Our opponents have been speaking of a groundswell of support coming to their side since the two mass shootings, and getting uppity that our day in the sun will soon be at and end, and that they will proceed to destroy our precious right. That’s a lot of nonsense, but that’s not to say things are all coming up roses. As long as the Democratic Party had to protect its blue dog flank, speaking about gun control, even for deep blue state politicians, was going to be problematic.
The Blue Dog flank was all but destroyed in the 2010 midterms, and the base of support Democrats often enjoy among Independents is looking weak. The Democrats can’t honestly afford to have an unenthusiastic base, so they are circling the wagons and trying to defend what they have. Governor Quinn is now enthusiastically supporting another Assault Weapons Ban in Illinois, and facing off against the NRA, ISRA, and downstate gun makers. Andrew Cuomo, once a staunch supporter of gun control and architect of the strategy in the 90s for HUD to sue gun makers, eventually settling with Smith & Wesson, has been timid about supporting gun control as Governor so far. That no longer appears to be the case.
Democrats in blue states are re-embracing gun control. Cuomo’s plan would appear to be an attempt to snatch the number one Brady spot from California, and California is obviously advancing more draconian gun bansÂ of its own. Some folks might suggest that this is bad news only for the states whose gun laws already suck, but a prevailing Democratic culture of gun control is going to screw us over the long term here in Pennsylvania. Everyone in this state should be particularly concerned that we lost Tim Holden, a solid pro-gun Democrat, to a far left radical anti-gunner in a primary:
Democrat Matt Cartwright, a Scranton lawyer, said he does support an assault weapons ban, saying Americans don’t need such weapons in their homes. He would also support “reasonable” ammunition purchase limits, according to a statement released by his campaign.
Cartwright said he is strongly in favor of Americans’ right to bear arms.
This isn’t a Philadelphia Democrat, folks, this is Schuylkill County! I’ve long believed Pennsylvania is a hair’s breath from becoming strongly anti-gun, just like New York and New Jersey. Why? The western part of Pennsylvania has traditionally been our bulwark against gun control in this state, and the western part of Pennsylvania is rapidly depopulating. In addition, both Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southeastern Pennsylvania are taking a lot of transplants from New Jersey and New York. The Philadelphia suburbs are growing and becoming more left-leaning and Democratic. Even Philadelphia has stopped losing population. Pennsylvania as a whole is getting less purple, and more blue, and given that Democratic political culture is starting to swing anti-gun, our gooses may end up cooked. The political center of the fight for gun rights in Pennsylvania is going to swing from the West to the East, and while there are plenty of gun owners in the suburbs here, I’ve never gotten the impression very many of them will stand up and fight, or quite honestly lift a finger to help promote a healthy shooting community. We are poorly equipped for the fight that’s coming, and we’ll be able to depend on our western brethren less and less as changing demographics keep reshaping this commonwealth.