Republicans should not go against the Second Amendment. GOP candidates looking ahead at tough races increasingly are eyeing new ways to address anxieties about gun violence, and to do that without crossing the party's base, which sees gun restrictions as an infringement on the constitutional right to bear arms.
"Republicans' backs are already against the wall among suburban voters, particularly college-educated women," said Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant. "And the inability of our political system to pass what most Americans see as commonsense reforms related to gun violence only makes the matter worse."
That tension is palpable in Arizona, a state with an ardent gun culture as well as a growing population of newcomers seeking sun, jobs and affordable housing in the suburbs that ring Phoenix.