For that reason, Kopel suggests it is instructive to look at what arguments Hennigan advances and what arguments he has abandoned in his attempts to restrict the Second Amendment.
They're aiming at a moving target. They have to adapt. I've antis do so in the middle of a debate when I've had them on the ropes.
The atmosphere started shifting ever so slightly in the 1990's. We all had our moments, but for me, it was Clayton Cramer's Racist Roots of Gun Control
. I could show an academic that there was viable, thorough historical research to prove my claims.
They still didn't want to give ground, and they were fundamentally incapable of saying, "wow, you've given me food for thought." Instead, they'd refine or redirect their arguments.
That said, a year before Heller
, the Brady/VPC axis was largely sticking to the "collective rights" argument. When Heller
started gaining steam and it looked as if "collective rights" was going the way of the Dodo and Huey Lewis, they started trying to tailor the individual right as narrowly as possible.
I received one email from them (yes, I'm on their list) the week after the decision in which they claimed victory, citing Scalia's reticence to strike down all gun-control laws. Something about a victory for "commonsense legislation."
At this point, they're on the defensive, but it's important to remember that they still have some serious firepower among the academic community.