Tuesday’s Gone, With The Wind…

…and with it perhaps any certainty of holding the line on any further infringements on the people’s natural right to keep and bear arms.
Ask ten different people about that and you’re probably going to get ten different answers. Dave Kopel, in National Review, sees things as not being nearly as bad as they could be, though with at least a couple of caveats…

Things look a lot better for the Second Amendment than they do for the Republican party. A race-by-race analysis of the Senate suggests that, while party control of the Senate could change, the Senate is very likely to retain a pro-gun working majority.
A 50-seat tsunami in the House would result in a gain of over two dozen seats for anti-gun forces; the more realistic scenario is a total Democratic gain of 30 of less, with about half of the freshman Democrats being anti-gun. This would leave the House with a fairly comfortable pro-Second Amendment majority.
In the governors’ mansions, gun owners could even come out ahead on this election, if pro-Second Amendment candidates hold on in some close races; gun owners already have one big gain sewed up, since Ohio’s governorship will be changing from an anti-gun Republican Taft to a pro-gun Democrat Strickland.
In Congress, changes in party control would have a significant effect on gun rights. Senate-Majority-Leader-in-waiting Harry Reid has a good record on gun issues, and played a major role in the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act.Yet although a Democratic Senate would contain more pro-gun rights Democrats than the chamber has seen for over 15 years, Reid would still be beholden to a caucus in which anti-gun senators would be a very large majority, and in which all presidential contenders would have a poor (Feingold, Bayh) to terrible (Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama) record on gun issues.
Significantly, while a Democratic Senate might have a pro-gun floor majority, it would not invoke the nuclear option against a Supreme Court nomination filibuster. This wouldn’t matter much anyway if President Bush were to nominate Alberto Gonzales, whom Second Amendment activists would have little reason to support, but there is reason to hope that the president might choose a better nominee.
Although the floor of the U.S. House will still have a pro-gun majority, a Speaker Pelosi, with her perfect anti-gun voting record, would almost certainly bring forward anti-gun bills when she decided the time was ripe. John Conyers, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Louise Slaughter, as chair of the Rules Committee, would ensure that no pro-Second Amendment legislation was ever brought to the floor, except in the very unlikely event that a majority of the entire House signed a discharge petition.

And, of course, if you ask ten different gun owners about the future, you’ll get ten different answers there as well, from “door-to-door confiscations are on the horizon!” to “Two years, they ain’t gon’ be able to do that much…”
As for me, I really don’t know. Bill Clinton admitted that the NRA and gun owners cost Democrats control of Congress last time, and even that bill was not as bad as it could have been, it being the largely symbolic bill that it was along with its grandfather clause for existing weapons, thereby avoiding the “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in,” and potential door-to-door confiscations. Even with those caveats, the 10-year sunset provision had to be put in because it wouldn’t have passed otherwise, and still the Democrats took the beating on Election Day 1994. Gun owners no doubt have very long memories, and it remains to see whether the leftists who will soon be at the levers of power in Congress remember this, but no matter what happens, the fact is the Republicans lost because they lost touch with the people who sent them to Washington in 1994. It’s really just that simple. Bans on gay marriage and flag-burning? Federal plans to pay for prescription drugs? Amnesty for illegal aliens because they supposedly “do the jobs Americans won’t do”? Between the RINOs on the left flank and the “social conservatives” on the right flank, the Republican base was more or less taken for granted, effectively shut out. And the chickens have come home to roost.
And where do the gun owners like myself come in on this? Well, that one probably requires more time than I have this morning to give a full answer to, but the biggest thing, I think, is that it all boils down to less government intrusion on all fronts and more adherence to what the Constitution demands of our government. And wasting time on issues like gay marriage and flag-burning is wasting time that could be spent on other, more important things, like, say, securing the southern border from illegals and foreign terrorists with suitcase nukes (you know, providing for the common defense as mandated by the preamble to the Constitution). If the national GOP has any sense at all, they’ll take Tuesday’s results as a warning: If you try to outflank the Democrats on the left, you have just obliterated your base’s reasons for voting for you. Get back to work on keeping our taxes low, cutting spending, securing our borders and getting rid of the presumption of guilt for gun owners and potential gun owners. On that last thing? Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we have to start somewhere.
Many gun owners are pondering getting something like an M1A or AR-15 now, before they’re banned, yet again. If I had the money (for that, or one of Ronnie Barrett’s M82A1s), I’d spring for one, but as it is, it looks like all I’m going to be able to afford is another 1911 (and believe me, I am not complaining!) or something like a Ruger Mini-30. We shall see…

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