Giving Up the Gun: the Conversion of Henry Hyde

Conversions are a rare and risky business in politics. Such decisions, rather than coming across as principled, are often characterized as flip-flops, an outcome of pressure applied not by your conscience but by dark and unseemly forces. Sticking with your own tribe is almost always the best policy, particularly if the side you are on includes an organization as powerful and well-funded as the National Rifle Association.

But Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois took the risk last week, announcing ) that he would switch from opposing the ban on assault weapons to favoring it. His change of heart may have made...

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