Earlier this week, I talked about how being anti-gun isn’t anti-crime. A lot of Democrats are hoping to pivot things so they can frame gun control that way, in part because if crime is a major issue, they’re going to get hammered in the midterms.
And this isn’t just coming out of nowhere, actually. It seems Everytown for Gun Safety thinks this is a winning strategy for them.
Mike Bloomberg-affiliated Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is urging Democrats to campaign more on gun control as a way to shake the party’s soft-on-crime image.
Politico reports that Everytown “tested messages that explicitly linked anti-gun violence measures — including background checks on gun sales and red flag laws — with crime and public safety, including the safety of law enforcement officers” and believes a gun control message is a winner for Democrats in battleground states.
Everytown also suggests that a gun control push may help Democrats shed the soft-on-crime moniker that was tied to the party during the 2020 elections.
What they’ve missed, though, is just how little message testing works in the real world.
Oh, it works, but only if you’re not facing any kind of pushback. These messages are being tested somewhere that they can’t be challenged, so while they might test well, they won’t survive in the real world.
For example, the idea that universal background checks will reduce crime is just outright silly. We already know how criminals get their guns and it’s generally not from law-abiding citizens selling a gun in a face-to-face transfer. They obtain them through all kinds of illicit means, but not through what one party believes is a perfectly lawful sale.
All universal background checks do is interfere with the ability of law-abiding citizens to buy and sell guns. That’s it. Such checks don’t do anything to inhibit criminals from getting guns.
And red flag laws? Are they seriously trying to position red flag laws as an answer to a soaring homicide rate?
Look, if Democrats want to push this narrative, go right ahead. It’s their offices to lose, after all, and it’s not difficult to see how little good pushing gun control will do in impacting violent crime.
But the problem is that while a lot of campaign promises get left by the wayside, some of the worst make it into law. If gun control did what proponents claim, then why did the homicide rate spike after the Gun Control Act was passed in 1968?
So this needs to be rebutted and debunked before it can take hold. While I expect Democrats aren’t going to like the midterm results, there’s no point it allowing anti-gun nonsense to fester just in case the experts saying they’ll get hammered are wrong.
Gun control isn’t anti-crime. It’s snake oil that allows politicians to pretend they’re doing something without actually having to do anything.