As Greg Sargent points out, yesterday's primary win by Democrat Robin Kelly in Illinois has boosted confidence in and efforts towards effective gun policies. Sargent describes it as a liberal win over Democrats. That, in itself, is a healthy message for the Democratic party.
First of all, there's the solid win thanks to Bloomberg's PAC money. The loud shout from the left means NRA funding -- and probably to a greater extent its mailing list -- meet serious competition.
... Liberal groups are now going to try to make gun control a litmus test issue in Democratic primaries. This was a first test case, and you can expect that they will now be looking to primary “gun rights” Dems and make them pay a price for coziness with the NRA wherever possible. ...Sargent, WaPo
That's the really good news. Add to it some political heft, some successful herding of cats.
Bloomberg’s PAC wasn’t the only group that sought to swing the race. A number of liberal organizations and online groups also got involved: CREDO Super PAC did on the ground organizing against Halvorson; DailyKos raised money for her; Democracy for America also raised money and contributed phone banking; and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee did some last minute organizing. The success of this effort is likely to encourage such groups to look for other “gun rights” Dems to target. ...Sargent, WaPo
Free! Freedom at last from the heavy hand of the NRA! And quite apart from the gun control issue, the Dems are looking a lot healthier, more together, less dependent on gun-toters' votes.
... As Obama’s victory showed, the Democratic Party is increasingly reliant on groups that are growing as a share of the electorate — minorities, young voters, and suburban and college educated whites, especially women — that view gun control as a priority. At the same time, Dems are increasingly less reliant on constituencies — blue collar white men, rural voters — who are hostile towards stricter gun laws, and no longer see as much of a need to shape the party’s agenda to avoid alienating them. ...Sargent, WaPo