March 13, 2008

BAD LAW MAKES GOOD ELECTIONS:

The Roe v. Wade of Gun Rights (Ken Blackwell, March 13, 2008, Townhall)

The two red-hot issues fused by the District of Columbia v. Heller case -- guns and judges -- are two of the most divisive in American politics.

D.C. v. Heller could become one of the most important cases in American history, with profound political and policy implications.

The case will directly affect 90 million American gun owners. Whether they have a constitutional right to own guns immediately makes their ownership either a protected right or merely a privilege that the government can restrict at will. Either way everyone else in our society is indirectly affected.

Gun bans fall particularly heavily on women, minorities, the elderly, and the disabled who own guns for self defense purposes. Though stereotypical gun owners are white adult males in the prime of life, the reality is that these are the people who need guns the least. Most people are more likely to be a victim of violent crime, and thus have a greater need for a tool that neutralizes any would-be criminal’s greater size, strength, or speed.

The short-term political impact of Heller might turn the 2008 presidential election. Either Senators Clinton or Obama would the most anti-gun Democrat nominee in American history. The Second Amendment is a pivotal issue in a half-dozen swing states, and other swing states have smaller gun votes, but gun owners could easily tip those states in a close election.

Heller will heat up twice during the presidential campaign, first when the case is argued in March and second when the Court hands down its decision, most likely in June.

The Court will affirm the Constitution, but would benefit the GOP if it didn't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 13, 2008 6:34 AM
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