Under the Gun
A Second Amendment look at the elections.



Senate: Retiring Joe Lieberman was a moderate on some issues, but not on guns: He was a leader in the Democratic caucus in sponsoring gun-control bills. Linda McMahon (R., AQ) faces Representative Chris Murphy (D., F). Polls show McMahon within striking distance in this important opportunity for a pro-gun pickup in the Senate.

House, fifth district (northwest): The open seat created by Murphy’s Senate run features Andrew Roraback (R., C) versus Elizabeth Esty (D., n/a).


Governor: Incumbent governor Jack A. Markell (D., F) versus Jeffrey E. Cragg (R., AQ).

Senate: An elected official since 1974, and a U.S. senator since 2001, Tom Carper (D., F) is considered safe against businessman Kevin Wade (R., AQ).  


Senate: Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson (D., F) is challenged by Representative Connie Mack IV (R., A), whose father was a U.S. senator, and whose great-great-grandfather was the owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team (now the Oakland Athletics). In the past week, Mack has cut Nelson’s lead in half, down to about 5 points.

House: In the House races, pro-gun Republicans face serious challenges from anti-gun Democrats.

Second district (central panhandle): First-term incumbent Steve Southerland (R., A) versus Al Lawson (D., C+).

Tenth district (central): First-termer Daniel Webster (R., A), who unseated Alan Grayson in 2010 and beat national right-to-carry leader Cliff Stearns in the 2012 primary, faces Orlando police chief Val B. Demings (D., F).

Sixteenth district (southwest): Incumbent Vern Buchanan (R., A) versus college professor Keith Fitzgerald (D., D).

Eighteenth district (central Atlantic coast): Tea-party hero Allen B. West (R., A) has a tough race against environmental businessman Patrick Murphy (D., n/a).

Twenty-second district (Palm Beach): An open-seat race features former Florida house majority leader Adam Hasner (R., A) against West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel (D., F).

Twenty-sixth district (southern tip): One-term incumbent David Rivera (R., A) is challenged by Joe Garcia (D., n/a).


House, twelfth district (east central): This seat is always hard-fought. John Barrow (D., A) was first elected in 2004. His opponent is school principal Lee Anderson (R., A).             


Senate: Retiring senator Daniel Akaka (D.), who was appointed in 1990, was always a sure vote for anti-gun bills, but he did not take a leadership role on the issue. Former governor Linda Lingle (R., B+) vies with Representative Mazie Hirono (D., F).


A constitutional right to hunt and fish is on the ballot.


House: Of the five strongly contested House races, two offer a clear choice on the gun issue.

Eighth district (far northwestern suburbs of Chicago): Joe Walsh (R., A) won a major upset with his 2010 defeat of a Democratic incumbent. He is challenged by progressive favorite Tammy Duckworth (D., F), a helicopter pilot who lost her legs during Iraq combat in 2004.

Tenth district (North Shore): Incumbent Bob Dold (R., D) generally supports Chicagoland prejudices against gun ownership. His opponent is businessman Brad Schneider (D., F).    

Eleventh district (Chicago suburbs): Incumbent Judy Biggert (R., A) vs. former congressman Bill Foster (D., B+).      

Twelfth district (southwest): In this open-seat race, businessman Jason Plummer (R., AQ) faces Bill Enyart (D., AQ). The Illinois State Rifle Association has endorsed Plummer.

Thirteenth district (Springfield): Also an open seat, with Rodney Davis (R., AQ), a former congressional staffer, against physician David Gill (D., B−).

Seventeenth district (northwestern farms, Rock Island): Obamacare baby Bobby Schilling (R., A) vs. former journalist Cheri Bustos (D., B+).


The news here is that in every contested race, there’s no dispute on the gun issue.

Governor: Incumbent Mike Pence (R., A) is challenged by former state house speaker John Gregg (D., A).

Senate: Way back in early 1974, the NRA and the Indiana Sportsman’s Council began working to unseat Democratic senator Vance Hartke, who was a leader of anti-gun forces in the Senate. The day after the 1976 election, United Press International credited gun-rights groups with having helped to elect Indianapolis mayor Richard Lugar as senator. But by 1996, when Lugar ran a short and unsuccessful campaign in the Republican presidential primaries, he attempted to distinguish himself as the candidate most supportive of gun control.

In the 21st century, his voting record on gun issues was mediocre, but perhaps the worst problem was his role as chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Unlike bipartisan majorities of the full Senate, Lugar adamantly refused to do anything, including merely signing joint letters, to criticize the United Nations gun-control program, or to urge the U.S. delegation to take a strong stance in defense of the Second Amendment at U.N. gun-control conferences.

The NRA this year took the rare step of endorsing and making major expenditures in a Senate primary, and partly as a result, Lugar in May 2012 lost to Indiana secretary of state Richard Mourdock (R., A). In the general election, Mourdock faces Democratic representative Joe Donnelly, whose three terms in the House earned him an A from the NRA. The race is close, but you can already score Indiana as a guaranteed +1 for gun rights.

House, second district (north-central): For this open seat, state representative Jackie Walorski (R., A) faces small businessman Brendan Mullen (D., AQ).            

House, eighth district (southwest): First-termer Larry Bucshon (R., A) is challenged by state representative Dave Crooks (D, A).