This phenomenon -- legal victory that leads to cultural and political defeat -- has a long history. In the 1850s, slaveholders collected some huge legal prizes: the Fugitive Slave Act, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision. Those victories produced an anti-slavery movement powerful enough to elect Lincoln and win the Civil War. Sixty years later, the temperance movement won its long battle for national Prohibition. Within a decade, the culture was turning against temperance; Repeal came soon after. In America's culture wars, the side with the law's weaponry often manages only to wound themselves.
Could we be seeing this phenomenon at play in Britain, with respect to gun control? Is it long in coming to America? Or are we already seeing it in motion, say, in state CCW laws and reciprocity agreements, and the sunset of the AWB?
William J. Stuntz at TechCentralStation, The Academic Left and the Christian Right, Part II.