Guns: As American As Decrying Liberal Elites


Some more reasons why severe restrictions on gun rights from the federal government are unlikely if the Democrats are concerned with their political future, from Washington pundit Michael Barone:

On guns, Gallup has been testing opinion for many years on one extreme proposal that is the goal, usually unstated, of many gun control advocates: banning the possession of handguns. Support was 60 percent in 1960 and 49 percent in 1965. It was as high as 43 percent in the early 1990s, before the Clinton Congress passed the so-called assault weapon ban. In March 2007 it had fallen to 29 percent — a minority, almost a fringe position. In the early 1990s Gallup found that Americans by a 2-1 margin favored stricter gun sale laws over less strict ones or keeping them the same. By fall 2008 they were evenly split.

Some of these shifts in opinion may be responses to events that liberal elites have not deigned to notice. Forty of the 50 states now have concealed weapons laws that allow law-abiding citizens to get permits to carry guns. Gun controllers predicted these would result in traffic shootouts and general mayhem. They haven't. It turns out that criminals are deterred from attacks less by gun control laws than by the possibility that their intended victims may be armed.

I wondered back in January if Obama and the Democratic Congress were going to shoot themselves in the foot on the gun issue. And for all you ever wanted to know about gun control, see my new book Gun Control on Trial.