Whether someone owns a gun is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South or a number of other demographic characteristics.
It will come as no surprise to those with a passing interest in American politics that Republicans are more likely to own guns than Democrats. But the differences have become much more stark in recent years, with gun ownership having become one of the clearest examples of the partisan polarization in the country over the last two decades.
In other words, one group in the society is becoming more integrated and confident and another, driven in part by fear, is trying to resist change. But you can’t stop progress, or progressives: 2012 was an encouraging election and there is more work to be done along similar lines, from a ban on the military-grade weaponry used to massacre 20 first traders and their teachers last week, to reality-based economic policies, to defeat of the zombie Republican Scott Brown should it be required.