This week's tragedy at Virginia Tech and a decision by the US Supreme Court have revived debate on the right to bear arms and a woman's right to abortion. Based on public opinion, it ought to be easier to enact new gun controls than to limit abortion but, in fact, it's not. Majorities of Americans support both--with restrictions, but conservative minorities are dominating the debates on policy. Why are Democrats backing away from an issue that matters to their liberal base? Will Republicans end up hurting their cause by pushing too hard to please conservatives? Has framing both issues in absolute terms made compromise unattainable?