In 2018, the United States House of Representatives flipped from Republican control to Democrat. In the wake of numerous mass shootings, we knew damn good and well that they were going to try to cram gun control down our throats, and they did. The immediately went to work passing numerous gun control bills.

To make matters worse, a handful of mass shootings did a number on the Republican Party. Even President Trump was open to gun control.

So what happened?

Rather than wheel and deal to get what they wanted, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her compatriots decided to skip all of that and push for impeachment instead. They had shaky evidence of Trump having done anything wrong, but they pushed forward anyway.

While many on the right have been infuriated by the impeachment, those of us focused on gun rights should look at it as something of a blessing. After all, Pelosi sank the best chance Democrats had of passing gun control.

By pushing for impeachment, Pelosi alienated Trump and the Senate Republicans she needed if there was ever going to be a chance in hell of them getting gun control passed. Neither had any reason to work with her, especially Trump. That didn’t stop Pelosi from asking, of course. She wasn’t the only Democrat to make such demands, either.

The thing is, anyone with half a brain knows why Trump didn’t.

Yes, that includes members of the House.

Schumer and Pelosi made requests/demands because they have to follow form, but they knew they weren’t going to get gun control. They knew Trump wasn’t going to work with them on something his own base so vehemently opposed. They may be dumb, but they’re not really that dumb.

We know they’re not that dumb because since they started their impeachment nonsense, they’ve stopped pushing so hard for gun control. They know it’s a lost cause.

So why are they doing it?

It’s possible they really think they can impeach Trump and have an easier time in the general election with a President Mike Pence than with Trump a second time around. They damn sure can’t believe that Pence will somehow back their insanity. I don’t think that’s particularly likely, of course. Impeachment isn’t really going to have any bearing on anything since the Senate isn’t likely to do what the House wants them to do, and we all know Pence isn’t going to back gun control.

Yet if they really are that deluded, stopping gun control efforts now might make sense, at least from their standpoint. A president removed from office would be a huge blow to Republicans. Potentially one big enough to hurt them in the election later this year, thus handing control of the Senate over to the Democrats as well.

At least, that’s what they think.

Regardless, though, the one thing we can all be certain of is that the silence on gun issues isn’t because anyone in the House has suddenly seen the error of their ways. This is only a lull before the storm that Democrats hope is coming.

That means this coming election is–and please pardon the cliche–the most important election of our lifetimes. It’s vital that, at a minimum, we hold ground. Ideally, we need to see pro-gunners take back the House as well as maintaining control of the White House and the Senate. We need this because if they get the power, we’ll see the return of gun control on a scale we’ve likely ever seen before.