A stream of headlines in my inbox have reminded me that today is Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing. Most of those headlines were so rather enjoyable hand ringing from the “Gun Safety Advocate” crowd who love themselves some infringement in the morning.. especially if they promise it isn’t infringement.
Here’s a link to the hearing.
Now gun rights haven’t played a major seat in this election although they are absolutely at risk. With COVID-19, the protests and riots, and the national elections own internal drama as Trump faces Biden, guns really haven’t come up in the debate. We are left to both of the side’s default positions as their face on guns.
Trump who has spoken at the NRA Annual Meeting, whose son is even more heavily invested in the industry, and who heads the party known for protecting gun rights… but who has failed to do so in crucial ways. The Bumpstock Ban was proof of what we suspected, if the 2A is valuable to Trump at the time then he’ll protect and praise it… but he’s not dying on that hill. Now with the Honey Badger/SB Brace issue in the pot we do not have a good foundation with Trump to expect a positive outcome.
But with Biden the prospect is far worse. He openly brags of his 1994 support for the Assault Weapons Ban as part of the Clinton Crime Bill and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Both of which had tremendous negative and few positive consequences.
The claim is that Brady (which established NICS) has kept 3 Million firearms out of dangerous hands but we all known that’s a whole semi-truck of horse shit. That’s just a metric of the ‘Deny’ rate from NICS, not follow-up investigations, prosecutions, or number of rulings that were later rescinded. Depending upon the parameters used, up to 95% of NICS initial denials are false and by any metric the number of prosecutions compared to denials is atrocious. There is also no comparative metric to cover those denied vs those who later acquired an illegal firearm in some other manner, making the denial rather moot.
In short the Democrats continue to be Democrats and the Republicans are Republicans. But Amy Coney Barrett’s written opinions on the Second Amendment make her appointment and confirmation the best stacking of the deck we can ask in the 2A’s favor we could ask for.
Especially if Trump loses and the Senate flips in November…
What are those odds? Well…
Republicans are now the longer shot to have a majority in the Senate which, combined with a Biden win, would leave the Supreme Court as the only 2A supportive branch of Government at the federal level.
Now that isn’t to say the Democrats would immediately cram gun control into the mix, there is such thing as a pro 2A Democrat and there are more now than there have been in a long time since March made a whole lot of new gun owners. Gun control itself is bad issue to tackle but it plays well with a strong traditionally Democratic base. That base has gotten weaker during the pandemic and may be dead in all but name. It will certainly be kept trudging along to the chagrin of the American gun owner if the capitol turns blue.
Now, Trump and the Republicans upset the polls last time. That could happen again. But the country didn’t know Trump as President then and we were in a different headspace. The country knows the President now, he’s not the new guy anymore. He’s assuredly still Trump and we’ve seen what he looks like in the oval office. I personally think that diminishes the ‘wild card’ effect he held in 2016.
The election comes down to a fair weather 2A friend and a sworn opponent for the White House. That makes Barrett the 2A’s best gain for the foreseeable near term.