Guns 'N' Voters: American Democracy


Gun guru and reason contributor David Kopel provides a detailed election-by-election account of what's at stake on the federal and gubernatorial level for gun rights this Tuesday in our first post-Heller national election. Especially worth reading for those who assume an Obama victory Tuesday = jackbooted thugs stealing all your weapons come January. An excerpt:

….the good news is that the gun issue is increasingly non-partisan. We can see this every day in the Senate, where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is friendlier towards the Second Amendment than was Republican Senate majority leader Howard Baker in the 1980s.

….The very worst-case scenario for the Second Amendment is -7 in the Senate, and -26 in the House. This would be a terrible outcome, but it is considerably better than the very worst-case scenario for Republicans in both houses. That the former is better than the latter reflects the National Rifle Association's success in working with pro-gun Democrats. Obviously the more realistic scenario would be smaller losses in both houses, with perhaps a few pick-ups in the U.S. House.

There are a lot of races were pro-gun Republican incumbents are being challenged by pro-gun Democrats — no net loss for the Second Amendment. As for the races where anti-gun Republicans face anti-gun Democrats, there is a peripheral Second Amendment value in a Republican win, in that it is important for the Democrats' margin of control to depend on pro-gun Democrats; that way, the leadership sees the issue as a crucial one.

My book on the Heller case and all the many controversies surrounding gun control, Gun Control on Trial, will be out any week now. Look for a pulse-pounding excerpt in the December reason.