The Democratic Party recently completed its takeover of Virginia’s state government. Drunk with power, the party leaders have embarked on an aggressive agenda of progressive policy ideas, including major restrictions on gun rights. They follow in the footsteps of California, which imposed a sheaf of restrictions in the last couple years. All around us, we see a constant argument between gun-grabbers and Second Amendment defenders. And, we witness a Democratic Party whose Presidential aspirants who mostly align with the former group.

To top it all off, President Trump imposed, by executive fiat, a ban on bump stocks, despite his promises to champion 2A rights.

Some have pondered why gun owners and gun rights advocates aren’t pushing back harder against all these infringements.

You wouldn’t know it by reading the mainstream press, but gun owners HAVE been pushing back. For decades. And winning.

In 1987, Florida passed a “shall-issue” law, meaning that the government could not arbitrarily deny an applicant a concealed carry permit. At that time, only 7 states had shall-issue laws. 26 had may-issue, and only Vermont had “constitutional carry” i.e. permitless concealed carry.

Since then, the number of states with shall-issue level of gun rights protection or better has grown to 41. Of those 41, 16 are now constitutional carry.
Two major victories in the Supreme Court, Heller in 2008 and McDonald in 2010, affirmed the individual right to keep and bear arms, and incorporated it at the state level. This made blanket bans such as Chicago’s unconstitutional.

The 1994 Assault Weapon ban only passed because pro-gun legislators forced the addition of a 10 year sunsetting provision. It then contributed mightily to the 1994 rout that the Democrats suffered in Congress. Since then, no major gun-restrictive legislation has gotten beyond the blabbermouth stage. The message was sent: stand against gun rights, and risk major electoral backlash.

In response to more recent federal and state-level attempts to infringe on 2A rights, counties in 19 states have enacted “2A sanctuary” provisions, which dictate that government officials, including law enforcement, under their aegis shall not enforce gun-restrictive laws. While the constitutionality of these provisions hasn’t really been tested, the message is pretty clear.

In Virginia, the aforementioned promise of major state-level anti-gun legislation has prompted more than 100 cities and counties to enact 2A-sanctuary resolutions.

The Court will rule this summer on a potentially landmark gun control case: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, a case that has anti-gun pundits, and Democrats in general, quivering in their boots. It has the potential of unraveling the massive restrictions imposed on want-to-be gun owners in New York City, and by extension in the states that continue to broadly reject citizens’ desire to concealed-carry. While the Court typically prefers ruling narrowly over broad-brush, unresolved uncertainties following the McDonald decision virtually scream for definitive guidance from the Court on the matter of concealed-carry and what are permissible restrictions under the Heller and McDonald rulings. And, given the Court’s current composition, I’m optimistic that the 80 million people who live in may-issue states might finally get relief and some restoration of their rights.

While there have been losses (and ‘betrayals’ – Trump’s bump stock edict), while the Democrats running for the White House are almost universally hungry to impose massive gun rights restrictions and bans (with some even hinting that sending SWAT teams to confiscate “assault weapons” would be on their agendas), and while states like California are engaged in as much gun-rights infringement as they can manage, the past three decades have weighed pretty heavily in favor of the pro-gun-rights side of the scale.

And, Americans continue to buy guns. The number in private hands has grown from ~250M to 400M+ in that span of time.

Now, if you are inclined to believe that “more guns = more crime,” you may be surprised to learn that, in the same period of time, the homicide rate in the US has dropped by nearly half. The Press certainly doesn’t care to tell us this – it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Push-back isn’t limited to an armed resistance to jackbooted thuggery – nobody wants that. If things get that bad, the nation’s in a lot of trouble. And, as has been noted (provenance questionable, but truth unassailable):

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Want to protect gun rights? Keep an eye on them at all times, and an eye on those who’d take them away.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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