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Is Reapportionment Good for Gun Owners?

I put up a quick hits post this morning on PAGunRights with various federal election stories that will impact Pennsylvania gun owners, including this piece that notes the Keystone State has lost more Congressional seats than any other state in history. An astute reader took note, and made a compelling argument that even though we might lose a seat, it may not be bad for gun rights.

States like Texas, Arizona, Utah, Florida, Georgia, etc. are usually (not always) sending pro 2nd Amendment representatives to the House and states like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc. are quite the contrary. …

Some of the other states that are losing a Rep are mixed bag of ratings but in general, it seems as this reapportionment would be a good thing for pro 2nd Amendment issues.

He noted that this is a theory, and it is correct as a theory. But damn it, real life may get in the way, or it could make his observation 100% spot on. The unknown factors will be state elections.

The Pennsylvania Concern
We’re most likely to lose a pro-gun seat. Regardless of which party controls the state House & Governor’s Mansion, the logical elimination in Pennsylvania is Murtha’s old seat. It doesn’t matter which party wins the special election to replace Murtha, they won’t be an entrenched incumbent. It’s also probably easier to absorb that corner of the state into the various district around it – it touches 4 other districts & is close to 2 more. That would allow the suburban districts around Philadelphia to simply “grow” west since we are likely the source of any growth in population.

Murtha’s seat is pro-gun, regardless of party, so that’s a loss right there. The expansion of seats in suburban Philadelphia will make it harder to hold on in close races, especially for two pro-gun votes in Reps. Charlie Dent & Jim Gerlach. But since it’s all politics, the logical thing to do might be ignored, and my assessment could be 100% opposite of what they actually do during reapportionment.

Those Other States
While culturally, many of the states slated to gain seats are pro-gun, most have portions that are most decidedly not friendly to our rights. Texas will likely see the most growth around Houston because of all of the Katrina evacuees, and those votes will not be in our favor. Arizona could be good for us, but even it has some anti-gunners in office. I am venturing to guess that their growth is mostly around Phoenix which has also been the source of many state lawmakers who get in the way of a pro-gun agenda.

Georgia’s growth, I assume, is probably centered around Atlanta which may be hit or miss depending on where the seats go. Nevada and Utah should, generally, be pretty safe. Though it really depends on where the transplants to Nevada are coming from – if it’s a bunch of Californians, that may not be good for us. Florida also produces as many anti-gun votes as pro-gun votes. Again, it depends on where their growth has been during the last 10 years.

The Solution
Voters in all of the states slated to gain a seat have to put pro-gun majorities in their state legislatures this year. Whoever has control of state houses after the November elections will decide who has power for the next decade. Gerrymandering is never a pretty sight to see, but it will happen. The question is whether we’ll have any kind of say in the process.

Here in Pennsylvania, we’ll benefit more by putting Republicans in power. The voters in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Utah, and other states will need to examine their own states to see which seats need to flip to seal majorities in their legislatures for pro-gun lawmakers.

My other tip is to not get lost in the federal battles alone this year. While it is important to flip Congress, because of reapportionment, you cannot afford to ignore your state representative and senate seats, either. This is not a year to sit on your ass. Write checks or start walking precincts.

8 Responses to “Is Reapportionment Good for Gun Owners?”

  1. Jake says:

    Georgia’s growth is not entirely centered around Atlanta. What is is in affluent Republican-voting areas. Quite a bit of growth seems to be coming around the center of the state, which is currently Barrow, Marshall, and Bishop territory. Barrow and Marshall are facing tough challenges this year but the Republicans who could replace them are very pro-2A. I’ve done very little research on Bishop’s district, though…

    • Bitter says:

      That’s very good to hear. It’s always a tough game to guess how districts will be divided. Every district will have to have a similar number of residents, so that’s why it is good to focus on the areas that have seen the most growth.

  2. Thirdpower says:

    Illinois is looking to lose one as well. W/ the severe gerrymandering that goes on here, it will most likely be a ‘pro-gun’ one .

    • Bitter says:

      Any idea on who they might target? I would assume a Republican. If they want an easy out, Mark Kirk’s seat won’t have a long-term incumbent in it which would minimize the need for a turf war. Though I’m sure that Chicago Democrats wouldn’t want to make it that easy.

  3. Reese says:

    If Utah picks up a 4th congressional seat, which it most likely will, our redistricting is going to be MESSY. Years ago when out legislature redrew district lines they tried to break up the Salt Lake City metropolitan area as much as possible to guarantee three (R) candidates. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=UT) As it stands our only (D) congressman is in our 2nd District (Blue Dog Jim Matheson), but that seat tends to shift back and forth.

    Some people here want to cut most of the Salt Lake metro area out into its own district, which would be heavily (D) and very anti-gun.

  4. Though it really depends on where the transplants to Nevada are coming from – if it’s a bunch of Californians, that may not be good for us.

    Yeah, you know how us ex-Californians are about guns!

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