Anti-gunners have been emboldened in the last year, and it’s not surprising in the least. They had the media pushing their narrative, they had bodies to use as a soapbox, they had everything they could want.
And they’ve made the most of it. Anti-gunners have pushed for gun control laws all over the nation, winning some important victories from their point of view.
But, all things must come to an end, and their post-Parkland bump is such an example.
It’s not just the pro-gun media saying that, either. No, this is coming from Vox.
A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 51 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws in the United States. While that’s still a slim majority, it’s a significant drop from when the same poll was conducted last year, soon after the Parkland shooting, when 71 percent of Americans said gun laws should be tightened.
Forty-two percent of Americans believe that stricter gun legislation should be an immediate priority for Congress. In a survey conducted in April 2018, 52 percent of respondents said the same.
It’s a familiar pattern: In the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, there is a bump in support for gun restrictions, and calls for gun control increase. But over time, public attention on the issue fades, and Congress fails to act. It’s what happened after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, at Pulse nightclub in 2016, and at a Las Vegas concert in 2017.
Unsurprisingly, Vox blames the National Rifle Association (NRA) for this.
It’s pretty impressive when you think about it. The NRA spent less money this election cycle and is at once losing its influence and still able to shift public sentiment despite pretty much every media outlet working against it.
Next, they’re going to show a picture of Wayne LaPierre sitting in a chair on a space station petting his white Persian cat and plotting his next act of super-villainy.
The truth is that opinions supporting gun control spike in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting not because it’s a good idea, but because it’s an emotionally-driven one. People are stunned and saddened, so they think gun control is a winning strategy only because it works on a visceral level.
When people calm down, they start to understand it a bit better. They begin to look for real solutions, answers that delve deeper than “ban man got gun. Make bad man not get gun.”
It took longer this time only because the media kept the pot stirred.
Lost in Vox‘s discussion, though, was Thousand Oaks.
You see, that mass shooting took place in California, a state with almost all the gun control most anti-gunners say they desire. It has magazine limits, strict limits on handguns, an assault weapon registration, and a host of other laws. But we all watched the news with horror after a man took a gun into a country bar and opened fire.
Frankly, that had a lot to do with shifting perceptions on gun control. After all, despite claims that gun control would stop mass shootings, it didn’t. There was all the proof people needed that it wouldn’t.
So opinions shifted, as they usually do, but this time despite the media push.
It was always going to happen. It just took longer this time around.