UCLA’s Professor Adam Winkler is an avid promoter of more infringements on the Second Amendment, though he would probably take issue with that phrasing. He would likely call it “more commonsense gun safety regulation.” Winkler is one of the better and clearer thinkers on the anti-gun side of the debate. I disagree with most of his premises, but he thinks strategically. Which is why I was surprised to see him take the view that NRA’s is doomed . . .
because of demographic changes in the country, as well as a potentially lowering crime rate.
In an opinion piece to the Washington Post, he made this argument:
Polls show that whites tend to favor gun rights over gun control by a significant margin (57 percent to 40 percent). Yet whites, who comprise 63 percent of the population today, won’t be in the majority for long. Racial minorities are soon to be a majority, and they are the nation’s strongest supporters of strict gun laws.
An overwhelming majority of African Americans say that gun control is more important than gun rights (72 percent to 24 percent). While the African American population shows signs of slow growth, other racial minority groups are growing more rapidly – and report even greater support for gun control.
The fastest-growing minority group in America is Latinos. Between 2000 and 2010, the nation’s Latino population grew by 43 percent. Hispanics, which make up 17 percent of the population today, are expected to grow to 30 percent of the population in the coming decades.
One of the primary tools in the leftist anti-gun agitprop arsenal is claiming that history is on their side, and that their eventual victory is pre-ordained. It’s strong moral support for the religion of the state and that’s what Winkler is engaged in here. But he’s whistling past the graveyard. He is deluding himself, or at least attempting to delude the common, uninformed leftist or low-information types.
The trends he mentions were more favorable for Second Amendment infringements in the previous 22 years, yet support for protecting the right to own and carry guns has increased nearly 50 percent in that period. From 1993 to 2015, support for the right to keep and bear arms went from 34% to about 50% in the total population.
Leftists engage in group think. They believe “group characteristics” are immutable, but they aren’t. Support for protection of the right to bear arms among black Americans, is only 24 percent now, but in 1993, it was 18%. That’s a 33% increase, and it is likely to keep rising. Oh, and from 1993 to 2015, the violent crime rate fell to nearly half of what it had been.
My assumptions about what is happening don’t rely on identity politics, but rather on the changes in where people obtain their information. From at least the middle 1960s, the information flow has been controlled by ideological “progressive” elitists that have pushed for ever more infringements on the Second Amendment. With the repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” and the rise of the Internet, that oligopoly on information flow has been fractured. The high water mark for increasingly stringent restrictions on gun ownership and sales was 1993.
The left and the media cartel can no longer set the terms of the debate on what’s important about the access to defensive weapons in America. The information revolution reached those most concerned first. Most gun owners at the time were white males. That same information about guns is now reaching women and minorities, both of which have fast-growing numbers of gun owners.
The desire to disarm the population is strong among government and media elites. But the desire for self defense is stronger, innate, and hard to program out of people, unless you have full control of the education system, the media, and the culture. All of those venues are now being contested by advocates of limited government.
The future is up for grabs, and gun grabbers aren’t pre-ordained to win.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.