The western environmental publication High Country News has a strong article this week asking that Democrats “abandon gun control.” Hal Herring, a Montana outdoor writer, argues that there are good reasons the “gun vote will go to a Republican. Gun ownership is highest in rural areas, where self-sufficiency is regarded as a virtue, and the Republicans, despite all, have retained the cachet of being the party of boot-strappers.”
Liberals and Democrats who want more gun control fail to see the connection between the gun vote and other issues. Republicans pledge their allegiance to the Second Amendment, which guarantees them the gun vote, then “they support measures to exploit, degrade, and even sell off the public lands and waters that hunters and fishermen depend on.” Hunters are environmentalists, Herring writes, but don’t vote for environmental candidates.
Democrats need to see their own hypocrisy, Herring writes: “Like activists who want to ban pit bulls, the gun-control advocates remain relentlessly unspecific about what they hope to achieve. It has become clear, too, that these advocates hold a double standard regarding the U.S. Constitution: The First Amendment is vital to the health of a free nation, as is the Fourth, but the Second is respected only by the un-evolved and the violent. Only the parts of the Constitution that their side respects are valid, in this view.”