More Good News For Gun Owners From State Elections

With one very notable exception at the top of the ticket (and we’ll see how that ends up), the 2020 elections are shaping up to be a very good one for gun owners, despite the massive spending on the part of gun control groups like Brady and Everytown as well as Michael Bloomberg himself in support of anti-gun candidates.

At the local level, pro-gun candidates made some big gains in state legislative races, and more importantly, anti-gun politicians gained almost no ground at all. As Politico described the scope of the GOP victories a week ago:

Votes are still being tallied, but it appears Democrats missed nearly all of their top targets — though there’s a slight chance they could gain control in the Arizona House and Senate. Party operatives concede they are not on track to win the Michigan or the Iowa houses, either chamber in Pennsylvania or the Minnesota state Senate, which was their most promising target this cycle.

Democrats did not flip the two seats needed to claim the majority in Minnesota’s upper chamber, which would have given them trifecta control of both chambers and the governor’s office.That outcome gives them less of an opening to protect some of the Democratic incumbents clustered around the Twin Cities next year when Minnesota is likely to lose a seat in the next redistricting.

The biggest disappointment came in the seat-rich state of Texas, Democrats needed nine seats to reclaim the majority after flipping a dozen in the midterms. Though some races remain uncalled, so far Democrats were able to unseat one incumbent and Republicans offset that with another pickup.

More votes have been tallied since the Politico piece came out, and the good news keeps coming for gun owners.

Oregon’s legislature was never going to flip to a pro-gun majority this year, but Democrats won’t get the seats they need to prevent Republicans from walking out of the session and deny Democrats a quorum on divisive and controversial issues, including gun control measures. Republicans used the tactic on several occasions this year, and they’ll still be able to keep the anti-gun legislators in check in the next session.

There’s also good news out of Georgia, where the leader of the Democrats in the state House was sent packing after a meteoric rise from freshman representative in 2014 to being elected House Minority Leader in 2017. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a fascinating piece on Bob Trammell’s loss to Republican David Jenkins (an army veteran and goat farmer) that’s worth reading in its entirety, especially if you’re interested in how Democrats are hurting themselves in rural America, but it makes it clear that gun control is absolutely crippling Democrats’ opportunities beyond the beltways of the state’s bigger cities.

State Rep. Alan Powell, a Hartwell Republican who switched parties in 2010, said white rural Democrats have become “a thing of the past.” He was first elected as a Democrat in 1990.

“That old philosophy that we have two Georgias — that’s exactly right. It’s metro versus rural,” Powell said. “Metro areas, they tend to be a conglomeration of people that are people of color or they’re younger or college students, those folks they have different issues. … Rural folks tend to be more conservative, and they seem to be more independent.”

Buckner said that rural voters identify all Democrats with the party’s support of polarizing issues, such as gun control and access to abortion, which don’t align with their beliefs. But issues such as access to quality broadband service and clean water are topics most rural voters support, regardless of party affiliation, Buckner said.

I see the same dynamic at work where I live, in one of those rural counties that went for Obama/Biden in 2008 and 2012, but swung to Trump in 2016. Trump won the county handily this year as well, and the pro-gun Republican congressional candidate ended up winning an open seat handily over a highly touted and heavily funded Democratic opponent. Dr. Cameron Webb did everything he could to portray himself as a moderate, even releasing campaign ads showing him shooting skeet, but every gun owner in Virginia’s 5th District knew that Webb would be voting for Joe Biden’s anti-gun legislation if he was elected.

With Republicans in control of redistricting in a majority of statehouses around the country, Democrats aren’t going to be able to draw up maps that are friendly to controlling statehouses for the next decade. They’re further going to be hampered in rural and exurban areas with their outright hostility towards the Second Amendment, but for the moment, anyway, that’s what their urban and democratic socialist base demands.

Political logic would dictate that Democrats should start to treat the Second Amendment and those who exercise their right to keep and bear arms with a little more respect, at least as voters if not as fellow citizens. I don’t think the AOC’s of the party have it in them, however. Their contempt for gun owners is too strong, even if they can’t quite reconcile their support for criminalizing the Second Amendment while calling for defunding the police and opening up the doors of prisons everywhere.