Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All in for Gun Control

Democrats have decided, as they did in December 2012 after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, that now is the moment to demand more gun control. It will be interesting to watch the impact of their strategy. It had very limited affect in terms of new laws in 2013. Colorado was one of the very few states that enacted any legislation, and it produced a backlash that led to the loss of three legislators and cost Democrats their state senate majority.

Examining public opinion concerning gun control shows the public’s views are complex. And after the recent spate of horrific incidents, likely subject to change.

In the short-term, there is a noticeable increase in support for gun control. The latest Gallup poll shows an 8 point increase over last year. But, other recent polls are showing mixed support for gun control. CNN’s pre-San Bernardino poll shows 52 percent of Americans oppose “stricter gun control laws.” Whatever the current support for gun control, it often decays as time passes and top news stories shift.
  • Although the public supports some gun restrictions, such as universal registration and bans of some weapons, they also are:
    1. Skeptical the restrictions will make much of a difference.
    2. Support the Second Amendment and the right to own a weapon. In fact, 40 percent of households have a gun.
  • Gun owners tend to be very passionate about their rights, and there are more of them than equally passionate gun control advocates. 
Also, a July Colorado survey shows only 39 percent in favor of “stricter new gun control laws in Colorado,” 56 percent oppose them. In general, Colorado Democrats should be cautious about how much gun control they advocate. There are far more families with guns in their households than marijuana.

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