As I have mentioned in others post a reader of this blog should not confuse my attacks and problems withe the Republican Party as an indication that I am of a liberal political persuasion. To paraphrase SF author John Scalzi; I believe that same-sex couples have the right to marry and get automatic weapons as wedding gifts.
I am very concerned about gun right in this country. I am a support the contention that the second amendment is an individual right. (Come on people, all those other amendments – excepting the 10th are individual rights, it;s silly and asinine not to read the second the same way.)
While I myself do not own a collection of firearms I can understand the viewpoint of people who do. (Just as I do not have to be gay to support marriage- equality.)
My largest concern with gun right in America is who are its strongest supporters and how few new supporters there seems to be each year. In American politics the strangest and most loyal supporters of the second amendment are the social conservatives. The same faction of the Republican party that is anti-choice in abortion and steadfastly opposed to extending marriage rights to all person. Once you move away from the social conservatives it becomes harder and harder to find Republican politicians who support the second amendment.
This has cause some more libertarian minded gun rights enthusiasts to vote for and create alliance with the social conservatives in order to protect the gun-owning rights. I understand this, you have to look to your allies and you can’t always be picky about who your allies are in a battle. I’m concerned because I think there has been too much sticking with your allies and not enough of finding new allies in this struggle.
I think that the coming demographics are going to bury the social conservative movement – as we now know it – into extinction. The cohort of voters coming up are much more open-minded about gays than the current generation steering the party. The younger voters, under thirty, have grown-up with gay people are part of normal society all around them. They have had gay friends and see gayness as no more a moral matter than someone’s handedness. Abortion is a thornier issue, but even there the younger generation is more supportive of the right to chose than their parents. Roe v Wade simply doesn’t have the fire for them it does older Republican voters.
If gun rights are still tightly bound to the social conservatives when that branch of the party looses all power, then gun rights are sunk. It is critical — and time is running out — that an all out push be made to expand the ranks of people who support gun rights. Sadly I do not see this happening. I think the gun rights supporters are very much into an us-vs-them mentality (and I can understand why) and are more likely to cling closer to the allies and shun all who are not than rather work at expanding their alliances.