Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gun control isn't Liberal vs. Conservative anymore

And it's not going to happen.  At least, not any meaningful way.

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.
Austin is a good example - all three of these points are strongly present, explaining how that fair city is a 100% paid up member of Moonbats For America.

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?

There are 435 Congressional districts.  I estimate that 158 meet enough of the three criteria here to self identify as being members of the Progressive Elite, meaning that their Congressmen could feel safe enough to vote for the Blue Ribbon Panel's recommendation.  That's not nearly enough - there are 277 districts that do not meet the criteria.  Congressmen from these districts would rightly fear defeat in the 2014 elections if they voted for anything more substantial than a fig leaf to the gun banners.

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.


B said...

So i this is true, then why do we have Obamacare? How did all those folks get reelected?

Borepatch said...

B, Obamacare was positioned as helping the poor and working class. The Class Warfare dimensions of that are very different (aimed against small and medium business - the Bourgeoisie, if you will.

Anonymous said...

I have great respect for you and your blog. But a WHOLE LOT of people said Zero wouldn't get another four years. Look at how that turned out.
Call your congresscritter and representasnake and get them the information that they need to not screw up all of the progress we have been making.

Dave H said...

I hope you're right BP, although it's small comfort to those of us who live in Gunbanistan, which you would know as New York. The governor here has even suggested that confiscation might be an option.

Yeah, we'll see. I don't think it'll fly and I don't think he thinks it'll fly. I suspect he's waving around a sword so people won't complain when they get beat with a stick.

Borepatch said...

Dave, come to America. The air smells of freedom.

Ragnar said...

Despite Obamacare being positioned as being for the poor, the polls always showed that the majority of the country was against it. A majority of the country was against the bailouts, that didn't stop them. But let's say you are right and the house Republicans find a backbone to share, what is to stop Obama from using executive orders to interpret existing legislation to enforce gun control. We have federal licenses for automatic weapons, etc., why not high capacity magazines, etc.?

abnormalist said...

Borepatch, I agree that this is unlikely to happen (hey, we agree :-D ) but that is no reason to be lazy about it.

Write your congress critters, write them all. show them that a vote for Dian Fein's bill is a vote to put themselves out of office.

Political critters exist to get themselves reelected, show them that gun control doesn't help their cause no matter their party.

Dear God, PLEASE don't read all the articles that support your view, see what the other side is saying, or you may be as caught off guard as you were by Mittens on November 7th

Broken Andy said...

"The whole gun control conversation is about class."


TOTWTYTR said...

B, the House that passed Obamacare had a Democrat majority, which they lost in 2010.

Obamacare cost the Democrats the House in 2010 and extended the Republican majority 2012. Just as Gun Control cost them the House in 1994 and the White House in 2000.

BP, you've done the number crunching that supports my seat of the pants analysis.

Someone commented that Obama signaled that there would be no serious gun control effort when he appointed Joe Biden to head the commission. Nothing that his commission comes up will make it out of committee.

Bruce S. said...

The theory that voting for gun control would be political death for a politician assumes that elections are fair and not fraudulent. Sadly, there is ample evidence that our elections may well be going the way of Venezuela and other bastions of freedom. When politicians know that however they legistate will not affect the (already decided) election outcome, the end has arrived.