The Gun Control Industry’s Strategy Leaves Me Little Choice But To My Hold Nose and Vote for Trump

by Tommy Grant

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If you’re a regular reader here and you saw my name in the byline, it probably means something different to you than the other writers here. I’m guessing a common reaction is probably “Not again.” After all, I’m not your stereotypical gun rights activist. I’m more rabidly pro-gun than most people on the right, but I don’t agree with most Republicans and other social conservatives on things like gay marriage, abortion, and drug policy.

But, I wouldn’t ever call myself “woke.” I may disagree with many of my fellow gun folks on some key issues, but I will always defend your right to hold those beliefs. We can have different ideas about life without trying to get people fired or use the power of government to force other people to do things my way. We can disagree on those things without being disagreeable, and I think it’s worth finding whatever common ground we can to come up with answers we can all live with.

I don’t know what you’d call that position, but whatever it is, it probably doesn’t sound a lot like I’d fill in the bubble or check the box on a ballot for Donald Trump. Over the last few years, I’ve been very critical of the guy and his associates. Not only do I disagree with them on a lot of things, I think they needlessly act like jerks on many issues.

So you may be surprised to hear me say that I’ll probably vote for the guy if he wins the Republican nomination next year. Here’s why.

It All Starts With NYSRPA v Bruen

Last year’s NYSRPA v Bruen decision changed the entire gun control landscape. Instead of applying interest balancing and deciding that pretended a purported interest in public safety is more important than the individual right to keep and bear arms, governments at all levels must now actually prove that their anti-gun laws are constitutional.

SCOTUS didn’t make that easy, either. Not only is the burden on the gun controllers, but they’ve got to show that similar laws were widespread at the time that the Constitution was ratified…or maybe between then and the ratification of the 14th Amendment. Then, and only then, can a law restricting gun rights doesn’t violate the Second Amendment. Given that there were practically no such laws that meet most of those tests, the gun control party is largely over.

But no one expected the civilian disarmament industry fold in the face of what looks to be certain doom, and they haven’t. The gun controllers are basically pretending that it didn’t happen so they can keep the donor money flowing to pay their salaries (I mean, who doesn’t like money?), and the governments involved are dragging their feet any way they can to delay the application of the Bruen test to their gun laws that have been challenged.

Bruen itself technically only applied to “may issue” and “no issue” concealed carry laws, so all of those other gun control restrictions — “assault weapons” ban, magazine capacity limits, waiting periods, gun purchase permits, age restrictions) have to be dragged through the legal system to have the Bruen test applied to them.

The anti-gun side is doing this in a variety of ways. The first wave came in the form of “Bruen response” laws. These were clear attempts to rewrite current restrictive laws to maintain limits on gun rights while appearing (to those not familiar with the laws) not to run afoul of Bruen.

These new laws, of course, required court challenges. And the strategy for defending the other challenges to gun control laws and ATF regulations has been to slow-walk the process.

 

Why play these delay games? Because the Supreme Court’s conservative justices aren’t getting any younger. NYSRPA v Bruen was a 6-3 decision, so that means only two conservative justices need to shuffle off while there’s a doctrinaire anti-gun zealot in the White House. If Biden lives long enough and is reelected and replaces those Justices, subsequent gun cases will be decided very differently, and that would put a stop to the losses for the anti-gun side.

In other words, they’re time and electoral politics will limit the damage done by Bruen to the remaining gun laws.

That Puts The 2024 Race In A Different Light

There’s a little more than a year until January 20, 2025. The two oldest justices are both-solid run rights votes — Clarence Thomas is 75 years old and Samuel Alito is 73. They’ve got a very good chance of living another year or so, but anything can happen.

If Biden wins the next election, the next inauguration day after that will be in 2029, a very long time from now. By then, those Justices would be 79 and 77 years old respectively. The Chief Justice — another majority vote for Bruen — would be 74 years old. Even if they live that long, it’s always possible that health issues could require them to step back and retire.

Because the anti-gun side only needs to flip two justices to halt the advance of gun rights or even reverse its progress, their chances are significantly higher if they can win a second Biden term…assuming he’s actually the Democrats’ candidate next year.

What About Those Other Issues?

I’m not a single-issue gun voter, but I have to keep in mind that I already got through four years of Trump and that voting is a chess move, not a love letter. He showed in his first term that he’s too disorganized, too self-absorbed, and too busy fending off attacks to get around to screwing my family over. I don’t see any of that changing in a second term.

Looking at the next four years, C.S. Lewis probably put it best . . .

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

As a useful exercise, let’s look at the worst-case scenarios for both presidents.

This isn’t likely, but for the sake of argument let’s assume the hysterical Democrats are finally right this time and Trump goes full-on Handmaid’s Tale fascist in 2025. The people who want to resist would at least still have their guns. I don’t think the entire federal government is full of violent bigots who would make us a priority, but even if they did, I’d at least have some small chance.

For a worst-case Biden scenario, he’d leave my lesbian marriage alone, but there’s a gang in my neighborhood that the police refuse to deal with because a bunch of Californians moved in and turned formerly purple New Mexico into a solidly blue state. The only thing keeping them from victimizing my family and me is my guns. I know this from experience.

If Biden manages to reverse NYSRPA v Bruen and lets the state disarm us as they dearly want to do, I’ll have to sell my house for next to nothing (if not just straight-up abandon it to them) and live in a van down by the river. My other option would be to risk prison and keep the guns, and then go to prison should it become necessary to shoot a fentanyl-head in self-defense.

I know some people will say another Biden term wouldn’t result in that, but if there’s violence (real or engineered) over the election results and he manages to stay in the White House, I’d expect a crackdown and a bunch of new anti-gun nonsense. Between his rights-abrogating goons and the criminals his side has enabled, I think my chances would be a lot worse than under another Trump term.

So if it’s Trump versus Biden, I’d be the most reluctant Trump voter ever, but I’ll probably check the box next to his name. For me, that will be the safest move I can make.

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