I don’t think conservatives realize just how huge a win it is for our side that the Left has finally been smoked out on the Second Amendment. Progressives are finally coming clean about how much they hate it, and wish to see it repealed. Good luck with that.
The essence of the Left is that they must always be pushing on toward some previously unthinkable social goal; once upon a time it was racial equity and, starting in the 1990s, gay marriage. Gradually the position of the most dreamy-eyed among them takes hold with the most left-wing officials in the safest seats, then spreads out to become dogma for the Democratic party as a whole. The gun debate is, for the Left, moving very quickly away from the reasonable center. Having first center-right columnist Bret Stephens and then retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens (who was appointed by Gerald Ford and hence can be labeled as a “Republican appointee,” though he was notoriously left-wing) call for repealing the Second Amendment in the New York Times is a godsend for Second Amendment fans. Check social media and you will find wild, unrestrained cheering on the bicoastal Left for the idea of repealing the Second Amendment. This is the party’s fervent base, and their views have a way of steering the party due to their cultural influence and their ties to the fund-raising apparatus of the party.
Even failing to praise gun rights was simply unthinkable for Democratic presidential candidates until 2012, which was why John Kerry humiliated himself with that Elmer Fudd photo opportunity in 2004 and why Barack Obama gave that unconvincing 2008 speech about how it “just ain’t true” that he wanted to take people’s guns away.
Now that the fanciful prospect of 2A repeal is it out in the open, with voices liberals imagine to be representative of middle-of-the road thought advocating it, it may not be that far in the future that this becomes the standard position for the Bill de Blasio wing of the Democratic party, then a litmus test for whether someone is a “true progressive” in Democratic primary contests. Think of how ludicrous and self-defeating it would have been for a politician to label himself a “Socialist” as recently as the early 1990s, then recall that a senator proudly wearing that label came fairly close to capturing the Democratic party’s presidential nomination in 2016 against the party’s pre-selected pick.
If bicoastal liberal Democrats become strongly identified with 2A repeal, even pro-gun party members in the heartland will be tarnished by it. Everyone on the right should be thanking the Times for its part in nudging the Democratic party to an extreme position on guns.