You can deny reality, but that doesn’t make it true any more than it does for a whining three-year-old’s temper tantrum.

Glenn Reynolds nails it in his USA Today column.

“Americans Embrace Guns.”

This past weekend, the Tennessee Law Review held a symposium on “New Frontiers in the Second Amendment.” It was a follow-up, of sorts, to a symposium held almost 20 years ago, and boy, has a lot changed since then.

…At present, we’ve reached the point where the Second Amendment can be characterized as ordinary constitutional law. That is, it now protects a right that attaches to individuals, and that those individuals can enforce in federal court.

Of course “ordinary constitutional law” doesn’t mean that everything is settled — in fact, an area in which all the legal questions were settled once and for all would be more like extraordinary constitutional law. But it does mean that questions relating to gun ownership, gun carrying, and the like are now dealt with in the same way that federal courts deal with other questions of constitutional rights.

Overall, the trend of the past couple of decades seems to be toward expanding gun rights, just as the trend in the 1950s and 1960s was toward expanding free speech rights. America has more guns in private hands than ever before, even as crime rates fall, and, after a half-century or so of anti-gun hysteria, the nation seems to be reverting to its generally gun-friendly traditions.

This is a state of affairs that seemed almost inconceivable a mere two decades ago, and therein lies a reminder: It often seems as if the deck is stacked, and change is inconceivable. Twenty years ago, the prospect of this kind of expansion in constitutional freedom seemed very dim. But in America, change, when it comes, can be sudden and dramatic — even when, as here, the general current of punditry and political opinion seems set in stone. Keep that in mind, as you contemplate other political issues.

One thought on “Americans embrace guns!”
  1. It is true that things have moved a little way back toward where we were when the country was founded.

    Keep in mind that most of this was accomplished with a shaky 5:4 majority on the Supreme Court and private citizens melting congressional switchboards to intimidate US/State reps into doing what a court had ordered. This could come unravelled very quickly.

    The fact that Illinois CCW permits are in the mail doesn’t mean we can sit back and relax. The only way we will keep these gains and make more progress is to be vigilant and politically active.

    We have primary elections in less than 2 weeks. Do you know where the candidates stand? Are you going to vote?

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