With the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Surpeme Court, Second Amendment supporters can celebrate. That would be very premature.
The battle over the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is going to be a cakewalk compared to the fight over Gorsuch. You have some snowflakes on the Left crying about how this Supreme Court seat was stolen from Merrick Garland (conveniently ignoring that Joe Biden threatened to do the same in 1992, and Schumer made similar comments in 2008).
What do you expect when the fight is for all the marbles? In this case, Gorsuch is a likely fifth vote to uphold the ruling made by the District Court in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that tossed a semi-auto ban and a number of other strict gun laws. He’s the fifth vote that secures the Heller ruling that recognized the Second Amendment as an individual right and which tossed out D.C.’s handgun ban. The McDonald case, which extended the prohibition on banning handguns to the states, is also secure.
When Gorsuch is confirmed – and that, folks, is gonna be one hell of a fight. Senator Chuck Schumer wants 60 votes for confirmation. I don’t necessarily object to that – popping off the nuke option now makes it easier to replace the next openings (potentially Ginsburg and Breyer) with reliable conservatives. The good news is that Gorsuch briefly hit the 60-vote threshold – until Jeanne Shaheen flip-flopped. This is why Kelly Ayotte and Mark Kirk mattered, people. Better to have started from 54 to work your way to 60, than the present 52.
In short, we need eight Democrats to cross over and vote. And while there are a lot of Senate Democrats facing re-election in states Trump won, to win their primaries, they must show fealty to the activists, donors, and Party leadership. Who do you think provides the money for the DNC efforts on behalf of Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, and Joe Donnelly? The same folks who also donate to the DNC efforts for Chuck Schumer and the most anti-gun members of the House and Senate. By the way, did Heitkamp, Tester, and Donnelly back Jeff Sessions as AG? No.
The good news, if anything, is that the anti-Second Amendment forces and the rest of the Left seem to have been unable to really reach beyond their base on the issue of guns. Furthermore, outside that issue, Trump has made some serious progress (notably in bring jobs in). If that continues over the next four years, we could see significant gains in the Senate and a second Trump term.
That is a big if, though. The one thing we have seen in the first weeks is that the Left isn’t just going to roll over after losing the 2016 presidential election. If anything, they intend to fight as furiously as they can to take our rights, and they are going to be persistent about it. We will need to match that persistence and fury to keep our rights.