Larry A||

    I'm sure there must be more history to it than that. As far as I remember, originally 'open carry' was what was allowed in many places, with concealed carry allowed only to certain people.

    Actually, the "open carry only no concealed" laws became popular after the civil war. Once you couldn't have a "slaves can't own guns" law, forcing everyone to open carry enabled selective enforcement against blacks.

    Nowadays, for whatever odd reason, a lot of people view open carry as some sort of affront, which has resulted in the massive passage of concealed carry reform.

    The first part of this is correct, lots of people worry about open carry. However most of the motivation for the change in concealed carry laws was the fairness issue. Most states had "discretionary" licensing, which results in only the politically-connected getting the licenses. (See California, Maryland, New York, etc.) The shift was to "shall-issue" licensing, where you can only turn down someone who is legally ineligible.

    Current count is 38 shall-issue states, two states (Alaska, Vermont) where no license is required to carry, two states (Illinois, Wisconsin) where any carry is prohibited, and eight remaining discretionary states.

    I thought it was out of pique at their figureheads' being shot dead in the 1960s.

    The (mainly Democratic) gun control movement was alive and well before the 60s assasinations. The killings did, however, provide momentum for the Gun Control Act of 1968 to pass.

    While the Class of 06 Dems may be pro-gun, and may eventually "help move the Democratic party back towards its traditional position of respect for the civil liberties of the American people" I think the current anti-gun party leadership will see the election as a mandate to pass all the same proposals that got them thrown out of office the last time they tried it.

  • ||

    Captain Holly, so what?

    Can you imagine if the 1990's militia movement was a leftist movement, and then some commie blew up a federal building?

  • ||

    "The Democrats previously have been so burned on 2nd amendment issues, that I actually have strong faith that they're going to leave me and my guns alone (for the time being). There are other areas that the Democrats need BIG help on in the arena of Civil liberties so we'll see how they fare."

    Paul, that's about as cautiously optimistic as I'd consider getting. While it's true that a number of the dems that won are somewhat conservative, it doesn't change the fact that the party leadership are hardcore prohibitionists.

  • ||

    I'm mostly a democrat especialy since this latest group of greedheads took over the republican party. This group did more than anyone in the history of the country to destroy our civil rights. Yea they didn't want our guns but they want to give away our jobs, our liberties,our govenment, and squander our national treasure. Yes just about everything but the guns. BTY I am a very strong supporter of the right to bear arms. Especially since this group of militay duty doging,traitorous thieves took over.

  • ||

    I think it's conceivable that the Dems would cede the issue to Republicans in return for, I dunno, laying off teh gays or something.

    I've been trying to float this idea in CA for years, letting gays get married in exchange for getting pistol gripped semiauto rifles. Can't get nobody to bite, though.


    Can you imagine if the 1990's militia movement was a leftist movement, and then some commie blew up a federal building?


    I remember thinking of that possibility. My guess is that it'd have led to a political situation worse than we have today, only several years earlier.

  • Bizarro Democrat||

    While I may personally be opposed to private firearms ownership, I would not interefere with a woman's right to choose whether or not to own and carry a gun.

  • ||

    Can you imagine if the 1990's militia movement was a leftist movement, and then some commie blew up a federal building?

    Been there, done that. Remember the Weathermen? Black Panthers? The Symbionese Liberation Army? Students for Democratic Action? They might not have blown up a Federal Building, but they did alot of other stuff. And we survived.

    Besides, it would be very difficult for the Lefties to form a militia today; they've spent the past 30 years convincing themselves that only drooling inbred Southern hicks own guns.

    Which is why I always get a bemused smile when I hear some disgruntled liberal talking about "civil war" or "revolution": When you don't own any guns, it's going to be a very short war.

  • ||

  • ||

    Captain Holly, let's face it: Even among the right-wingers who own guns and spoil for revolution, the vast majority of them are just fucking awful shots.

  • ||

    Captain Holly, let's face it: Even among the right-wingers who own guns and spoil for revolution, the vast majority of them are just fucking awful shots.

    Can't argue with you there. Alot of them treat their guns and ammo like an emergency bank account: They'll use them when they think they need them. Which turns out to be rarely, if ever.

    I can say from personal experience that if you're not going to the range at least once a month, you'll lose your aim pretty fast.

    And if you're keeping your guns in storage until the Apocalypse, they won't do you much good then.

  • Anon||

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    If another "assault weapons" ban is passed in 2007, with no sunset, I expect some "unintended consequences."

  • ||

    Wow, I can't believe I am hearing some self professed Dems willing to abide by the constitution and allow people to own guns. Joe, are you OK?

  • Robert Goodman||

    "Know when we'll disarm? When those radical right wingers disarm."

  • ||

    They might not have blown up a Federal Building, but they did alot of other stuff. And we survived.

    They did manage to blow up Sterling Hall and kill a researcher in Madison, Wi back in 1970.

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