Can We Have a Bipartisan Gun Rights Movement?

That’s the big question I think is going to be answered tomorrow. I’m hoping after tomorrow, the answer will still be yes, even though a great many pro-gun Democrats are going to go down to defeat because of pissing off the voting populace on other issues. They will be replaced by pro-gun Republicans, but there are more than a few pro-gun Dems in Pennsylvania who are polling well, namely Tim Holden and Jason Altmire (both of whom conveniently bucked Pelosi on the health care bill).

But will a bipartisan consensus on this issue last? That’s probably going to hinge on whether there’s enough of a pro-gun movement within the Democratic Party to make it work, or whether there are enough true single-issue voters out there to help pro-gun Democrats. If the answer is no, we’re going back to being the crazy Uncle in the GOP attic. If our issue only finds a home in one party, the only thing that party has to be concerned with is not being as bad as the other guy.

There are definitely a lot of folks out there who are insisting the pro-gun movement stay squarely within a conservative framework. Those people may very well get their wish after Tuesday. But I don’t think that’s going to be a healthy thing when it comes to winning this issue decisively and quickly. The battle will go on.

19 thoughts on “Can We Have a Bipartisan Gun Rights Movement?”

  1. I would prefer a bi-partisan Liberty movement, instead.

    Sadly, we have Statists on the Left and Statists on the Right, and the Citizen gets squeezed, no matter what.

  2. I would too, but there’s no political constituency to work with in terms of liberty in general. Though, that might be changing.

  3. Good luck with that.

    While the Second Amendment is very important to me, so are the rest – particularly the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth. I won’t vote for a candidate who doesn’t back them all.

  4. I don’t blame you Bram. If you have candidates in your area that fit that bill, my all means vote your conscience.

  5. This post makes a pertinent point. The Dem electoral supermajority has not been as bad for gun owners as many of us feared. It has been a vindication of the two-party strategy in protecting gun rights.

    I hope we still see prominent gun rights supporters in both parties after tomorrow. The fear that we won’t is one of the (few) possible downsides to the electoral whupping I think the ruling party is about to receive.

  6. I’m actually represented by Scott Garrett – perfect 100 ratings from the American Conservative Union – member of the Liberty Caucus. I like him a lot but it makes tomorrow’s election kind of anti-climatic.

    It would be nice if the GOP put some decent candidates up against NJ’s two disgusting Senators (both decidedly anti-gun) in 2012.

  7. I have my doubts about bi-partisanship in supporting gun rights after tomorrow. As has been noted … the Dems going down are generally the more conservative blue dogs. The remaining democrat caucus is going to be far more liberal when the smoke clears.

    Will these ultra liberals learn their lesson? I doubt it. I think instead they are going to follow the Obama view of “but we really are what everyone wants, we were just too focused on getting good things done and not enough on giving speeches.”

    Interesting times …

  8. I think that the biggest problem preventing a truly bi-partisan gun rights movement is the tendency of positions on gun rights being ignored by the Democrats when it comes to confirmation of U. S. Supreme Court justices.

    I admit to not knowing the numbers on this, but it seems to me that many Democratic senators who claim to support gun rights readily vote to confirm a U. S. Supreme Court Justice nominee who probably will not.

  9. That’s a good point, too, Don. A lot of the Dems who were pretty supportive of gun rights in their legislative votes nevertheless jumped ship and voted to confirm Sotomayor and Kagan.

    Not much is more important for the gun rights cause than confirming pro-2A Justices (and lower court judges) and blocking anti-2A nominations.

  10. I agree… which is why I was happy very few Democrats got endorsements this cycle. They should be held to account for those votes. Maybe now they’ll see we’re serious about it.

  11. Is it really likely the Dems will blame their upcoming losses on the NRA being unable to deliver given everything else that is going on?

  12. Dems will blame anybody but themselves for anything that goes wrong.

    I believe bipartisan 2A support is an illusion. What happened in the last few years is that Democrats got elected in conservative districts by pretending to be conservative.

    Now that they are exposed by their votes for Obamacare, cap-and-tax, Sotomayor and Kagan, and they’re going down. This is simply a regression to the norm.

  13. Gun rights are now civil rights and everyone should promote them that way.

  14. Perhaps bi-partisan pro-gun representation is illusionary. The example of a anti-gun Supreme courts justices has already been brought up. Clearly it was party over principle when it came to Sotomayor and Kagan.

    And let’s not forget the supposedly pro-gun Congressmen who helped push the 1994 AW ban into law, such as Congressman Foley. It was another example of supporting the party when it conflicted with principle.

    Where this leaves us in a practical sense, is maybe the NRA should take into account whether the Party is pro-gun or anti-gun when making endorsements. In other words when it comes to a pro-gun Democrat vs a pro-gun Republican, the NRA should endorse the Republican as long the the Democratic Party platform and Party leadership remains anti-gun.

  15. Yeah like Kasich in Ohio. He’s a Republican and conservative and he supports our rights, except when we need him most. He voted to ban those pesky assault weapons in 1994 and again in 1996 when he opposed repealing the ban.

    The Democrat Strickland you know is a liberal Obama clone except he was actually voting to protect our gun rights when the conservative Republican was giving Clinton the vote he needed to ban so called assault rifles for 10 years.

    But NRA should just support Republicans since the Dem platform is still anti gun. That would have worked out great over the last 4 years when the Dems had 257 votes in the House and 60 in the Senate (until Brown) and could have passed anything they wanted to.

  16. Good grief. Where did I suggest supporting an anti-gun Republican over a pro-gun Democrat? Because I didn’t.

    All I’m suggesting is being smart when it comes to endorsements. Ignoring the factor of party loyalty is stupid. History has proven how important party loyalty is.

    Or does the fact that the 2nd Amendment hangs by a thread in the Supreme Court mean nothing? Do Sotomayor and Kagan mean nothing? We are one Supreme Court justice away from having the 2nd Amendment nullified. One vote away from the 2nd Amendment becoming as dead as the 10th Amendment.

  17. I don’t think it will be a bi-partisan / non-partisan issue until liberal / progressive voters begin to value their gun rights.

  18. No, while a few Dems see enough reality to appreciate at least the RTKBA, the overwhelming majority are jealous of any power left in the hands of the individual.
    In truth, the RTKBA is inherently hostile to the Democrat vision of the world. There SHOULD be no bipartisanship.
    As a practical matter, I think conservatives may take advantage of the limited alliance when offered, and may open doors to further understanding of why the 2A is imperative to free people. Maybe a few will listen. Maybe.

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