When I read the statement by Rep. Paul Hodes commending the U.S. Supreme Court’s pro-gun rights Second Amendment decision yesterday, for just a brief moment I was quite surprised. I quickly realized that this was not because of anything Hodes had said or done on the issue in the past, but was simply due to the fact that after having lived for many years in major urban centers with significant gun violence, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Philadelphia, I reflexively associate pro-gun control positions with elected Democratic officials (who also typically run these cities).
The past few decades have shown that the socio-economic causes of gun violence are at least somewhat impervious to stricter regulation, so it will be interesting to see where places like Chicago (a party to the Supreme Court case) and Washington, D.C. go from here, now that the issue of gun rights seems more constitutionally settled than at any other time in a generation.
From a campaign perspective, Hodes’ position makes some political sense. New Hampshire's small cities don't have the same level of gun violence as major urban areas with much larger populations, but the state does have a long tradition of sport hunting, and a libertarian streak that seems well-suited to an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment. As an article over at Politico.com suggests, Hodes apparently isn’t the only Democrat running for office who seems pleased with the Supreme Court ruling.
Note: Since I was unable to link to the Hodes press release, for those of you who haven't seen the quote, here it is: The right to bear arms is central to our Constitution, and today the Supreme Court held firm in safeguarding this right for all Americans. Last year, I wrote the Supreme Court urging it to protect the Second Amendment in this case, and I am pleased that its decision will protect the rights of all Americans and Granite Staters alike.
I'll be away from the website tomorrow, and back posting on Thursday. -Dean
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