In an email blast late Friday night, the Democrat party tried once again to rally its base around the message that “all we want is a vote on gun control.” The Democrats successfully used this same line last time there was a major gun control push following the Sandy Hook shooting. That was when the Manchin-Toomey background check bill went before the Senate where it was shot down (so to speak) in a very public and humiliating defeat for the Obama administration and the various gun control orgs. The problem with the Democrats’ message now is that it implies the majority of Americans and politicians want to see still more gun control, that the only thing blocking these “common sense” measures is Republican obstructionism. But that’s a lie . . .
The first problem with the Democrats’ message is that it doesn’t provide any specifics about what they want to do. They demand that we must do something to reduce “gun violence.” As I’ve said in the past, the Democrats believe that any new gun control measure (no matter how idiotic or ineffectual) is a benefit to society. Except life doesn’t work that way. Just because you fabricate a new gun control bill and give it a happy-sounding name doesn’t mean that it will have any impact whatsoever on the actual situation on the ground. This latest round of executive actions is a perfect example: the president didn’t make any substantive changes to current law, but the mainstream media is hailing the orders as a bold new step towards improved gun safety. Democrats have proven time and again with these gun control bills that they don’t care about substance — they only care about appearances.
That disregard for substance is something that keeps coming back to bite Democrats in the ass. Even my own True Blue family members keep demanding to know why the Republicans would vote down a “common sense” bill like the Toomey-Manchin universal background check trainwreck. I try to explain that the substance within the bill was atrocious — that it would have made everyday Americans into felons for sharing guns during range trips. That it would have turned same sex couples into felons for living with guns while not officially married. And that it wouldn’t have actually done anything to reduce “gun violence.” But they don’t care about the actual content. It makes absolutely no difference whether or not the bill would have any impact on the violent crime they wanted to stop. They cared about the title of the bill…and sticking it to those nauseating gun owners.
Problem #2 is the underlying assumption of public support. Democrats seem to believe that they’re in the majority when it comes to popular opinion on gun control. And if you stay safely within the lefty media echo chamber, things might indeed seem that way.
Rhetoric about the evil NRA and defeating the nefarious Gun Lobby plays well to that crowd because, as the Wall Street Journal reported, an overwhelming majority of Dems oppose the NRA. That same message doesn’t resonate well outside their echo chamber though. Republicans and independents mostly support what the NRA is doing, or at the very least, they aren’t as fervently opposed as are Democrats.
Beyond the NRA, the Democrats have a major problem with popular support for their measures. According to the latest CNN poll, 52% of Americans oppose any form of new gun control law. Going further, only 2% of Americans think that gun control is a real pressing problem. The Democrat party has lost steam when it comes to gun control as a focus of concern and public opinion has shifted away from them.
So long as Democrats continue to push this “flash over substance” authoritarian approach to advocacy, we’re going to keep running into this roadblock. Dems will continue to propose insane laws with no real impact on crime. Republicans will point this out and propose changes, or kill the bill outright. Democrats will then stomp their feet, screaming that the GOP is once again blocking “common sense gun reform.” Wash, rinse, repeat.
The way to move forward is with honest, thoughtful discussion, talking with stakeholders on all sides of the issue and coming to a compromise that everyone can agree on. That’s how Washington is supposed to work. It’s the job of the President to facilitate that process. But it seems like the Democrats would rather continue down the path of splitting the country in two, perpetuating an adversarial us-versus-them mentality, painting Republicans as evil and the NRA as the main force blocking “common sense” gun control measures.
That’s the reason Democrats aren’t getting a vote. When you decide that, rather than working with the opposition to craft an actually useful bill, you prefer to act by executive order and insult your opposition, things don’t tend to go your way.