Friday, April 10, 2009

No Time To Get Complacent

Despite having the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the most anti-gun President in history, AND the most anti-gun Attorney General in history, the anti-Second Amendment forces are weaker than they have been in the last fifty years.

Good work, everybody!

As recently as last December, the New York Times was trumpeting "The Gun Lobby's Loss".

In spite of the tragic recent shootings, Pelosi, Holder, and even Feinstein (Feinstein!) are publicly and explicitly backing away from federal gun control. The White House is mute on the subject; "no plans to offer new legislation," says Press Secretary Gibbs. Holder says he looks forward to working with the NRA! Sec. of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about gun smuggling, but has been silent on the subject for the last three weeks; no doubt she has been firmly reminded by the White House that the State Dept. does not set domestic policy. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer has been reluctant to champion gun control legislation; for the last four years he was in charge of getting Democrats elected to the Senate, and he was probably shocked to discover the animosity to gun control out there in "fly-over country." And the new junior Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, despite enormous pressure from the Usual Suspects (NYT, Manhattan intelligentsia, etc.), is not a reliable vote for gun control. Although her current position is a little amorphous.

Since 1960, the Gallup Poll has been asking Americans if they favor a ban on civilian ownership of handguns. At last count only 29% of Americans favored such a ban, "... the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago."

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that public support for gun control has plunged from 54% to 39%.

But the worst thing we can do is to get complacent. Our current situation is analogous to the position of The Brady Center in 1994, immediately after the passage of the AWB. Here we are, fifteen years later, and some of them are talking about "the death of the gun control movement." Back then, in 1994, they probably thought it was inconceivable that they could fall so far, so fast. But the same thing could happen to us.

h/t Sailor Curt.

[Edited to correct the sources of the polling data.]

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