The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the D.C. gun ban Thursday morning, a decision that quickly sent the U.S. capital into a tizzy. Conservatives lauded the decision as a victory for individual rights. The Republican Study Committee quickly issued a statement that declared: “D.C. residents will finally have the same rights as their countrymen to bear arms.” But the cheering could be premature.
I tend to agree with the Politico’s Ben Smith, who quipped, “I wonder if it doesn’t move the gun issue off the table a bit. A stronger Second Amendment means that warnings that Democrats are going to take your guns away are a bit less plausible.”
Republicans, once able to use gun control as a wedge issue, may have one less trump card in their respective decks. If rural voters stop believing their gun rights are in jeopardy that would, on its face, appear to benefit Democrats. Already, the issue of gun control is almost nonexistent in Montana as the vast majority of the populace has accepted guns as part of our culture. And look what happened:
The National Rifle Association backed Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, in this year’s gubernatorial race instead of his Republican opponent – a lucrative endorsement almost always reserved for the GOP. If this continues in conservative-leaning states it will be next to impossible to differentiate between the two parties with regard to guns.
But the battle, at least, is being drawn out. For example, the Department of Interior is considering whether to allow loaded weapons in national parks such as Glacier and Yellowstone. Most believe it will approve the change despite opposition in the Park Service community. And some college students are now arguing that they should be able to carry loaded guns on campus.
I suppose there still is a bit to disagree upon regarding guns. What’s left, however, will score far fewer political points.
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