Gun control groups often like to claim that gun control is a non-partisan issue. The reason they do that is simple. They know they can’t win if just Democrats support it, so they’re trying to garner support from independents and Republicans, and Republicans especially won’t side with it if it’s a “Democrat” position.
So, they try to spin it. They try to claim that gun control is a universal issue, that 90 percent of people support gun control, all to make people think they’re going to be the winners.
If that’s true, though, why are they spending money to support positions like abortion?
Gun control was supposed to be the issue of 2018.
Yet it has receded so far into the background of the midterm congressional elections that Everytown for Gun Safety, a major player in gun control, is spending its money on ads covering abortion, health care and the Republican tax bill — but nary a mention of assault rifles or bump stocks.
There are new voices on the electoral playing field, including students from the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February that left 17 people dead.
But the cable news cameras that helped give the students a platform have turned elsewhere, leaving the activists struggling for attention in an election season crowded with the politics of the Supreme Court, President Trump and international crises.
“Perhaps the gun issue has waned a bit in the absence of highly publicized mass shootings in the past few months. The passion to enact gun reform is usually heightened after a mass shooting and then quickly dissipates,” said Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America.”
Everytown and its affiliate Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the campaigns.
The reason is pretty simple. Like Winkler states, guns become a hot-button issue in the wake of a high-profile mass shooting, but the further out from an election the shooting is, the lower the chance of people still being worked up about guns come time to vote. In this case, that means anti-gun groups are going to try to find other issues they can use to defeat candidates who are pro-gun rights.
What the kids from Parkland never realized, though, is that they were nothing more than props. They were convenient at the time, but now they’re not. That’s why they’re not getting the push they did before.
For these kids, they’re struggling to maintain relevance. It’s why they talk about the fear of being run off the road. It’s not that they’re really afraid of that, it’s that they know that fear sells.
But for the gun control groups that supported them, they have other fish to fry. Who cares if they turned kids into celebrities and then dropped them when they weren’t useful anymore? What matters to them is “the cause,” even if they know deep down inside that the cause doesn’t have nearly the support they think it does.
If it did, they’d stay on message. They’d keep hammering every pro-gun candidate left and right.
The fact that they’re not doing so proves they don’t believe their own press. They know the support they tout is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, an illusion that looks good for a friendly press but doesn’t hold up to cold scrutiny.
But they also ended up proving that they’re not nearly as non-partisan as they like to believe.