Why Gun Control Loses After Mass Shootings

Ramesh Ponnuru (courtesy porkbarrelbbq.com)

Over at nationalreview.com, Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru (above right, sampling BBQ sauce at an open carry friendly Harris Teeter supermarket) offers his theory for why gun control advocates are failing to further disarm American civilians — even in the wake of high-profile firearms-related mass murders like the Mandalay Bay shooting and the Sutherland Springs slaughter. But first . . .

Mr. Ponnuru takes us on a magical mystery tour of all the other theories about gun control’s failure to motivate voters from the “great thinkers” foisting their fallacies on their unsuspecting readership. As follows:

CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza – “The central reason for congressional inaction on guns is that supporters of gun rights believe, baselessly, that liberals are out to grab their guns.”

New York Times commentator Charles Sykes  – “The National Rifle Association had made the issue part of the culture wars.”

New York Times commentator David Brooks  – “Deindustrialization had made people in rural and industrial parts of the country feel their way of life is under attack. If not for that, supporters would be able to see that gun regulations ‘don’t seriously impinge freedom’ — as ‘research’ (astonishingly) shows.”

Atlantic editor David Frum  – “Racial and sexual anxieties lay at the root of pro-gun sentiment.”

Daily Beast writer Max Boot  – “Political gridlock is killing us. Literally.”

Washington Post commentators E. J. Dionne Jr., Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann – “Anti-democratic features of our government — including gerrymandering, the filibuster, and the overrepresentation of rural areas in the Senate — had thwarted the majority’s preferences.”

Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick – “The gun lobby had fooled the reasonable majority into thinking that a 2008 Supreme Court decision had declared all gun regulation unconstitutional, even though it had not.”

And here, then, is Mr. Ponnuru’s theory:

Over the last 60 years public confidence in government has declined. Most people do not believe that it would be sensible for the government to try to disarm the population, no doubt in part because of the immensity of the task and the resistance it would spark. (The number of guns in circulation in the U.S. is generally estimated to top 300 million.)

They favor a lot of less sweeping measures to regulate guns, but they do not attach great urgency to these measures because they doubt they would do much good.

That view, incidentally, lines up with the data about the effects of gun regulations, as even some of their advocates admit. Boot, for example, concedes that any positive effect of the assault-weapons ban on homicides was undetectable.

And because they have a rational basis for not seeing the gun regulations as important, these ambivalent voters let other issues determine which candidates to back. Pro-gun voters thus have political influence over gun policy disproportionate to their numbers.

In short, many if not most Americans believe that gun control doesn’t work. A belief that “lines up” with reality. Voters who see that reality clearly, and worry about the consequences of gun control’s imposition, fight its imposition vehemently. The ones who kinda know it pretty much ignore the whole thing. So now you know.

comments

  1. avatar W says:

    National Review, not The Nation.
    The Nation is Marxist trash.

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    “as ‘research’ (astonishingly) shows.”

    Dear Mr. Ponnuru, citation badly needed. And not made up crap either.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      An NYT commentator said that, not Mr. Ponnuru.

  3. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Was gonna say something regarding something. However, Esoteric Inanity keeps coming back to the magnificent creature centerfold err center photo that is. She is quite fetching, no?

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      I also thought that the brunette in the center of the photo is quite attractive.

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        A toast then? Honor to two great men with excellent taste!!!

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      In the long run, the entire point of self-defense, defense of family, defense of community and State, is for the defense of women such as she, and the children they will bear to carry the human race into the future.

      This is why we find her and others like her so attractive and why we are willing to die to protect them.

      “All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury or folly which can–and must–be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly–and no doubt will keep on trying.” – Robert A. Heinlein – “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        Oh, very nice. Highly philosophical and quite enlightening. Such illuminating rhetoric makes this one’s previously off topic comment potentially relevant. Not to mention that it gets the metacognitive gears turning.

        However, the full implications of such revelations, make Esoteric Inanity suddenly feel quite insignificant and devoid of purpose. Sigh, it would seem that both attractive women and thoughtful insight affect him in the same way.

        All the same, another toast. This time to coherent musings, a very wise man and his quoted sources!!!

        1. avatar n64456 says:

          “Dilly, Dilly!!”…

        2. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          Significance of n64456’s comment is not registering with this one. Further edification is warranted, if one would be so kind. Phrase must truly be cryptic, or Esoteric Inanity has become quite the dullard.

        3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i think it’s from an insurance commercial.
          i wrote that lazarus uttering down the last time cliff posted it.
          it got me started on heinlein. part of dad’s old berkley medallion paperback collection.

        4. avatar n64456 says:

          “Bud Light” commercial…

        5. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          “i think it’s from an insurance commercial.
          i wrote that lazarus uttering down the last time cliff posted it.
          it got me started on heinlein. part of dad’s old berkley medallion paperback collection.”

          Sounds intriguing, Esoteric Inanity should look into it. Much appreciation.

          ““Bud Light” commercial…”

          Ah yes, very good. Appreciate the insight. “Dilly Dilly” indeed lol.

  4. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    LIBITARD wishful thinking period.
    “Anti-democratic features of our government — including gerrymandering, the filibuster, and the overrepresentation of rural areas in the Senate — had thwarted the majority’s preferences.”“The gun lobby had fooled the reasonable majority into thinking that a 2008 Supreme Court decision had declared all gun regulation unconstitutional, even though it had not.”
    I don’t believe Ive ever quoted anything written here before.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      “…a 2008 Supreme Court decision had declared all gun regulation unconstitutional, even though it had not.” No…the Constitution declared all gun regulation unconstitutional.

      1. avatar RJB says:

        WELL SAID !!! Keeping it simple works sooo well. Uphold our Constitution, that’s all the Government is elected to do, it’s not up for debate or change. One more thing for all the mindless idiot libbies, the only thing you are entitled to is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, THAT’S IT. Anything else you want go to fu—n work and earn it !!!!

  5. avatar Grant Woordson says:

    The majority has nothing to do with it. The whole point of the Constitution is to defang the majority and avoid mob rule.

    1. avatar James in AZ says:

      Hell yeah!

  6. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    The apparent bewilderment of the libtard chattering-classes is a good measure of the social isolation of the American bi-coastal culture where they live. Their mistake, and possibly the source of their bewilderment, comes from assuming that everyone else should think about guns and gun-ownership the way they do when, in fact, most Americans don’t think that way at all.

    From a political standpoint, their constant blathering about guns reveals a curious combination of ignorance and arrogance that produces the phenomenon of “secondary-ignorance” —they simply don’t know that they don’t know. And, not knowing as much as they think they know, they end up answering questions nobody asked. Max Boot’s comments are redolent of this kind of ignorance.

  7. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I am one of those single issue voters, in part because how a candidate stands on my gun rights largely tells me how he will support issues I care about. If my frequent missives on the subject stand to remind them how much my support for them depends on their support for gun rights, then so much the better!

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Being a single-issue voter on out Second Amendment civil rights makes the task of choosing a candidate easier: if a candidate cannot agree that law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves, their families and their property as needed with deadly force – and to have the proper tools to do so – then that candidate will not only vote to restrict that right but, I have observed, will also vote against my best interests in regards to most every other issue.
      The Right to Keep and Bear Arms question simply saves time.

  8. avatar johnny108 says:

    IS it because mass shooting proves that the government can’t help you in time, so you need your own CC piece?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I would say that pretty well sums it up Johnny.

      Even “dumb” people are pretty good at recognizing trends. And the two simple trends that are becoming ever more clear to the masses:
      (1) evil violent scumbags are killing a lot of unarmed people
      (2) police are not stopping those evil violent scumbags

      As a result, the masses are beginning to consider arming themselves to maximize their chances of survival.

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    The anti’s problem is that anyone who actually cares about the issue and has two neurons to rub together knows the following:

    Nothing they propose will stop any of what they claim they want to stop. Example: People dead set on criminal activity will not be deterred by a law. Someone who wants to shoot up a church will 1) pass a BCG and commit the atrocity or 2) avoid the BCG and commit the atrocity. A UBC would only affect a *legal* sale and the serious mass shooter will simply find a way to acquire the gun illegally.

    Secondly, anti’s really don’t care about “gun violence”. You can see this in the way they run their numbers followed by what they actually lobby for. Example: They often include suicides in their numbers yet they never propose anything in the way of dealing with suicide. A magazine capacity limit of seven or 15 doesn’t matter in terms of saving the life of a person who eats a single bullet as a way of dealing with their problems.

    Ultimately the problem for the anti’s is that they are, at best, disingenuous about nearly everything they say and anyone with an IQ above 50 who cares to listen to the anti’s statements for more than 10 seconds know this.

  10. avatar Kendahl says:

    Immediately after the terrorist attack at the Christmas party in San Bernardino, the locals were lined up outside the doors at the city’s gun stores. That should make clear the general public’s opinion on gun control.

  11. avatar JC says:

    Unfortunately it has succeeded at the state level in some cases…CT, MA, NY, WA,OR, CA, MD, all passed laws to restrict rights after tragic events… We have to remember to vote at state level elections also…

  12. avatar CalGunsMD says:

    “Pro-gun voters thus have political influence over gun policy disproportionate to their numbers”

    Is that like African American voters having political influence over race policy disproportionate to their numbers?

    Is there such a thing?

    Do these writers think as they type?

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    The more shrill the left is on guns the more people tune them out. Sensible people know disarming the populace would result in violence against the vulnerable. There are real threats to people that only an armed populace deters.
    Look at Mexico for an example of how disarmament ends up.

  14. avatar Hank says:

    Losing. It’s what liberals do best.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Judging by the ongoing temper tantrum from the left since the last national election, I’d say losing is something liberals do quite poorly. Most of them don’t know why they lost, and really don’t care. Eight years of worship at the alter of Obama created an entire demographic of arrested development who don’t have any idea how to lose.

  15. avatar aircooled says:

    Probably the best thing about the Trump presidency is that some on the political left are having their eyes (forcefully) opened to the downsides of government control. They are realizing that that this “government is the answer” line that they have been feed since grade school is BS. A few of them are learning the lesson.
    You shouldn’t always assume that your preferred political party will be in power. Therefore, be extremely careful when ceding power to the government. The power you give the government to crack down on your political enemies today could be turned against you in less than 4 years. If you truly believe that the current administration is run by a Fascist, then why in the hell would you to give them the power to limit your guns?

  16. avatar CC says:

    It is simple: in every jurisdiction where possible the gun ocntorl moment has secured total bans, like DC had before 2008

    There is not a single gun control lobby front that did not or does not oppose Heller.

  17. avatar BLAMMO says:

    They really have come to the universal conclusion that the NRA wields undue influence. A myth that everybody believes because everybody says it and everybody says it because everybody says it.

    The NRA “boasts” 5 million members. That’s a small percentage of the total 100-150 million actual gun owners. People who are not giving up their guns (not even the Fudds). And they vote. To a person, they vote.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      And not only that, those 5 million plus NRA voters have the capacity to primary or outright defeat virtually any D or R sitting politician. And, yes, they/we vote.

    2. avatar CC says:

      NRA has 58% approvals among all Americans in the latest Gallup. No gun control lobby group has more than 18% approvals

    3. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      “People who are not giving up their guns (not even the Fudds). And they vote. To a person, they vote.”

      Not even close. I don’t “vote” ever, and I’m not the only one by a long shot.

      1. avatar Dave in Fairfax says:

        That is truly unfortunate. If you don’t use your voice in voting, your wishes will be overwhelmed by the legal and illegal ones who do. Ultimately you will be placed in the position of having to chose to lose your rights or defend them violently. Voting is your only opportunity to avoid either of those outcomes. Study history, rather than feel ignored, and at least make the attempt at keeping the wolf from the door. Unless that is your desire. It was the desire of SDS in the 60’s. They wanted revolution rather than conversation and non-violent change. Is that your desire as well?

        1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

          No Dave, I’ve studied history for more than 50 years. “Voting” conveys the desire to force others to do what YOU want them to do. The politicians, as always, don’t pay much attention to that because they only want to impose what THEY want for you and me. Voting does not change that. The only winner in any political contest is the non-voluntary government.

          I will spend the rest of my life being responsible for myself and my own business. I have no interest in your business, let alone trying to impose anything by “voting.”

          And if some jackass bunch – either politicians or “voters” attempt to take my liberty and my guns… they’ll get the ammunition first, as fast as I can fire it. And my neighbors think along those lines as well. We don’t have any “wishes” to impose on anyone. All we want is to be LEFT ALONE.

          The root of all evil is the desire to control other people and their property. “Voting” is simply one of the ways that is carried out.

  18. avatar Larry Cowden says:

    Graveyards are filled with those that mistakenly believed the government or police were responsible for their safety. Democrats and liberals long ago transitioned to the cities because they lacked the “balls and guts” to make a life in the rural areas where the foundations upon which our Nation was built were forged in iron. Courage, respect for the Flag, respect for the Nation and her laws, respect for your neighbor, and the willingness to defend these values. Instead within the cities they could assign their safety and lives to someone else, police, sheriff, constable, or politicians. They developed a “culture of pass a law, that will solve the problem”. Of course with the influx of blacks and other minorities that brought their own culture of violence, they soon realized their error. But refusing to understand the very nature of violence and human behavior, they only continue to focus on those inanimate objects seeking that “golden fleece” of gun laws that would eliminate all violence. They are forever demented and with their constant inbreeding are truly a damaged specie!

  19. avatar Hank says:

    Question: Who would enforce a gun ban?
    Answer: Men with guns.

    Drop microphone, walk away.

  20. avatar Jack says:

    Ever since the founding of our great nation It was the gun that made and kept us all free.Our brave police officers and our great military and their might, keeps us free. why on earth would anyone spend trillions of dollars over time for our protection on something that didnt work.sure the bad guys with twisted beliefs have always and will always frustrate us all.especially when good innocent people go to pray and are all good hard working americans. the bad guys can even make their own guns. I remember in the 50’s they made Zip guns with a rubber band trigger. nations that outlawed guns in their country look at the majority of them now.the people are afraid and surpressed and it ends up usually as a very poor country.I served my country proudly and at 75 yrs old if they called me up I would be there. even though I can only walk about 50 ft without stoppin and fighting two types of cancer.. My only point is take away our guns and you take away our freedom even to comment like im doing lets all pull together and work on the things we can acomplish. We have already plenty of gun laws on the book . over 100 but lets enforce them. Have stringent backgrround checks Not just at an auction or gun show, I heard, a auctioneer yells out has anyone here have a felony.And thats it. Duh! Ive been there.All of us agree we have the right to protect our families. I live in the midwest in the country.And can’t or expect the police to be here to protect me and my loved ones. So common sense tells me to have a firearm to at least have a chance. I respect every american and their opinions and value them we have to become a better person each and every day when they massacre children,women and christians no human being should tolerate anymore . and the people that disagree with me really never have any answers They just say ‘Im against guns” none of us wants to take a life. but a gun sure have saved millions of lives. Example like yesterday he was a CCW instructer and a NRA member as I. and possible saved many more fine people from getting killled.We have to change their twisted hearts.

  21. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Ramesh Ponnuru? FLAME DELETED at worst a traitor to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    …. and National Review? Who takes that cuckolded rag seriously anyway, hell they endorsed Evan “Egg” McCuckin in last year’s Presidential race?

  22. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Ramesh Ponnuru? He looks like he creeps about Men’s Restrooms on interstate highways, at best he’s a beta-boi at worst a traitor to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    …. and National Review? Who takes that ( u( kolded rag seriously anyway, hell they endorsed Evan “Egg” Mc ( uckin in last year’s Presidential race?

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