Guns and Politics

It has been a week now since the US Supreme Court made its landmark ruling on the Second Amendment, deciding by a 5-4 majority that a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. was unconstitutional.  Since then, the Political Ship of State hasn't changed course, much if at all.

For years, gun rights was a flashpoint in the American political landscape.  Huge legislative battles were fought over semi-automatic assault weapon bans, the Brady Bill, instant gun purchasing checks, the gun show loophole and more.

I used an awful lot of my time covering those issues for many years, and then like the abortion debate, the gun debate just suddenly faded away.

While the National Rifle Association did file suit against the guns laws of several cities soon after the DC handgun ruling, the decision certainly did not return guns to the top of the political agenda.

And I'm not sure it's going to do that anytime soon.

"For all the symbolic importance, this decision is likely to have little impact," says legal analyst and write Stuart Taylor.

"Not many other laws are likely to be struck down."

One big question that is still to be settled is will the Second Amendment be applied to the states? 

"If it's not applicable to the states, then it really will mean very little," Taylor said, "because the federal government is not passing the kind of gun control laws that the Court would strike down."

There are some in the Congress who want to take this gun ruling and codify it by writing it into federal law.

As of now, I'm not sure that will happen, because Democrats do control the Congress.

Now Republicans could try to bring it up in the Senate, and there might even be a chance that it could be approved there.

But I don't see House Democrats knuckling under on that issue, at least not right now.

It could become a bit player in some specific House and Senate elections, especially when raised by a GOP candidate - so look for it there.

Does it evolve into a national issue?  I'm not convinced it will be, mainly because gun rights politics haven't been at the forefront in recent years.

We'll see.  There's still a lot of time between now and November for change.

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