Lost in the huffing and puffing over Obama's "bittergate" remarks on gun owners is the fact that he and the rest of the leading Dems have completely caved on the issue of gun control, much as they did on the death penalty after the disastrous 1988 prez race of Dukakis. After that Dem prez candidates had to show they could execute the young and mentally ill to get elected. Now there will be no more pushing for assault weapons bans, handgun restrictions, heightened gun registration, or anything else. West Virginia and other states that used to go Dem but went for Bush need to be fought for, and since Kerry's defeat it is clear that kowtowing to the NRA has been an aim of the Dems. (And, ironically, Kerry was a card-carrying NRA member and longtime hunting gun owner, but when he showed up shortly before the election in Ohio in a frou-frou designer hunting outfit, he might as well have bowled a gutter ball in Altoona and denounced xenophobia by rural religious gun nuts.)
So, in the awful ABC debate that also saw Hillary ready to defend the entire Middle East against Iran (or maybe Syria?), Obama agreed with the NRA position on the Second Amendment as it relates to the case before the Supreme Court about D.C.'s gun ownership restrictions. He said it guarantees an individual right to own guns, against the traditional interpretation that the Second Amendment is about a "well-regulated militia." In any case, even the slaughter at Virginia Tech last year has not moved the Dems (and certainly not blind duck Hillary) to push for what Hillary's husband got, restrictions on the most extreme of assault weapons. By my calculation if the madman at Virginia Tech had only had guns allowed during the 1990s, he would have been able to kill only about a third fewer than he did because of the fewer rounds of shots one can get off with those allowed guns. But, we cannot pursue such matters any more. The NRA and the gun nuts must be assuaged, even though I fear that is hopeless for Obama now.