The election results of 2022 should be a warning to the Republican establishment that a new strategy is required to win the Congress decisively and take back the White House in 2024.

There are several states that Republicans have not been competitive in for decades. A national strategy that focuses on lower taxes and general liberty may win some blue collar votes, but will have no success with younger voters already conditioned by college professors and high school teachers to think green energy will save the earth and Republicans ideals are sexist, racist and homophobic. With that backdrop, several policy changes could gain votes in these blue states, but I want to focus now on gun rights.

I support the Second Amendment completely, but as the Supreme Court has ruled many times, all rights are not absolute. The Biden administration supports restricting gun rights, but is trying to ban “assault rifles” as a first step that seems reasonable to the unknowledgeable citizens.

First, what is an assault rifle? There is no such thing as “assault” is the process not the weapon. Any weapon, including knives, can be used in warfare or an assault. The left intends to associate a semi-automatic weapon with an automatic one used by criminals during the Prohibition period to confuse the public. Just as the public determined that those “tommy guns” were unacceptable, most would agree that criminals and “mentally ill” people should not possess guns as they pose a danger to the general public.

Most mass shootings are perpetrated by unstable persons. Most have been treated by psychiatrists and have been prescribed psychoactive drugs. Republican candidates in the blue states cannot be expected to propose absolute Second Amendment policies on gun ownership and still secure winning majorities in most blue districts.

But they can propose policies that would win the votes of those frightened by crime and mass shootings.

Nationally, Republicans should avoid legislation restricting gun ownership, with two exceptions. First former felons should be severely limited in purchasing legal guns. Criminals will not obey laws, so they will secure weapons illegally. Use of weapons during the commission of crimes should be additive to punishments. In blue states, this is a winning strategy in communities fearful of crime.

Second is the issue of mentally ill persons buying legal guns. This would require significant changes in the HIPAA laws protecting patient privacy in health records. Psychiatrists would be required to report patients with significant illness and those on strong psychoactive drugs. This would put these doctors in the civil legal process if they don’t do it, forcing them to evaluate their moral responsibilities. These restrictions will not ensure safety, but will limit attacks and separate Republicans and Democrats on an issue the majority supports. Red flag laws should not be unreasonable, but they must be aimed at protecting children and the unarmed. Limitations would be subject to regular review to protect those who have resolved their illnesses. Further, those restricted would be able to have representation and fight arbitrary limitations, guaranteeing due process protection.

The Enlightenment which underpins our Constitution sought citizen political control. But, compromise is a key element to avoid tyranny of the majority which is a hallmark of Marxism. Our federalism intends to protect minority rights, which means that change may be difficult to achieve. With many cities now crime-ridden, the proposal of limited gun availability through legal means for dangerous people would be supported by those who do not presently vote Republicans.

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