The gun lobby responds to this lost world by saying: If you feel your power ebbing, grab a gun, and don’t let the elitists disarm you because they disdain your values and your way of life.
How to answer? Certainly Colorado shows that when sane legislation is enacted, its supporters need to sell the benefits far more effectively and to persuade more voters to see gun sanity as a make-or-break issue. And they should follow the NRA in never allowing setbacks to demobilize them.
But they also need to be clear that they seek background checks, smaller magazines and the like not to disempower gun owners but to liberate all of us from fears that madmen might gun down our children and wreak havoc in our communities.
Those of us who support gun regulations share with most gun owners a devotion to a rather old-fashioned world. We believe that the possession of firearms comes with responsibilities and that we need to take seriously our obligations to protect one another. Ours is the real fight for liberty. For if we become a society in which everyone has to be armed, we will truly have lost the most basic freedom there is.