In the wake of a violent, ugly mass shooting, support for gun control tends to skyrocket. That’s what happened immediately after Parkland, and it’s understandable. No one likes the idea of kids being gunned down in their schools, and everyone wants to find a way to stop it from happening. With the media’s constant blitzkrieg for gun control, it’s not surprising that support for it went up and stayed up far longer than in the past.
So it’s no surprise that a recent Gallup poll found support for gun control is still high.
But what their headline doesn’t say is pretty telling as well.
Sixty-one percent of Americans favor stricter laws on the sale of firearms, down modestly from March, when 67% said this shortly after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on Feb. 14. The current reading is similar to the 60% measured last fall after the Las Vegas mass shooting. Along with March, it reflects the highest percentage to favor tougher firearms laws in two or more decades.
These data come from Gallup’s latest survey, conducted Oct. 1-10, as the 2018 midterm elections draw near and gun control proponents have gone on the offensive to make tighter laws a major issue for voters.
Support for stricter gun control was at its highest when Gallup first asked Americans about their views on tightening firearms restrictions in 1990. At that time, 78% in the U.S. favored stricter gun control. Sentiment favoring tougher gun laws remained at or near 70% through the end of 1993; in 1994, the U.S. government passed the Brady bill and an assault weapons ban. After the passage of these regulations, support for tougher gun control waned, decreasing to 62% in 1995 and bottoming out at 43% in 2011.
Support for stricter gun laws typically rises in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting, only to fall again as the incident fades from the public’s memory. For instance, after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, support for stricter gun control jumped to 58%, though it fell to 49% less than a year later. Despite these occasional spikes and drops, support for tougher gun laws has generally risen since 2014.
Of course, there is the unsurprising partisan divide where 87 percent of Democrats support gun control while only 31 percent of Republicans feel the same way.
However, while Gallup argues that the six-point drop is “modest,” I’m going to argue that it’s not.
As previously noted, the media went on a full-court press against guns for months after Parkland, using the slaughter of rich white kids as some rallying cry and putting the so-called “survivors” up front and center at every opportunity to push the anti-gun narrative. They did everything they possibly could to keep anxiety high on guns for as long as they could.
It worked, too. It’s why support for gun control remained high.
But then the media’s attention span kicked in and they found other stuff to talk about and guess what? Support for gun control is dropping again, as predicted.
Not that any of this matters, though. You see, the right to keep and bear arms is just that, a right. We don’t forfeit rights because of popular opinion. If we do, they’re not freaking rights in the first place. Rights are ours whether other people like it or not. After all, they have the same right regardless of whether they have any desire to exercise it or not.
Those politicians who are pushing for gun control need to remember one very important thing. Popular opinion swings the other way and does so rather quickly. Should they get into office and push their radical anti-gun agenda on the entire nation, they may well find that when the pendulum swings the other way, they’ll be well out of favor with the American people.