by Scott L. Bach
Firearms owners turned out in record numbers on election day to defend the Second Amendment, providing the crucial votes necessary to keep a pro-gun President in the White House and strengthen the pro-gun majority in Congress.
Consider the following:
There was a net gain of four pro-gun seats in the U.S. Senate, and 14 of the 18 Senate candidates endorsed by NRA won. These gains will make it more likely that President Bush's Supreme Court nominees will be confirmed, and less likely that the UN's global gun ban treaty will be imposed upon the U.S. in the near future.
241 of the 251 House candidates endorsed by NRA won, ensuring the strength and continuity of an already solidly pro-gun House. New Jersey's pro-Second Amendment Congressmen all retained their seats.
Anti-gun Senate minority leader (and chief obstructionist of pro-gun judicial nominees) Tom Daschle was defeated by pro-gun candidate John Thune, notwithstanding the support and endorsement of the Brady Campaign. The significance of this victory, both real and symbolic, cannot be overemphasized.
President Bush won with the largest popular vote count in U.S. history – larger even than Ronald Reagan's.
One message that is clear from the election results is that firearms owners cannot be tricked into voting for anti-gun candidates. A democratic strategy memo intercepted earlier this year suggested that gun owners could be fooled if anti-gun candidates paid lip service to the Second Amendment and created gun-toting photo-ops. Senator Kerry apparently adopted this strategy, despite his 20-year voting record that revealed him to be the most anti-gun presidential candidate in U.S. history. His defeat sends a signal to all anti-gun politicians that gun owners cannot be fooled, and that the only way to get pro-gun votes is to actually become pro-gun.
Although New Jersey did not become the swing state it was anticipated to be, the casting of more than 1.5 million votes in New Jersey for President Bush should also send a message to the occupiers of both the State House and the Governor's Mansion: The 2005 gubernatorial and legislative elections are coming, and there are a massive number of voters working to return traditional values to New Jersey.
Scott L. Bach is ANJRPC Executive Vice President and a Director of the NRA