The 15 major contenders for the Republican party's presidential nomination own at least 40 guns, reports the Washington Post. Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) is up to 12 now, including an AR-15 assault weapon that he has talked about using if law and order ever breaks down in his neighborhood. Former Texas governor Rick Perry is so well-armed, he has a gun for jogging. Two city-bred presidential hopefuls, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, don't own a gun.
Nearly every GOP candidate opposes new limits on the purchase or use of guns. With the exception of Christie, the field's outlier, those rated by the National Rifle Association range from A-plus all the way down to .A-minus. Eleven are scheduled to appear next month at the NRA annual conference in Nashville. The near-unanimity on the issue underscores the status of guns in modern-day conservatism. They are a symbol of what big government wants and shouldn't have. “If a party's a shopping mall,” says Graham, “one of the anchor tenants is the Second Amendment.”