Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz
Despite a full-on anti-gun blitz by the mainstream media and progressive liberals, it appears that Americans are regaining their perspective on the 2nd Amendment and the basic right to protect themselves.
The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) acknowledges that gun owners have been blasted with what it calls a “withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly anti-gun campaigning in memory.” Despite that, it seems we are weathering the storm well.
Though it was predictable that liberal politicians and pundits would latch on to the post-Parkland activist and media blitz, it looks like David Hogg and associates have been gun-control’s own worst enemy. Hogg’s shrill vitriol has lost much of its appeal and he had appeared less and less on MSNBC, signaling a decided lull in the attack on gun rights.
Barack Obama weighed in on the issue with what he called “our children… calling us to account.” For a time, he led the charge in what seemed to promise an inevitable defeat for gun-rights advocates with his militant call: “This time, something different is happening.”
What followed was the 24/7 news cycle and social media commandos driving the anti-gun message so incessantly into the public’s heads, few saner voices could be heard above the roar—for a time.
The media and their prevailing message characterized politicians, like Marco Rubio, who opposed their demands as “fascist” who “take money from the NRA.”
In the words of the Parkland shooting survivor, Emma Gonzalez: “If they accept this blood money, they are against the children. They are against the people who are dying. And that is — that’s — there’s no other way to put it at this point. You’re either funding the killers or you are standing with the children.”
Americans are compassionate by nature, so they let the rage go unchecked until many could take it no more.
Signs are now pointing to the fact that America remains a pro-gun nation and the intensity of the Parkland activism has not been matched by any real shift in opinion.
A recent Gallup poll shows that concern about gun control surged in March as a record 13% of Americans cited guns as the nation’s most important problem. This past Tuesday, however, Gallup showed that percentage had fallen by over half, to 6%. More telling is that the drop was almost equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.
Quinnipiac polling has shown some other interesting factors in the current gun control debate. By April, the percentage of overall respondents who supported stricter gun laws fell 10 points, to 56%. At the same time, opposition to stricter laws rose 8 points, to 39%.
Despite its constant bashing at the hands of the media, negative views of the NRA also fell 8 points while positive views increased by a point.
Up till now, the narrative has been that, in the wake of post-Parkland activism, the youth vote would finally sway national politics in favor of gun control.
But with all the shenanigans in Broward and Palm County, the Tampa Bay Times reports that the drama did not translate into the flood of teen and young voters some predicted. The Times reported, “Across six of the seven largest counties, there were 4,500 fewer registrations among 16- to 25-year-olds compared to the same point in 2014. The largest county, Miami-Dade, could not provide historical data for registrations.”
This trend even held in Broward County, where Parkland is located, with 2,700 fewer registrations in that age bracket.
None of this is to say that America’s gun owners should relax, assured their rights are secure. Several states gave into gun control advocates after Parkland including traditionally gun-friendly districts in Vermont and Florida.
It is heartening to see gun owners and supporters of the Constitution find a voice in politicians like Rubio who has tended to be less strident in the past. However, the object of this latest round of anti-gun hysteria is that this is a non-ending fight.
The anti-gun faction will always be around seeking to impose its will. But gun owners should find courage in the fact that Americans seem to be slowly allowing reason to regain a foothold in the public debate.