Democrats are pushing for gun control something fierce. They’ve been beating that drum ever since Parkland, since before we actually knew anything about Parkland, and they’re still beating it. Thanks to their friends in the media, they’re apparently getting a bit of traction on the subject.
Now, some Democrats are citing polling data that shows the public has their back on issues like guns.
Wisconsin Democrats on Monday unveiled their priorities for the fall legislative session, citing strong public support for a number of proposals that have been repeatedly rejected by the GOP-controlled state Legislature.
The Democrats’ priorities include measures to increase regulation of guns in Wisconsin, including a bill to expand background checks and a bill to instate a so-called “red flag law.” Red flag laws allow judges to temporarily revoke gun rights from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Speaking at a Capitol press conference, Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, sponsor of the red flag proposal, cited a poll released last month by Marquette University that found 81 percent of Wisconsin residents support the plan.
The poll found similar levels of support for expanding background checks to private, online sales and sales at gun shows in Wisconsin.
“Our government, quite frankly, is broken,” Sargent said, criticizing Republicans for not holding public hearings on the bills. “It’s pretty apparent that the approval ratings of these policies are higher than the approval ratings of most of my Republican colleagues in this building.”
What people like Sargent are forgetting is that support for a policy is an easy thing, especially when it’s a “do you support this, check yes or no” kind of a question. It’s easy to support a policy in a vacuum. However, the question that Sargent needs to ask is whether that support is strong enough to actually matter.
Further, I’m not sure I’d trust the polling on those issues. For example, red flag laws have broad support according to the polls, but a number of states have shot down such proposals when they were asked to vote on them. Support for these laws isn’t nearly as universal as some suggest.
Yet in Wisconsin, let’s assume the number is accurate just for the sake of argument.
The truth is that a lot of people on both sides do actually support the idea of red flag laws. Taking guns away from potentially dangerous people is very alluring for some.
However, how many of those will still vote for someone who opposes those bills?
You see, what I’ve noticed a lot of times is that people may support gun control, but it’s a lukewarm kind of support. It’s not something that will make a person vote for a candidate in and of itself, but it is enough to cost a candidate support. Only the most ardent anti-gunners are willing to side with a candidate primarily due to their stance on the Second Amendment, but the gun-rights crowd uses that issue as the determining factor of who they’ll generally support.
For example, let’s say State Senator John Smith there in Wisconsin is a Republican who is looking to get reelected. He sees the broad support for red flag laws and universal background checks and decides to back them. His thinking is that they’re popular enough, it’ll help his chances.
However, what happens to our hypothetical state senator is that he alienating the gun rights crowd who either votes against him in the primary or just don’t turn out during the general election should he somehow survive the primary. Meanwhile, none of the Democrats or independents he’s trying to woo vote for him because they don’t like his economic policies or something of the sort.
So yeah, 81 percent might back red flag laws or universal background checks, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for Republican lawmakers to back them. It costs them more than it will ever gain, and until Democrats understand that, they’ll keep making these idiotic claims.
Don’t believe me? Look at how well presidential candidates do when they focus on gun control…and that’s during a Democrat primary, for crying out loud.