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Elections 2014: How Did We Fare?

For me the big prize was Hickenlooper, and that race is still too close to call. Same with Malloy in Connecticut. I’m pessimistic, because close races almost always resolve in favor of the Democrat. Still, I’ll take giving them a close shave. Malloy especially, is a deep blue state incumbent Governor. That race should have been a cakewalk for him and it wasn’t. Hickenlooper also should have sailed to re-election. Things are still close in the Colorado Senate race. We won in Maryland, which was an open seat. That was surprising. Cuomo handily won re-election, but that was not a surprise.

We did not do well on the Background Check initiative in Washington. It passed about 60/40. The competing 591 got voted down outright. Billionaire assholes can buy elections folks. That result means they will try that again elsewhere where they have the ballot as a weapon. Oregon gun owners: I’d be getting nervous.

All in all, I don’t think it was a bad night for gun owners, but it was not as good as it could have been, when compared to how the GOP did as a whole. The GOP would do well not to take this election as a mandate. This was a vote repudiating Obama, not a vote for the GOP. They just happened to be lucky enough to be the not Obama.

17 Responses to “Elections 2014: How Did We Fare?”

  1. Whetherman says:

    Yes. I’m encouraging everyone to make a note to themselves in their diaries to see if the fortunes of gun owners have advanced significantly in two years, proportional to some of the giddiness I’m hearing over the Republican “rout.”

    With regard to the “background check” issue I can’t help thinking we are seeing the product of our own acceptance of the concept, and almost total lack of enthusiasm on our part for resisting it at any level. I well remember when, ca. the early 1990s, a county gun group I was involved with would gig a candidate who said they did not support “Instant Background Checks” as having given an anti-gun answer. “Instant Background Checks” being yet on the technological horizon, they were considered the Gold Standard of desirability as compared to waiting periods, which prevailed at the time. Yet both were in principle the same thing, so, now we are seeing the product of the gun rights movement choosing the lesser of two evils, supporting gun control, and eventually getting their wish for evil. The slippery slope was just not as steep, though possibly more slippery, and the public has taken our word for what we want.

  2. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    Congress: A great night. Gun owners have a more friendly Senate to work with and Republicans seem to have picked up even more House seats than most pundits were calling. But as much as I know the NRA is going to spin it, I don’t think this election had all that much to do with “Defeating Bloomberg” as it was more of a repudiation of Obama on other issues.

    I-594: It’s passage sucks big time on a PR level, since Bloomberg’s minions are already claiming a mandate and are hinting at copying/pasting this monstrosity elsewhere. Its passage also has me worried because it shows the antis that ditching Congress altogether and focusing on bringing gun control to the states via more local means can be more successful.

    Pennsylvania: The Wolf victory was expected but still sobering, however Rs romped the state races and built even larger majorities in the House and Senate. I’m no fan of establishment Rs here but if they manage to be a bulwark against any anti-gun schemes by Wolf I’ll be satisfied enough with them.

    • The_Jack says:

      The antis have also learned that last year’s “kitchen sink” approach gets them more heat (When they added mag bans, gun bans, and sales bans to the Senate)

      And they can have more luck if they don’t ban the guns themselves, but ban various transfers, and build registries.

      Also to watch is how these laws fail, since the antis love making lemonade out of lemon laws (that is justifying their next shiny law based on the failures of their previous law).

  3. corvus says:

    As an Oregon gun owner, I AM nervous. Not only will the I-594 victory in Washington embolden the anti-gun crowd, but Oregon kept its Dem governor and elected Dem majorities in the state senate and house (http://gov.oregonlive.com/election/). The anti-gun loons won’t even need to propose their measures as initiatives to get them passed here.

    Oregon already passed a “gun show background check” initiative in 2000 but it didn’t touch private sales outside gun shows. I would not be surprised by a 594-style blanket ban on private sales and possibly CO or CT style magazine and “assault weapon” limits once they get a head of steam going.

    • The_Jack says:

      That’s what happened in New York. First they “closed the gunshow loopehole” that is baned private sales at gun shows.

      Then they screamed about how people were having “parking lot sales!” and used SAFE to go for a total sale ban.

    • AnOregonian says:

      In Oregon, what gun owners are going to be offered is to either take a dusted off SB700 or get a copy of i594 at the polls. With those options I can’t exactly fault people for taking the lesser evil.

      That said, I’ll be in Salem this February telling Prozanski where to stuff it!

    • Archer says:

      Another Oregon gun owner here, and I’m nervous as heck, too. We simply don’t have the resources to go toe-to-toe with Bloomberg – I haven’t noticed much of a NRA presence, and the Oregon Firearms Federation runs on a shoe-string budget – and Oregon’s “Gun Culture 2.0” isn’t NEARLY as strong as Washington’s, in my opinion (if you have more hopeful words for me, or evidence that I’m wrong, I’d love to read them).

      The “gun show loophole” has been closed for nearly a decade and a half, yet the anti-rights people still shriek about it because what they’re REALLY after is a ban on all private sales. Overall, we haven’t had it too bad – no “assault weapon” bans, no magazine limits, no private sale bans, no private transfer reporting (a.k.a. registries of private transfers, retail sales are still recorded), no bans on lead and/or hollow-point ammo, “shall-issue” CHLs with reasonable fees, few restrictions on carry, etc. – but I fully expect that to change in the next few years.

  4. Sebastian says:

    The one thing I’d note from the WA ballot initiative is that it’s abundantly clear this is not an 96% issue as the gun control people suggest. It’s not even that in a deep blue state.

  5. Benjamin Warren says:

    Washingtonian here. Is there any chance of this getting struck down in the courts?

    • Sebastian says:

      For the foreseeable future, no. I don’t expect he courts to strike down regulating private sales. However, with a few more favorable Supreme Court ruling, you may be able to get some of the transfer bans struck down as being overly broad. But that’s going to take a long time.

      • Jeremy says:

        Washington has a ‘Single Subject’ rule for initiatives, and 594 covers several different subjects. This is a likely venue for reversal. See a bunch of Tim Eyman initiatives over the last several years as an example of this in action.

        There’s a number of other issues with it. Suffice it to say it should see a courtroom right quick. What happens there is anyone’s guess.

        Either way, I haven’t talked to anyone over the last several months that intends to comply. Assuming any sheriff outside of the Puget Sound area would even enforce it. Mine doesn’t plan on it.

  6. I’m not sure how the Colorado and CT gubernatorial races will turn out. I’m not too optimistic on that.

    One race of note that seems to be turning out in our favor is the AZ-2nd race between Ron Barber and Martha McSally. McSally is now leading by 36 votes with rather conservative county yet to be tallied. If that holds up, it will be a big slap in the face to Gabby and the Space Cowboy.

    As to I-594, remember it is an initiative. The Washington legislature can’t modify it in any way for two years. After that, it is fair game. So it could be two years of hell with many changes after that.

  7. aerodawg says:

    We got a constitutional amendment requiring strict scrutiny of all gun control laws by the courts down here in AL. Passed 70-30 approx. That’s a good win.

  8. Peter O says:

    Remember that Maryland, though technically an ‘open’ seat, the Dem nominee was the current Lt.Gov. This can definitely be chalked up as a repuditation of Gov. O’Mally’s anti-gun laws.

  9. Stephen says:

    Interesting thing … it looks like Reps definitely took the state senate (can’t tell you how happy I am to see my senator, who was so snide and self righteous in her gun control vote, knocked out) and I’m hearing maybe even the state house (and in any case I think they got a pro-gun majority in the house, though again I’m not sure).

    If we did win both house and senate, at least pro-gun wise, in Colorado the party in charge can get bills to the governor. From what he’s been saying about it being a “mistake” to sign the bills I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign a bill either removing or at least fixing the Democrat gun control crap.

    Since we do have referendums here I would personally like to just see the background law fixed to not be so malicious so we don’t have to face a referendum fight in the future. With some tweaking we could make it easy to live with (i.e. exceptions for people who already know each other/already own guns/have a CCW and base it on change of ownership) and take the wind out of the sails of a referendum fight.

    The fact that Hickenlooper didn’t win in a landslide is pretty surprising. He’s quite popular and comes off as a very likable guy who wants to compromise and respect all aspects of being a Coloradan.

  10. Neon says:

    “I’m pessimistic, because close races almost always resolve in favor of the Democrat.”—-

    Yeah, it’s called voter fraud and it’s done all the time. remember how many illegals are voting now.

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