Saturday and Sunday we’ll be in Indianapolis at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting. We’ll be at The Heritage Foundation booth, so if you are in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. Speaking of the NRA meeting, Jim Geraghty asks a good question:
The past two decades have not been a cavalcade of successes for conservatives. The national debt has grown and exploded, and Americans support a smaller government in the abstract but keep electing lawmakers who love to spend more. There’s little or no stigma left to accepting government assistance, and 108 million Americans now live in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.” As Charles Murray noted, the white working class now endures problems on par with poor African-American neighborhoods, with high rates of births out of wedlock, children raised in homes without fathers, higher unemployment, lower church attendance rates. A culture of “delayed adolescence” is taking root, with more than a third of Millennials living with their parents and exceptionally high unemployment rates among the young, delaying the launch of careers and independent, responsible adulthood. After we paid a high price in blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan, the world seems as dangerous and unstable as ever. Our borders are unsecured, and there isn’t even a national consensus that entering the country illegally should be punished with a serious consequence.
And yet, in the middle of all this, the gun-rights movement has won, or is in the process of winning, one of the most substantive, far-reaching, and consequential policy victories in recent memory. They’ve won big at the Supreme Court, and we’ve seen gun-control proposal after gun-control proposal get rejected in the legislatures, state and national. […] What is the gun-rights movement doing right that the rest of the conservative movement can or should emulate? Or is the Second Amendment defenders’ success unique to their issue? [National Review, April 24]
As Geraghty notes in his follow up report, part of the answer is that gun-rights supporters are especially focused on their issue. “But,” he writes: “Charlie Cooke reminded me of another factor: 32 percent of Democrats report having a gun in the home. The divide between the Democratic party’s elites and their grassroots may be sharpest on this issue.” [National Review, April 25]