California's junior U.S. senator, Barbara Boxer (D), announced this week that she will not seek re-election in 2016. The announcement follows a statewide poll last year, indicating that Boxer's support among Californians had slipped. Moreover, in the November 2014 elections, her party became the minority in Congress' upper house, resulting in her loss of the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
While California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein (D), usually has taken the more aggressive stance on gun control issues--for example, authoring the federal "assault weapon" and "large" magazine ban of 1994-2004--Boxer has had a near "perfect" record of support for every cockamamie anti-gun bill that has come down the pike since her election to the Senate in 1993, earning her an "F"-rating from the NRA. Hoping to capitalize on passage of the Brady bill in 1993, as well as the Feinstein-authored bans of 1994, Boxer in 1996 introduced legislation to prohibit the manufacture of compact, small-caliber self-defense handguns, which she called "junk guns."
Boxer’s announcement opens up at least the possibility that her replacement in 2017 will be someone who has more respect than she has had for the right of people to have the firearms, magazines and ammunition that they believe are best for defensive and other legitimate purposes.
Gun owners who vote in the other 49 states will be watching closely to see how well California's gun owners fare in the 2016 election. But in the meantime, the senator who became infamous for lecturing on how hard she worked to attain that title will now have the opportunity for what she would no doubt insist is a well-deserved rest.