Guns under the turkey?
Did I feel safer at Thanksgiving or less safe? You see, I spent the day in the Commonwealth of Virginia - just across the Potomac river, but light years from Washington DC in one particular respect. In Virginia I was in a home where the owner could carry a concealed weapon. In DC - even in my own home/castle - I cannot.
I am not sure whether my host exercises his right under Virginia law (the issue didn't come up over the turkey) but he has the option and I do not. But change is in the air and it's a change the Democrats might well view with trepidation.
There is so much else going on - at home and abroad - that the Supreme Court's decision to hear its first gun rights case for a generation has somehow slipped under the radar. But is gun control a new "wedge issue" about to replace abortion in its ability to damage the Democrats and rally Republicans?
The case the Court is hearing is an appeal by the government of the District of Columbia (that's Washington DC, the nation's capital) against a lower court decision chucking out the city's ban on handguns. The second amendment of the US Constitution plainly gives individuals a right to bear arms.
Or does it?
That is the question before the Supreme Court and it is a pretty fundamental one. The justices will think about it next spring and decide by the summer. Whichever way the court rules it is likely to be a big deal and a big deal coming just months before the 2008 presidential poll, a poll in which Democrats would like to carry on the progress they made in the 2006 mid-terms in capturing rural conservative voters who are very keen on their weapons.
Might the Democrats be forced on to the defensive? Or is the fact that the police in DC are among those campaigning to keep the ban rather helpful to those Democrats who might want to make the case to the nation that sensible gun laws enforce people's fundamental rights to stay alive? What does Hillary (to pick a name at random) think the court should do?