A recent NPR story says the Democrats "have concluded this is just a loser issue for them." The story goes on to cite the 1994 loss of Congress in the wake of the Clinton "assault weapons" ban and Al Gore's loss of his own home state of Tennessee (which had he won, would have given him the presidency). New York-bred host Liane Hansen fairly sputters that recent shooting rampages have not sparked more discussion of "gun control" (failing to mention that one of those shootings was terminated by a citizen with a lawfully carried firearm.)
Now if only the GOP could pick up on that clue.
In fairness, some of them have — witness the improved poll numbers for Ron Paul, probably the most principled candidate in the race, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson as former "maverick" John McCain and Rudy Giuliani show signs of fatigue. However I'm not holding my breath waiting for the Republican leadership on either side of the Hill to make another reform of the 1968 Gun Control Act any sort of priority.
Volunteer Security Guards
Speaking of that Colorado shooting, which was stopped by a "volunteer security guard" (that would be a law-abiding citizen carrying a lawfully carried weapon), I'm reminded of a story from a long-time friend and supporter. In the wake of a synagogue shooting in California his rabbi called him in and very gently and circumspectly suggested that since he and some of his friends made no secret of their ownership of guns, might they perhaps consider providing some informal security to the congregation.
"Rabbi, what makes you think that we haven't been doing that for years?"