For a while, gun rights was ascendant in this country. With a few exceptions, rights were being restored all over the nation. On the federal level, we appeared to be poised to be able to buy suppressors over the counter and weren’t remotely worried about losing any ground there. Sure, the odd anti-gun bill would be introduced in Congress, but it rarely had enough co-sponsors to rise to the level of toilet paper.
It was a good time.
Then Parkland happened. The media went on the offensive and tried to turn people like David Hogg into anti-gun rock stars.
And, frankly, it worked. It worked pretty damn well, all things considered. Anti-gun laws were sprouting up across the nation. Virginia flipped from red to blue, supposedly in part due to the GOP’s opposition to gun control.
Yet now there seem to be some indicators that gun control is losing once again.
While much of our politics in this unusual year have become murkier, this year has produced one clear loser: gun control.
It may seem counterintuitive with Democrats fielding the most anti-Second Amendment presidential ticket of all time, but gun control groups and activists are falling short across the political landscape. Even in a political environment favoring Democrats in November, the gun control movement has failed to get any traction.
In the courts, gun control groups have complained that California’s ban on high-capacity magazines and background checks for buying ammunition were given to a biased judge, as both were struck down. Gun control legislation is about to have a much tougher time in the courts with Amy Coney Barrett’s impending confirmation to the Supreme Court, after years of Chief Justice John Roberts refusing to defend the Second Amendment.
Gun control groups are also being outspent during this election cycle. The National Rifle Association has spent just over half of what it did during the 2016 cycle, yet it has still outspent the top three gun control groups, including the Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety.
Additionally, there are millions upon millions of new gun owners running around. While they’re not all gun voters just now, they’re not likely to be anti-gunners, especially since so many have seen the anti-gun rhetoric turn out to be nothing but lies.
Further, though the above-linked article notes that the Democratic nominees are pretty much the most anti-gun ticket in history, there’s one subject they seem to be avoiding as much as possible. That’s gun control.
The 2020 primary season started off with gun control poised to be a top issue for Democrats, yet candidates who focused on that issue fell by the wayside pretty quickly. Rep. Eric Swalwell and Beto O’Rourke dropped out of the race and made almost no impact much of anywhere. Now in the general election, Biden and Harris aren’t exactly hiding their gun policy proposals, but they’re not talking about them either.
You can’t help but wonder just how much the campaign knows about how Americans are feeling regarding gun control right now. After all, there’s a reason they’re not talking about it now, and it’s probably because they know damn good and well it won’t play as well right about now.
So yeah, gun control sure looks to be a loser, which is a nice change of pace.