Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 Congress – It Could Be Much Worse!

One of the members of the gunsnet community posted an analysis of the 2006 and 2008 Congressional elections this morning. All other things being equal, it paints a bit rosier picture of the incoming Congress than the initial returns would have you believe. The table below summarizes the NRA rating of all of the members of both the 2006 and 2008 House and Senate.

As you can see, the pro-Second Amendment cause has lost a little ground from 2006 to 2008, but the numbers are not totally disastrous. I’ve taken the data above and graphed it into pie charts so the balance of power is clearly visual.

In 2006, “A” rated representatives held a clear majority in the House, and if you throw in the “B” rated members, that majority only grows.

In 2008, amazingly “A” rated representatives STILL hold a clear majority of the votes in the House. That majority is thinner than it was in 2006, and the number of “B” rated representatives is smaller but still provides some cushion. The number of “F” rated representatives is roughly unchanged, but there has been significant growth in the number of “D” rated representatives. Hopefully this trend will not continue, but the good news is that strong anti-Second Amendment legislation is going to run into a serious roadblock in the House of Representatives.

The picture in the Senate is, however, not quite as favorable.

In 2006, “A” rated senators made up the largest voting bloc at 47, and if you add in the 4 “B” rated senators, then solidly pro-gun individuals made up a majority in the Senate.

In 2008 the picture has changed somewhat for the worse. These numbers were tabulated before the four initially undecided races were finalized, so there will undoubtedly be impact from those races. In 2008 there are only 41 “A” rated senators at this point – a steep drop from 2006, but they prevent any anti-Second “supermajority” in the Senate, so the filibuster is still in play. The only good news is at this point there is no net growth in “D” rated or “F” rated senators either. That may change going forward.

Going forward, it appears that a pro-Second majority is in the bag in the House of Representatives; however we can’t take that for granted. Remember when firearm related bills are proposed to write your representatives. In the Senate one suggested tactic is to focus on the bloc of “C” rated senators. This probably isn’t a bad tactic as they could go either way on any particular piece of legislation. However if we value our liberties, we need to write our representatives regardless of where they fall on the curve, from the staunchest “A” rated supporter of our right to keep and bear arms all the way through the worst “F” rated gun grabber. Even if we have no hope of lobbying our representative, we can’t afford to remain silent as the stakes are simply too high.

Until next time!!!

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