One person we could thank is Howard Dean. His plan to get control of congress for the democrats was to run more "gun friendly" politicians in states which were more rural but had lots of "socially conservative" democrats. He was head of the DNC and realized they were giving up those states to republicans because of their anti gun message and socially liberal planks in the democrat party platform. When the dems took more seats in congress, those seats were occupied by democrats who were not anxious to vote for more gun control, including a renewed assault weapons ban, despite what the liberal leadership of the party and Obama would like to do.
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Samuel Adams.