But as far as actual action to restrict gun rights on the federal level, not much is imminent or moving. Congress and the new president are very, very busy spending the U.S. further into hyperinflation or bankruptcy and figuring out exit strategies (or not) from Bush-era foreign policy entanglements. While Justice Department's focus on enforcing existing gun laws may well increase, we're unlikely to see any significant new federal efforts that infringe on the Heller-certified constitutional right to own common weapons for self-defense in the home.
The gun rights community, in other words, is most likely wrong about the extent to which the Obama administration will try to restrict gun rights. (Not that, even in a post-Heller age, they don’t have reason to be worried; short of D.C.-style total gun bans, lower courts so far seem sure that any other gun regulations go under the ruling.) The political irony is that being mistaken about the magnitude of the threat can guarantee they achieve their goals—being wrong, especially convincing the gun rights rank and file to grossly overestimate the Obama threat, will help ensure that the threat never becomes real—even if it never would have.
In the face of an administration that undoubtedly only respects gun rights to the extent that its supporters have the political power to harm it, gun rights forces do need to keep their powder dry; perhaps even excessively stocked. Paranoids may not always have real and effective enemies, but in politics, as in life, paranoia can keep you safe.
Friday, January 30, 2009
An Excellent Article on Obama & Gun Rights...
...from Reason Online that I profoundly hope is correct, the gist of the article being that Obama is unlikely to move against us for fear of the long-term consequences for the Dems: