Lessons Learned from the 2018 Midterm Elections

Second Amendment

There will be at least three more pro-Second Amendment U.S. Senators after 2018. (US Senate photo)

U.S.A. -( Well, the 2018 midterm elections are in the books. In some ways, they went very well – the GOP took out four Democrats who voted against Donald Trump’s pro-Second Amendment judicial nominees, while confirming anti-Second Amendment judges selected by Barack Obama. In governor’s races, some previously pro-Second Amendment governorships went the other way due to retirements, and the loss of Scott Walker is a devastating blow in the Badger State.

The House of Representatives, though, was an unmitigated disaster. The nightmare of Jerry Nadler running the House Judiciary Committee is happening. You’re not dreaming. The House of Representatives will now be debating and voting on whether to punish millions of law-abiding gun owners for shootings they never committed. What do we learn from this?

Sometimes Other Issues Prevail

Many of the House races were not centered on the Second Amendment. Some were decided on local issues, but in many cases, it was either health care or the tone of President Trump that dominated. There isn’t a lot that can be done, except to encourage more of the fence-sitters you know to make a failure to support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens a deal-breaker.

Bloomberg’s Billions Count

While those who exercise their Second Amendment rights are far more engaged, Michael Bloomberg is swamping us with money. The passage of I-1639 is one example, but so is the fact that several Senators who were strongly anti-Second Amendment survived in states where Trump won. House seats also went the other way, and Bloomberg’s ability to drop millions is one factor.

Showing Up Matters

Bloomberg’s billions allow him to take the fight to any location of his choosing. Sadly, too many of the established Second Amendment groups, including the NRA, have been focused on solidifying the base, and not enough on outreach in the suburbs and urban areas. This has to change, and the best way to do that is for Second Amendment supporters to find ways to get involved in their communities, and they may need to keep that support in the closet initially, until people get to know them.

The Future Battlefield is Being Shaped

We see this in Florida, where the passage of Amendment 4 will put as many as a million convicted felons on the voter rolls. This will have an effect of future elections in that state. Nadler chairing House Judiciary Committee will have effects as well, especially when hearings are called on Second Amendment issues.

A Fighting Spirit Matters

When Beto O’Rourke defended the anthem kneelers, he inspired nationwide enthusiasm. He did not win the Senate seat in Texas, but he arguably helped take out some pro-Second Amendment representatives with coattails. Similarly, the GOP Senate’s decision to stand up for Kavanaugh probably was a big reason that Heitkamp, Donnelly, Nelson, and McCaskill will be polishing their resumes – and it is to be determined if Tester will also have to do that.

Races Down-Ticket Matter

The loss of various state attorney general races will have an effect on Second Amendment rights. These state officials can find ways to attack our Second Amendment rights, whether via shenanigans on referendums (see I-1639) or by attacking pro-Second Amendment groups (it will not just be the province of governors like Andrew Cuomo).

The Best and Worst is Yet to Come

We can expect to see pro-Second Amendment judges (and Supreme Court justices, should openings occur) sail through the Senate. This will have an effect, especially as the NRA’s case against Cuomo moves forward. That said, we will see the House of Representatives used as a means to attack the Second Amendment and to create new issues.

Harold Hutchison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.

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