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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Will 2014 Election Be Remembered as the Final Defeat for Gun Control Advocates?

That's what columnist Ken Braun suggested in his article yesterday at MLive:
Following the release of this week’s election results, many big issues will be credited or blamed for altering the balance of power in Congress and state capitols. But despite the political and financial capital spent to the contrary, one issue that won’t leave much of a mark will be gun control. History may record the aftermath of this election as the era when stricter gun control advocates finally gave up.
He goes on to detail in the article reasons to back-up his theory.  Things like the fact that when Gabby Giffords was making her rounds in nine states pushing gun control last month, not a single candidate appeared with her.  Braun also noted that even Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy was in a tight battle with a candidate who was promising to repeal the gun bans that Malloy signed into law.  The same with Governor John Higgenlooper in Colorado.  Both Malloy and Higgenlooper prevailed in very tight races but Braun notes that neither incumbent ran on protecting the laws they signed.  Braun spoke with Cam Edwards of yesterday and talked a little more in depth about his article and his theory.
I'm not quite convinced that gun control advocates have faced their final defeat, but I do think as a campaign issue, candidates have avoided it whenever possible for about 20 years.  That's why Bloomberg's groups shifted tactics to strategies like they employed with Initiative 594 in Washington state.  It is likely we are going to be facing ballot initiatives more often than candidates who run on gun control as an issue in future elections.

Update: Regarding ballot initiatives, Bloomberg thinks it's the wave of the future too.  Hat tip to VSSA Executive Director Lu Charette for the update.

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