The National Rifle Association’s days of being a political powerhouse may be numbered.His fellow law professor (and pro-rights immigrant) Eugene Volokh replies:
Why? The answer is in the numbers.
Support for, and opposition to, gun control is closely associated with several demographic characteristics, including race, level of education and whether one lives in a city. Nearly all are trending forcefully against the NRA.
The core of the NRA’s support comes from white, rural and relatively less educated voters. This demographic is currently influential in politics but clearly on the wane. While the decline of white, rural, less educated Americans is generally well known, less often recognized is what this means for gun legislation.
Polls show that whites tend to favor gun rights over gun control by a significant margin (57 percent to 40 percent). Yet whites, who comprise 63 percent of the population today, won’t be in the majority for long. Racial minorities are soon to be a majority, and they are the nation’s strongest supporters of strict gun laws.
As I’ve argued before, when you let in immigrants, you let in your future rulers: They will vote, and they may outvote you, including on questions (gun rights, abortion rights, free speech rights, economic matters, and more) that matter deeply to you. ...Yes, massive immigration will reduce and eliminate many rights, because most of the immigrants do not share American values.
But in evaluating the costs and the benefits of immigration, how immigration will change our liberties — by changing the people voting on our liberties — is surely an important question. And this is especially so when the usual devices of assimilation and Americanization (schools, news media, the political parties to which the immigrants are likely to adhere), which may push immigrants to share other Americans’ views on many questions, are unlikely to promote gun rights. ...
Adam suggests that the debate will likewise change on gun rights, and his reasoning suggests that it will change more and more as there is more and more immigration. And it may change on many other topics as well, whether having to do with rights, economics, foreign policy, or anything else. It’s hard to ignore that effect, it seems to me, in considering the pluses and minuses of massive immigration.