The elites will tell you that it is, but that's a very bad misreading. A "Red State" vs. "Blue State" analysis will also send you very far into the weeds. The whole gun control conversation is about class.
Gun control is loved by the elites - highly educated, largely (but not entirely) coastal, those who look to the European experiment with soft socialism as a model. Joe Biden is actually the perfect person to lead Obama's Blue Ribbon gun control task force, because this description fits him precisely.
Here's the problem for the elite: most of the country doesn't identify as being a member of this class. And for better or worse, the country will have to vote for or against whatever proposal Slow Joe's panel comes out with. Given that the panel will be heavily weighted towards Progressive Class membership and given that the country will be weighted just about the opposite, any proposal will start in a deep hole of legislative fail.
If you look at the Congressional districts, there are some traits that will tend to make the Congressmen members of the Progressive Class:
- Urban - the more urban the population the more progressive the district will be.
- Seat of government - all governments (even Red State ones) attract a more Progressive crowd.
- Presence of large Universities - New York (Columbia), Boston (Harvard), Research Triangle all enhance the progressive leaning of the district. The RTP Universities go a long way to explaining why North Carolina is the Massachusetts of Dixie, by the way.
The rest of the country is effectively not a member of this Progressive elite class. While Congressional districts that don't have these three characteristics will have citizens who do self-identify as Progressive Elite class members, the majority (and likely a large majority) will not.
And so back to gun control. The elite loves the idea. The rest of the country doesn't. So what do the numbers look like for Biden's panel?
It's worse for the Senators, because a lot of the "purple" states are more red than blue. While only a third of the Senators are up for election in 2014, they need to win votes state wide. I estimate only 25% will think themselves safe voting for real gun control. That's not enough to get a bill out of committee.
And note that this assumes that extreme measures like Andrew Cuomo's and Dianne Feinstein's total bans aren't proposed. I'd think that the Banning team would lose half of their support - i.e. fewer than 100 Congressmen and a dozen or so Senators would vote for an extreme measure.
You can play the game, too. Wikipedia lists the districts by State.
Bottom line: there will be a lot of huffing and puffing in the Media (paid up members of the Elite Class), but nothing will see the light of day in Congress. I don't think that anything will get a committee vote - Congress loves to posture and pose, but votes count, and people track who votes for what.
As to the ATF, I think that Chris Byrne is right that it won't do anything significant. If it does, Alan Gura and the SAF will tie it up in court until the next Administration. And if by some turn of events the ATF does do something onerous that makes it difficult for normal people to have guns and if the courts uphold that then there will be a lot of Congressmen with (D) next to their name polishing up their resumes come December 2014. The math makes that a certainty.
Net/net, I'm annoyed at myself for paying through the nose for ammo this Christmas, because the panic will pass and prices will return to sane levels. Of course, I needed it for stocking stuffers*, so you want to play you got to pay.
* Ammunition makes a great stocking stuffer.