Forced into a Gun Debate

Even after Virginia Tech, the Democrats ran from gun control. But they will have to re-embrace it if the Supreme Court tosses out D.C.'s strict ban

Until the massacre at Virginia Tech, the last thing the Democrats wanted was a debate about guns. Convinced that Al Gore lost Tennessee in 2000 partly because of his support for gun control in the primaries, moderate Democrats elected to Congress last November from formerly Republican districts often proclaimed their support for gun owners' rights. And even after the shootings at Blacksburg, it's not obvious that the new Democratic Congress wants to take the political risk of resurrecting the federal assault-weapons ban, which the Republican Congress allowed to expire in 2004. Although majorities of Americans support the ban, and even President...

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