Chinni: We Haven’t Had Enough Mass Shootings to Really Change Opinions on Gun Control Yet

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Courtesy NBC News

Consider the NBC News poll taken just before the 2022 midterm election asking voters about “the most important issue facing the country.”

The gun issue is at the very bottom of the list, with only 3% of voters calling guns the most important issue. Above guns? A long list of topics also continually in the news: 23% of voters said “threats to democracy” was their number one issue, 20% said “jobs and the economy,” 17% said the “cost of living,” 9% said “abortion,” 8% said “immigration,” 6% said “crime,” 4% said “health care” and another 4% said “climate change.”

It’s not that voters don’t care about guns, it’s that voters have a long list of issues than concern them and when they rank areas of interest, guns lower tend to sit lower on the list. …

Gallup tends to ask about gun control in its October surveys every year, but it also asks immediately after some mass shootings. Look at the polling around two particularly horrific slayings, the school shootings in Parkland, Florida in 2018 and Uvalde, Texas, last year.

In October 2017, 60% of those surveyed said they favored stricter gun laws. Soon after the February 2018 Parkland shooting, the number climbed to 67%. But by October, the figure had dropped back to 61%.

In October 2021, 52% said they favored stricter gun laws. After the shootings in Uvalde in May, the “stricter” number climbed by 14 points, to 66%. But by October, just before last year’s midterm elections, the figure had dropped by 9 points, back to 57%. (The Safer Communities Act was passed in June, just after Uvalde.)

The 57% in October is below the October 2018 number — and remember, that decline happened even as the number of mass shootings climbed.

To be clear, this pattern isn’t set in stone. There might come a time when a mass shooting or a series of mass shootings is enough to create a massive shift in opinion that breaks through in Washington. But as of now, the string of mass shootings this month looks like a fairly typical month in the story of guns in the U.S.

— Dante Chinni in Why Does Washington Not Act on Guns? Voters Say It’s Low Priority.

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  1. It appears that the MSM has been very successful in marketing the “Threats to Democracy” line. MSNBC should be proud.

      • They’re very confused about that. Those same people are upset when they’re told you don’t become the president by winning the popular vote.

      • The funny part is the slack jawed red hat brigade still insists on bleating “wE’Re a RePubLiC!!”, when they know damn well “democracy” just means a free society.

        • Yet none of your leaders pushing that slogan actually believe that. It’s used as an attack from one political party onto another one.

        • Prndll – Words are defined by usage. If the majority of the English-speaking world is using a word incorrectly, they aren’t.

        • @red wolf

          “The funny part is the slack jawed red hat brigade still insists on bleating “wE’Re a RePubLiC!!”, when they know damn well ‘democracy’ just means a free society.”

          No, democracy does not mean a free society. Its a form of political government/power.


          1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.

          2. A political or social unit that has such a government.

          3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.”

        • Thanks 40oz!


          1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.

          2. A political or social unit that has such a government.“

          Yep, let’s see…

          Here in the United States of America, the people elect representatives who exercise the government.

          Democracy in America, check!

        • @Miner49er

          “Here in the United States of America, the people elect representatives who exercise the government.

          Democracy in America, check!”

          As usual you don’t get it.

          None of that ‘power’ exists for the people in the U.S.. We elect representatives who then exercise that power as they see fit, thus, also, we do not have “A political or social unit that has such a government” as the government has become the sole primary source of exercise of that power instead of the people. That is not a “Democracy in America”. We are a republic (more correctly a federal republic with a democratic style of government only because we elect representatives.)

        • If the USA were a democracy then things would be very different. For example, the Electoral College would not even exist. In spite of the efforts by Democrats to get rid of it, it DOES exist.

          What your talking about is called ‘slang’.

      • CORRECT. Our Founding Fathers gave us a REPUBLIC, not a democracy. The word, democracy IS NOT in our Constitution. The Constitution IS THE BOSS, not a bunch of socialists, communist and dictators. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing.

  2. Or, maybe, mass shootings don’t affect people’s opinions on gun control.

    Or, maybe, mass shootings make people *less* likely to support gun control.

    Or, maybe, the above possibilities were never seriously considered in whatever passes for “analysis” these days.

    • In fact, the poll question (Q12 on p. 13) gave the respondents a list of 9 issues that had guns on it. So, it wasn’t 3% of people who were asked and came up with “guns” on their own, it’s 3% that picked that from the 9 choices they were given. The poll pushed the issues NBC wanted the public to focus on, and even then guns came out last. Unsurprisingly, the issue of false information being pushed by biased media didn’t get any responses.

      • And, this poll was taken right before the midterm election where “the end of(or fight for) democracy” was used for six years to combat Trump’s populist movement. While I’ve never been too impressed by Trump I do like the populist movement. If only Trump would curb his narcism he could sweep the seas for England er… Republicans.

    • the average person will never experience a mass shooting…being the victim of a criminal act is far more likely…but when one happens in your town the shock effect is significant….

  3. “Climate change” it’s just as low of a priority and that hasn’t stopped the corporatists in DC from selling our economy out and strangling the middle, working and poor classes.

    • Exactly! Since when do they care what people think? They only work for themselves and their lobbyists. They’ll just repackage it, and call it the Inflation Reduction Act. Climate Change is the gift that keeps on giving to them. They’ll never give that up.

      Threats to democracy… That’s code for threats to Democrats. What a joke. Propaganda still works.

  4. In cars
    Here in my car
    I can lock all my doors
    and chug down my booze
    and smash into a bus
    and kill everyone.
    In cars.
    Wheres the outcry?, deadlier sins out there then gunms.

  5. and then there are such incidents that are not actually the incidents they are claimed to be.

    For example, the biased GVA had many of these among their numbers, they reply on media reports mostly and sometimes those reports are wrong or biased and the GVA never corrects then there is the GVA own bias thrown in. This was/is indicated in their ‘victim numbers’ which are actually smaller than they claim. They were challenged on this once, their response was the victims bodies could not be accounted for because they were so completely vaporized by a single bullet from an AR-15, no trace of DNA even left, no blood, nothing, like the person never ever existed, just simply vaporized. Aside from the fact that its impossible for that to happen, the laws of physics alone tells us that for that much energy to exist in single instance of bullet impact would mean the world as a whole would have been blown apart. It takes a lot more energy than a bullet impact from any firearm to tear apart the molecular bonds energy that holds the human body together to such a degree as to vaporize it as if it never existed and that much energy simply does not exist for any bullet impact of any caliber of any velocity. The GVA got right on that, but they still play their bias games even today.

    Another example that’s being touted as such a mass incident that really isn’t is a gang hit > Media hides gang drive-by to falsely push agenda.

  6. Off subject, but I need some help. Picked up a S&W Model 41 last Friday. Didn’t notice until Saturday that the rear sight elevation adjustment screw is stripped. I tried Numrich Arms, etc. Everyone is out of stock. Does anyone have one they can part with? I will buy an entire rear sight assembly if necessary.

  7. Notice how these surveys doesn’t ask about mental health illness in relation to guns.

    Mental illness is the reason for mass shootings, not guns. And the overall mental health community, with the exception of the anti-gun members trying to continue pushing the left tyranny agenda and take anti-gun money for slanted and biased studies, and the overall pro-2A/gun community, and other sectors, have been pointing it out for years. For example …

    In the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, (Lankford, A., & Cowan, R. G. (2020)) ( )

    … Cowan writes of their research they “…closely analyzed public mass shooters who attacked in the United States from 1966 to 2019 and found that correlates of mental illness were approximately equally common among perpetrators, whether they had been coded as mentally ill or not.”

    Forensic psychiatrists James L. Knoll IV, MD, and George D. Annas, MD, MPH, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse New York, both leading authorities on the mental health aspects of mass shooters, summed it up for the issue for the mental health community various studies on various aspects in terms of mass shooters…. Although mass shooters may not meet DSM-5 criteria for a recognized disorder, “they do have an ill-defined trouble of the mind for which the mental health field has no immediate, quick-acting ‘treatment,’” – in other words, mass shooters do have mental illness driving them but not something clearly defined and for which the mental health community basically has no treatment.

    • There have been articles on TTAG concerning this very point — that when you start drilling down, asking more specific questions on the surveys, the answers change.

      And of course, some surveyors craft the questions to elicit the answers that they want to get.

      “Have you stopped beating your wife — yes or no?”

    • The question I have is mental illness actually on the rise in the US, or we now have better visibility on it?
      What is it, something like one third of Americans are on some kind of anti-anxiety drug?
      I read it is so high it is showing up in the brains of freshwater fish.

    • Well yeah, I mean a mass shooter guy cant be all that mentally stable. Even a terrorist has to be a little nutz.

  8. I am far more concerned about the government than mass shooters. The tools to manipulate the sentiment of the population are far more potent than they ever have been and in turn the dangers of authoritarianism are higher than ever.

  9. Hey! If they take my AR-15 away, how can I defend myself and the country against the insurrectionist white supremacist MAGA Republicans that are a Threat to Our Democracy???


    • call Miner49er and dacian. I’m sure they will be willing to back up their words by swooping in doing a super hero landing to protect you like all anti-gun will in that imminent moment by telling you to call 911 while they throw stats and studies at the threat.


    • No need for a sarc tag Johhny. I never use it. The dims already made it hard for me to use America’s Rifle. It ain’t my pale old butt that’s a problem…

      • And practice shooting at the sky from your balcony.

  10. That works in multiple different ways. The drug legalization crowd also does not consider guns to be an important issue. In fact they believe guns are the problem when it comes to violence. Which is why they support gun control.

  11. Sorry to hear, sucks when that happens.

    There are a few complete assemblies listed on eBay at the moment. around $130. I’d be tempted, simply because if someone buggered the screw, what else did he screw up in there? It looks like a very fine pitch screw – reminds me of micrometer threads – so I’d worry about the threading on the bolt also.

    Assuming it’s just the screw, and the rest is okay…
    Hardware stores in rural NM often have a “guns” section in the fastener aisle, with an assortment of oddball sizes and lengths. Some are quite extensive. Perhaps it’s worth making a few calls in your neck of the woods?

    If you know or can look up the size and pitch, in addition to McMaster, there’s also Grainger and Fastenal to try. I’d start with Fastenal, myself, as that’s kind of their specialty.

    • … and here are a couple of “nobodies” trying to help. (No name and no one)

      I looked at eBay as well, but I e-mailed S&W directly.

      What a community!

    • Thanks, I don’t e-bay, but my son does. I’ll put him on it after he knocks off this afternoon.

  12. Bacon Creek Pawn, who’s selling the sight assembly on eBay, has no screws. And no cheaper sight. Sold them all. Must be a popular item to strip.

      • Very fine threads, so probably not that hard to strip even given good metal.

        And fewer and fewer people these days who know what a bolt “feels like” when it’s moving cleanly, vs. starting to bind, vs. bottoming out.

  13. “There might come a time when a mass shooting or a series of mass shootings is enough to create a massive shift in opinion that breaks through in Washington”
    “I hope more mass shootings or a series of mass shootings happen that will create a massive shift in opinion that breaks through in Washington, and if they dont happen, were sure somebody will make or allow them happen.”

  14. You see Mr. Chinni, one of the problems you have in making the sale you would like to make is that you must imply that it is the quantity of guns that drives the incidence of mass shootings and plainly available evidence indicates that this is simply not true. Guns used in mass shootings, or for that matter, crime in general, represent an infinitesimally small fraction of the privately held firearms in the nation. Something that happens at a rate of double or maybe triple digits of times each year (mass shootings) or even thousands of times (firearms homicide in general) does not appear to be linked in any meaningful way to something that exists in the hundreds of millions (guns and gun owners). If a mere 1% of the guns in private hands were used in homicides each year in the U.S., we would expect to experience in excess of 4,000,000 such crimes annually – we experience a tiny fraction of that. So, when a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a near universally available thing is used to cause harm, it is very difficult to convince people that it is the existence of the thing that causes the problem. I don’t know how many butane lighters there are in this country but, I know there are enough that you cannot reasonably claim that their mere existence causes arson.

  15. This is another sick example of people who don’t understand that guns are not the problem but mentally ill and criminal folks are.

  16. Maybe they should change the definition of mass shooting again so they can claim even more of them to boost those numbers up. More than one round fired? Mass shooting. That ought to work.

  17. GADSDEN:

    E-mail: “Hello S&W. I purchased a Model 41 that has a stripped screw in the rear sight. Do you sell a rear sight assembly, or the screws for it?”

    S&W reply: “To place an order, you will need to call our Customer Service line at 1-800-331-0852 ext. 4125 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm Eastern Standard time. Regards, Carolyn”

    They didn’t say if they sell the parts, only to call them. I would assume that they sell parts.

    • The rear screw is the windage adjustment, so let’s hope that the sight isn’t stripped internally.

      • FWIW, I think he is having trouble with the elevation screw which is a tiny little thing. (I believe #3×80 tpi bugger). The rear sight leaf screw on many a S&W is, for better or worse, a one-time-use object that must be broken to remove and replace. The big question is, in my view, why are so many parts of this ilk becoming so hard to obtain? Many possibilities exist: Lack of demand(?), lack of manufacturing capacity, (?, it is a little screw), lack of interest from manufacturers in supporting the aftermarket, (similar, but not the same as, lack of demand) or something else I have not thought of yet? Dunno. I don’t really have a feel for the demand out there for replacement small gun parts so I don’t know if there is a market opportunity or not. What I do know and what I have taken advantage of is that, if you can find a reasonably skilled gunsmith in your locale, you can develop a pretty good working relationship with him/her and your particular gun part problems can be solved for a few dollars, some patience and a smile and, occasionally, a nice six-pack or bottle that fits the occasion.

        • You’re just proud of yourself because you have a name and I don’t.

          (And you read better than I do, because he even said “elevation screw” in his first post. DOH!)

          And that’s really good advice you gave.

  18. Notice when the Gallup polls are pro-gun not a peep out of the Far Right Stormtroopers but when it is anti-gun they all scream from the rooftops that it is a fake poll. I am speaking of the poll that stated only 3% of the American people rated gun control as a top priority but remember that does not in anyway mean it is not very much needed.

    • @dacian

      “Notice when the Gallup polls are pro-gun not a peep out of the Far Right Stormtroopers but when it is anti-gun they all scream from the rooftops that it is a fake poll.”


    • @daian

      “I am speaking of the poll that stated only 3% of the American people rated gun control as a top priority but remember that does not in anyway mean it is not very much needed.”


      Evidently you do not understand what polls are.

    • Here’s where it helps to be able to actually read and understand the poll. (two strikes against dacian, obviously)

      Q12 Now, which ONE of these issues is the MOST important issue facing the country? (READ, RANDOMIZE) (IF FIRST CHOICE, ASK) And, what is the second most important issue facing the country? (ACCEPT UP TO TWO RESPONSES)+

      Guns — 3% (Nov. ’22); 4% (Oct. ’22); 7% (Sept. ’22); 8% (Aug. ’22)

      Not only did the question NOT ask about “gun control,” the percentage of respondents who ranked “guns” as their No. 1 issue is steadily declining.

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD, I notice this. When your anti-gun polls come out, the questions are worded to that they get the response that YOU WANT rather than the true feelings of the people being polled.
      The very best gun control is a good two hand hold on your pistol or revolver with the sights properly aligned.

    • dacian’s two favorite activities are (a) dancing in the blood of victims, and (b) standing atop their still-warm bodies to advocate for ineffective laws.

      • Agreed. When I read his continuous UBC, Safe Storage Laws mantra his lips are moving, but in my mind all I hear is blubbering gibberish.
        My State has had UBCs, Safe Storage Laws and Red Flag Laws for a while now. The crime rate continues to rise to the point it’s obvious none of these Laws changed a damn thing.

  19. Try as they might, the media and Socialist politicians can only spin the hype over mass shootings to a point where facts put a stop to their propaganda. Yes, mass shootings are terrible acts of violence, but it is the person, not the gun that is to blame. Guns have been around a lot longer than mass shootings. There are millions of firearms in homes that have never shot anyone. The change in society is the culprit. The real agenda of the Left is to disarm America to make it easier to control us. Never forget that.

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