The gun debate seems to be dying down a little these days, and from all indications gun rights advocates have carried the day. We’ve successfully kept our rights from being trampled by knee-jerk legislation, and that has the other side pissed. Nevertheless, the standard background noise of agitation for more draconian control over firearms ownership is ever-present as a recent Quinnipiac poll points out. However, despite the average American apparently wanting more gun control, it seems like they also realize that it won’t do a lick of good in stopping mass shootings. . .
First, some discussion of that leading table. Republicans don’t support increased gun control, Democrats do. Shocking, right? And the lopsidedness of the numbers is telling — 82% approval from democrats versus 66% disapproval from Republicans. But while the numbers might indicate strong support, the reality is that those who responded that they want more gun control aren’t enthusiastic about their beliefs.
Gun rights supporters are ferocious advocates for their rights, but gun control advocates are more akin to those who stand outside foreign countries’ embassies in DC with signs for a couple hours — they care just enough to make a cursory effort and feel good that they’ve “done something.” But the issue isn’t really important enough to them to put up any kind of sustained fight. They’re fickle, which is why gun control advocacy flares up like a case of herpes after a mass shooting and then goes away as if it were never there, just waiting to flare up again down the road.
It’s the same thing that happened after 9/11 with airport security. People wanted the government to do something to protect them and what they got was, in the end, more intrusive, costly and ineffectual than they needed. But it filled a mental need to make air travel “more secure,” and so here it stays.
The issue is that the majority of Americans understand that gun control doesn’t stop criminals. It can’t prevent the next Sandy Hook, and won’t make a movie theater impervious to attack. Well, on average at least. More Democrats seem to think that gun control would prevent crime and stop shootings, but that’s because they’re looking at it backwards. Take, for example, this opinion from one of my high school buddies who said this to me during a Facebook fray:
Pools, staircases and fireworks aren’t specifically and solely designed to wound and kill. Guns are specialized weapons, which, if not handled expertly are extremely dangerous. Call me an idealist but I don’t want to live in a world where something like a gun is pervasive. No matter how many tangential arguments you can come up with for wider guns ownership being a good idea, at its heart, the idea of creating and distributing more guns is escalation. When has that ever been a good thing?
The issue here is that these Democrats see guns as causing crime. In their mind, the only thing that guns are used for is to kill people and that they are inherently dangerous. They blame the gun for the murders, not the person pulling the trigger. But they don’t blame the airplane for 9/11, they don’t blame the bus when the driver rams it into a building, and they don’t blame the knife when someone stabs their partner to death. To them, guns cause crimes and are never useful as defensive weapons. No matter how many facts you throw at them they prefer that view of the world. No matter how wrong it is.
A little lower down on the page is this gem:
Background checks. Apparently there’s some big support for it.
Let me say this: I’m not opposed to universal background checks. Well, the concept at least. The idea of performing a quick verification that the guy I’m about to hand a gun to isn’t a felon would be amenable to me, so long as it isn’t actually a back-door for a firearms registry. The issue is that while there’s support for “universal background checks,” the systems proposed are complete and total shit. Which is where the Democrats are losing their marbles: they can’t understand why someone wouldn’t just read the title of a bill and vote for it. Certain members of my own family are like that, only caring if the title of the bill sounds good and not actually bothering to understand how the interior is a pile of crap. In other words, low information voters of the highest order.
What’s my take on this poll? Meh. Things are back down to the “background” level for gun control, at least for now. And we’ve laid the ground work to repel future attacks on our right to keep and bear arms. But while our culture eats their strategy for lunch, world events beat the crap out of both of those things. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming years.