Clinton and Obama on the 2A
Alphecca has a post on the subject. Who'd ever have dreamed that someday the two leading Democratic presidential candidates would be claiming they supported the Second Amendment individual right? (Both have fallen back to "but we can regulate it").
I've been involved in this issue for decades, and so have a long term view. It's been steadily downhill for the other side.
1960s: they think they can get national registration and permit systems, at a bare minimum. In fact, the predecessor to the Brady Campaign opposes national registration and permits because it's a sell-out, a compromise that would deprive them of even more. They get GCA 68, which the Washington Post denounces as a worthless compromise. Second Amendment? Hah, we all know that only protects a State's right to have National Guard units!
1970s, early. Still pushing for national registration and permits. No luck.
1970s, late. How about a ban on "Saturday night specials"? Nope. Or snub-nosed handguns? Nope again. Angry that the Carter Admin. made campaign promises and won't follow thru (I've got the memos somewhere, where a low-level govt official says that the message that there will be no push from the Administration had better come from somebody with a higher pay grade). A handful of law review articles claiming Second Amendment protects an individual right.
1980s. Fall WAY back to measures so minor that they sometimes outlaw nothing at all, or outlaw things nobody has. Supposed plastic guns and armor-piercing bullets. Only apparent motive is that the gun movement will be forced to defend them and thus take a PR hit. That is one very flimsy strategic goal.
Gun movement gets Firearm Owners' Protection Act. Gets it even though House is Democratic, and its leadership VERY strongly opposed. Majority of House signs discharge petition that gets it out of Judiciary Committee.
1990s: Antigunners finally score a few victories, Brady Act, AW "ban" (which is meaningless in impact) the wiping out of home FFLs (which hurts, but in terms of the overall strategic goal doesn't do a lot Back in 68 the idea had been to make FFLs easy to get, because FFLs have to keep records of gun sales, see picture ID, etc.). As a result, Demos lose control of both houses and the White House.
All the big names in constitutional law begin endorsing an individual rights view of the Second Amendment.
2000s: Antigun cause consists of calling for narrow things (so narrow I can't even recall them now -- secure storage, trigger locks sold with guns, etc.). Even these fail. AW "ban" expires and neither party wants to touch the issue.
2008: Democratic candidates don't even argue collective rights anymore.
Welcome, Instapunditers! I'd request that you check out the blog, where I just posted notice that my Second Amendment documentary film (if you want one, just see the ad in the left margin) will be airing at the Backlot Film Festival in Los Angeles this Saturday.
Reader Alan Aipperspach comments, in a post stopped by the spam filter:
I think while we are slowly winning at the present, we are overlooking a couple of MAJOR influences that will have a severe effect in the future. The entire national school system (K through 18+) and the main stream media are both busy as bees working on the younger generation with notions such as "zero tolerance" and a continual assault with anti-gun messages and propaganda.
This has got to have some kind of effect on the younger generations. I think one symptom is that there are so few young people taking up sport shooting compared to a generation ago.
My dad (85 yo) was telling me a while back how there were local chapters of the NRA as well as local gun ranges all over the place back in his early adult life. Most of these have shut down and the local Rifle and Pistol assns have disbanded. Near my home-town (Winslow) in northern Az (pop 12,000 back then), there was a well used gun range just outside of town during the 1950s. He said virtually every town had a range. Now, very few people even know it ever existed. The closest formal range 1-1/2 hrs away and the only formal 1000 yd range in the state is 3-1/2 hrs away (Ben Avery).
Overall, I'm still very dubious about future generations attitudes about firearms. While we appear to be winning the battles, I'm still afraid we will lose the war!