You should receive this issue of Gun Tests around October 27, or about a week before the elections scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. I believe it will be a consequential time, and our gun rights are at risk yet again. I will be voting to maintain my gun rights by pulling the lever for Donald Trump, but then, I’m a 2A voter and have been for many decades, so that choice is easy. I haven’t been happy with everything President Trump has done regarding gun rights, but he’s certainly better than what Hillary would have done from 2016 on. And on perhaps the most consequential decisions — Supreme Court nominations — he’s earned at least a provisional B grade, and perhaps higher, if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed and Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch rule our way on gun rights. I would like to grade Trump’s SC picks higher, but you never know how they’ll turn out long term. Those three, along with Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, might actually vote to hear a new gun-rights case in the next term. If so, it will take them all to get to a 5-4 decision like Heller or McDonald because Chief Justice John Roberts has gone rubbery. But this is all in the future because Barrett hasn’t been confirmed as I write this, and Trump hasn’t been re-elected. There’s plenty of time for calamity to arrive.
So, that’s the future. But what about the past? I looked back at my editorials written for the November issue in 2008 and 2000 to see how wrong I was back then. On October 8, 2008, the day after the second presidential debate, I wrote, “By the time this magazine arrives in your postbox, the election will be just days away, or it has already concluded. I admit I’m in a grim mood, because I believe I have seen the future, and the future has shown me that Barack Hussein Obama will become the 44th president of the United States. This is not an outcome I desire… As a result, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many gun pundits and the gun marketplace, the Obama outcome will be very bad for the 2nd Amendment.” Turns out I was right on the outcome of the election, but fear of Obama spurred the largest expansion of gun buying we’ve ever seen until this year.
In November 2000, I wrote, “Please vote for anybody but Al Gore for president. He will push registration down our throats if he wins, followed shortly by some sort of fee/transfer tax, followed by transfer restrictions, followed by some sort of confiscation plan. If you doubt this, call a friend in Massachusetts or California and see what their gun ownership rights are like today. If you don’t like George W. Bush, hold your nose and vote for him anyway. I don’t think he’s great on gun civil rights (Charlton Heston is), but he’s okay.” Bingo.
Vote like your gun rights depend on it, because they do.