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Candidates Who’ll Take Away Your Nine

It is easy to be concerned that the flighty substanceless nature of the politics of the day might mean that issues never actually get resolved—that the best service they might receive at the hands of politicos is to get re-stanced every handful of years. Or one side might think up an especially catchy slogan for its particular take on the iissue (“death tax,” for example) and that’ll be the end of it. (But thank God for “death tax”.) Somehow, through the sound and fury, debates do occasionally resolve decisively. For the time being, I would judge that the right to bear arms is one such issue, and it has fadged in favor of the right. (Not the Right—the right.) Ten years ago? Public alarmism over the scourge of firearms and that damnable pock on our Constitution called the Second Amendment, which just needs to come out. And today? Well, the National Rifle Association is hardly ever in the news, gun control at large has not really risen, and in fact the issue doesn’t even seem to be an issue. Huzzah.

That’s all prelude to this post from David Kopel at The Volokh Conspiracy. He rates the presidential candidates according to their stance on guns. Those with the most Second Amendment constancy: Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-Vir.). Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.). These, you’ll note, are not contenders. John McCain earns a “mixed,” Pataki and Romney a “poor,” and Edwards, Kerry, Obama, Gore, Hillary, Biden, Giuliani are all rated as being against the Second. The surprise is that, even though the forces of freedom seem to have won the firearm war, the candidate field for 2008 consists almost entirely of men (plus Hillary) who are weak protectors of that freedom.

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