This year, 2004, will see political realignments that will affect gun-owner rights for years to come. The current Bush administration has been a period of inertia in terms of advancing new controls, but this is largely due to the administration being distracted by the War on Terror. During his campaign for the presidency in 2000, Bush favored extending the “assault-weapons ” ban of 1994 that sunsets on September 13, 2004. Should George Bush lose the election, there are more than a few politicians in his party who will gladly join the certain effort of a John Kerry administration to renew the assault-weapons ban. Although the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. triggered a wave of gun buying among the American public, the federal government remains determined to stop the advance of gun freedoms in any areas it directly controls, despite significant pressure to desist in the interest of more effective security. It has, for instance, deliberately dragged its feet on allowing airline pilots to be armed, despite the fact that there is significant support among pilots and the public for allowing pilots to be armed. Adding fuel to the fire in this post-September 11 world is John R. Lott, Jr.’s lates
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