But Dan Glickman didn’t keep his job: The nine-term Democratic congressman serving Wichita, Kan., thought he was cruising to reelection in 1994. After he voted for the assault weapons ban, he learned otherwise.
Glickman, a Wichita native, had recently passed a bill limiting the liability of small-aircraft manufacturers. That saved a lot of local jobs. One day, going door to door, Glickman shook hands with a man who congratulated him on the liability bill.
“But I can't vote for you,” the man said.
Why not? asked Glickman.
“Because of your vote on guns.”
Glickman said the law would merely ban assault weapons. Surely the man didn’t need one of those.
“Dan, don’t tell me what I need or don’t need,” the man said.
Glickman lost that November, as did scores of Democrats. The Republicans reclaimed the House for the first time in 40 years. Gun control was only one factor in the Democratic wipeout — many Democrats had backed a 1993 tax hike and an ambitious health-care-reform plan dubbed Hillarycare. But the 1994 election signaled a new era in which gun control would become a harder sell in Congress. The two parties became more ideologically distinct, with fewer moderates.
That right there should be a message to all politicians. Its time conservatives and law abiding gun owners to fight back hard.