Gun Control

Guns and the Election: Still Not a Big Deal


In what is really the most glorious possible outcome in this post-Heller and post-McDonald world, guns and the Second Amendment continued to be something of little import in national elections yesterday.

Despite gun-rightsers fears of Obama I expect this will continue to be the case. (No point giving the GOP base a really good reason to get out and vote for them.)

Some in the American gun rights world are very alarmed that the administration today voted for more debate on a proposed United Nations' Arms Control Treaty, a debate that will resume in March. But I don't think they have any reason to believe such a treaty, if ever completed and enacted, will impact domestic gun owner rights.

David Kopel at does sum up his sense of how the cause of gun rights fared during yesterday's vote. He sees a net 1.5 plus with Ted Cruz now in the Senate from Texas (his experience as Texas solicitor general gave him great pro-Second Amendment knowledge and cred) and a net 12.5 loss in the House in terms of strong Second Amendment support.

Still, I don't expect legislating on guns to be a part of Congress's agenda in the near future anyway, despite this year's string of high-profile mass shootings. Gun control is blessedly for now a largely dead issue in American national politics.

At his Arms and the Law blog, gun scholar David Hardy celebrates something that happened in Louisiana this week: 

Louisiana has become the first State with a constitutional provision mandating strict scrutiny in reviewing the constitutionality of gun laws. With "shall-issue" having succeeded everywhere it's likely to, and some places where it wasn't likely, this may be the next wave.

Eugene Volokh wonders what Louisiana laws might fall with this new standard in place:

1. The New Orleans ban on stun guns should, I think, be especially clearly unconstitutional.

2. The denial of concealed gun carry permits to 18-to-20-year-olds ought to be particularly vulnerable as well. The recent NRA v. BATF (2d Cir. Oct. 25, 2012) held that the federal ban on dealer sales of handguns to 18-to-20-year-olds doesn't violate the Second Amendment, and the Court said in dictum in D.C. v. Heller that concealed carry restrictions generally don't violate the Second Amendment. But the more specific language of the Louisiana provision, coupled with the deletion of the concealed carry exception, might well make a difference.

From March, earlier blogging from me on the significance of scrutiny standards in evolving Second Amendment jurisprudence.

My book, Gun Control on Trial.

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  1. Anything David Hardy writes on guns should be read early and often. That is all.

  2. Obama sold out ultraliberals on gun control in order to get, and stay elected.

    I’m glad he did. I’m not against all gun control, but it’s not worth losing any elections over.

    1. Cool

    2. Neither was Global Warming. God love Obama for killing Global Warming.

      1. Not so fast.

        Pretty sure the EPA is about tax the shit out of us over global warming.

        1. No they aren’t. They tried to “tax” coal and failed due to a lower court ruling.

          The EPA cannot levy a real tax. They can only require legislated pollution standards.

          This is why I hate arguing with conservatives – your dishonesty.

          1. It’s not dishonesty if you’re ignorant!

          2. Did you just call me a conservative Shrike?

            cuz that is funny.

            1. By the way shrike why is the stock market gong down a hole?

              I honestly don’t know but your analysis on such subjects is always amusing.

          3. They can only require legislated pollution standards.

            Speaking of dishonesty… point to where CO2 pollution standards that they plan on enforcing were legislated.

          4. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

            The EPA cannot levy a real tax.

            ANYTHING that destroys or takes production is a tax, and is very real.

            This is why I hate arguing with economics ignoramuses – your stupidity.

          5. This is why I hate arguing with conservatives – your dishonesty.

            Arguing? Like debate? I thought this was the snark section!

            Conservative? OK, why not? Libertarians only disagree with conservatives on abortion, minority, gay & women’s rights, art, pornography, censorship, the draft, the drug war, corporate welfare… I could probably come up with more, but I’m not exactly a libertarian.

  3. So I guess we’re supposed to ignore what Obama said during the second debate, about wanting to get an assault weapons ban reintroduced?

    1. With a republican controlled congress in post Heller America?

      Yes we should ignore it.

    2. You’d do well to ignore everything Obama says. If Obama makes a promise to his base, expect it to not only be broken, but acted directly against.

      I’m convinced that’s how he keeps his support. He’s like that hot chick that keeps winking at you and promising sex… soon…

      1. Actually, that seems like a fairly reasonable assessment of most politicians.

      2. Because Obama is center-right and his “base” is leftish.

        If Obama ran as an (R) the Heritage Foundation would kneel in respect.

        Hawkish and a deficit cutting record? Bill Kristol would fellate him on Fox News with an (R) by his name.

        1. “deficit cutting record”


          1. Idiot. The deficit is lower than Bush’s 2008-09 deficit.

            I get tired of posting the CBO link.

            Quit listening to Hannity and leave the GOP bubble.

            1. The deficit is lower than Bush’s 2008-09 deficit.

              $500 billion of that “Bush deficit” was signed by Obama in February of 2009.


            2. I don’t listen to Hannity dumb fuck.

              In addition to Corning’s link, why the fuck should Obama get credit for basically setting the giant final Bush deficit into permanent stone?

        2. Because Obama is center-right

          I can’t figure out whether you are delusional, or just contemptuous of our ability to recognize blatant lies.

          1. Obama is hawkish, dumbass. He adopted the Romney/Heritage health plan for mandates. He expanded the Bush tax cuts. He is for FISA telecom intervention.

            Get out of the GOP bubble, man! Some here call him Bush III.

            1. Wow Shrike you are on a rampage.

            2. Obama is not hawkish, he’s a megalomaniac and a totalitarian. On any issue where individual liberty and government power conflict, he will always side against liberty. A typical progressive. Like you.

              1. This is why Republicans lost. A complete lack of perspective.

                Yes, the guy who ended torture (running against a guy was on the record about his plan to reinstate enhanced interrogation), came out for gay marriage— always sides against liberty.

                Jesus fuck guys. He isn’t near perfect, but compared to what the Republicans had in mind?

                We probably avoided a war with Iran last night.

                1. “Better than Mitt Romney” is the lowest of low bars to clear. This is the guy who signed indefinite detention into law and created kill lists. Fuck him.

            3. “Obama is hawkish, dumbass.”

              So was Stalin, nitwit. Being a hawk is an asshole trait, not a right-wing one.

      3. He’s like that hot chick that keeps winking at you and promising sex… soon…

        You’re being way too kind to this sociopath, who is more like a charismatic boyfriend who alternates between beating the crap out of his string of girls with low self-esteem, and bringing them roses while promising that this time he’s changed.

    3. It won’t pass the House, so we don’t have to worry about it for 2 more years.

    4. You mean the almost entirely symbolic assault weapons ban?

      Somehow the Republic survived the last one; as far as lame bones thrown to the base goes, I think we can safely ignore this one.

  4. South Park. Star Wars. Disney.

    1. Meh

    2. I’ve been kind of disappointed by the 3 or so episodes I’ve seen from the current half-season.

  5. I’m very happy that guns are a largely dead issue. I am a very avid gun owner.

    I’ve lived in Brooklyn, New Jersey and now Philadelphia. There is a chance in the future, I might be back in New Jersey. I put up with enough at the local level. I put up with a lot at the local level.

  6. I can’t think of anything to say about guns that hasn’t already been said.

    From O. Henry, The Princess and the Puma.

  7. I’ve lived in Brooklyn, New Jersey and now Philadelphia.

    I’m not a trained psychologist, but I’m seeing a pattern here.

  8. This is why it’s hard to take Reason seriously as an everyday libertarian magazine, rather than a Washington insider “guns are icky” type.

    Most of the gun rights stuff depends on the Supreme Court, which was only 5-4 in favor. Not to mention all the other methods Obama can use, like the EPA (which has already tried to ban lead ammo)

    1. Huh? What has Reason ever published that is not strongly for gun rights?

  9. Most of the time, however, Obama’s reversals have taken a different form. Rather than Dr Dre Beats openly reversing himself like Romney, Obama declares his position on a matter, fails to follow through with actions that support that position, and then when Beats By Dre Australia questioned about it insists that his position has not changed.

  10. I think a strong case can be made that running or supporting candidates for office is entirely a dead end. Ballot initiatives certainly look more promising, as do lawsuits.

  11. Thats because guns are jsut cool liek that.

  12. We sure as hell love our guns here in Texas. I certainly love mine. But even here you have to be at least 21 to have a concealed handgun permit. I really don’t have a problem with that restriction but if it was up to me permits wouldn’t even be required. I think any citizen or legal resident over 18 who’s never been convicted of a VIOLENT felony should be allowed to carry a gun without a permit, concealed or openly.

  13. Ummm, most gun people aren’t really afraid that the UN small arms treaty will be implemented here; they’re afraid that it will be implemented everywhere else. I don’t know if you know this or not, Brian, but many firearms are imported into America and American manufacturers sell their wares internationally.

    The fear is that onerous international regulations will: A) drive sky-high prices even higher, and B) create databases of end-consumer information.

    Sure, there are loonies out there that think European assholes will be dropping out of black helicopters to take their guns, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be real negative repercussions for American firearm owners.

    1. ^This^

      Hate to say it, but the article is rather dismissive of the UN power grab. I understand that it seems to be intended to allay fears, but sounds more like a jab at a political party. If it’s about the issue of gun ownership, at least state that the resolution is troubling for others, even if ownership in the U.S. isn’t likely to be affected.

      So, yeah… remind the worriers that we have plenty to be happy about and less to fear than they think. Is that so difficult?

  14. How ’bout a hat tip to Oleg Volk for using one of his images?

  15. Should average citizens be allowed to use guns? Will gun control deter gun violence?
    Here’s a humorous take on the issue:

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