Who has the ball?

John McCormack interviewed Paul Helmke for an article at The Weekly Standard. One of the most interesting quotes comes towards the end:

Helmke describes the Brady Campaign’s present situation with a football analogy. “The other side had marched the ball down on the 2 yard line  .  .  .  but now we got the ball back. The bad news is we’ve got 98 yards to go,” he says. “You don’t throw the Hail Mary pass.  .  .  .  You’ve got three downs to get a first down.” Sounds like a game plan. But first the Brady Campaign will need Obama or Clinton to pull off a few trick plays to keep that record on guns well out of sight and win the election in November.

Taking this apart, I would not say that the gun lobby has been able to get “the ball down to the 2 yard line.” While we have managed to make great strides in the past 20 years, handguns are still illegal in D.C. (Hopefully Heller will reverse that) and Chicago, and there are many odious laws still on the books. However, the momentum has clearly been on our side. Right to carry, Castle Doctrine, Katrina bills, the list goes on. As for the gun control side, they did manage to pass microstamping and a partial lead ammo ban in CA, and have made themselves annoying with the ammo coding, but that has gone nowhere. I really don’t know where he gets the idea that they have the ball back. We may be on the verge of a turnover with the coming elections, but the pro gun side still has the ball.

The other question is, what is the hail mary pass? What is the final outcome? They are good about claiming they don’t want an all out ban on guns, but they want to ban “assault weapons,” whatever they are, hand guns, and others. What does that end game look like? They are very good at avoiding that question.

The last point is one I have touched on before, and that it the incremental approach. Mr Helmke talks about having three downs to a first, indicating that they will be more than happy to go for “small” wins, instead of insisting on everything they want right away. We have seen our rights eroded in the past, one small piece at a time, and we need to take a hint from that, and continue to “advance the ball,” even if it is a little bit. That is the approach that has been used on us in the past, we need to learn the lesson that it works, and use it. 

Hat tip: Cam & Co

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