There is no worse time to make gun control a major issue than during a presidential campaign. One third of American households own guns. The liberal attack on guns alienates a huge portion of voters. How does this change things? Well, an anti-bear baiting referendum pushed by Maine liberals last year was a major cause of the reelection of the state’s right-wing governor, Paul LePage. It brought out angry but normally politically passive hunters. A study of that vote found, “Every four votes against Question 1 predicted an increase of 1 vote in support of Gov. LePage,” Good politics involves finding things that will turn people your way, not making them angry.
Although many anti-gun activists deny they’re going after the constitutional right to own a gun, there is a movement that lends support to gun owners’ fears. For example, Vox stated recently. “Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners. Other countries have done exactly that. Australia enacted a mandatory gun buyback that achieved that goal.” The Washington Post made a similar argument.
The states with the ten lowest gun murder rates had in 2010 41% gun ownership. The states with the ten highest gun murder rates had a 34% gun ownership.
Non-suicide gun deaths have declined on a per capita basis since the 1990s even as gun ownership has increased.
Over half of gun shot victims have been convicted of a crime.
Hyper regulation or prohibition hasn’t worked for drugs or alcohol and probably won’t for guns either.
One sign of this: Foillowing Hillary Clinton’s demand for new gun control laws, the stock of one major gun manufacturer went up 7%. As one investment adviser put it, “The best thing for firearms demand is to have the constant threat of legislation without ever actually having the legislation.”
Our gun culture is part of a growing American culture of violence. Some other examples:
- Violent video games
- Violent television shows and films
- The dominance of military experts on news shows and near complete absence of peace experts.
- Over a decade of failed policies in the Mid East that have depended on violence rather than alternative factors.
- A president who decries the Oregon school mass shooting and two days later has a military that kills more innocent civilians as it attacks an Afghan hospital.
- America’s favorite sport having shifted from baseball to football.
- Over half of a federal budget that goes to the support of violence through military spending.
Because liberals have been unwilling to work out reform with rational gun owners and hunters, big opportunities have been missed. For example, Huffington Post reports that “According to Pew Research, 85 percent of people with guns in their home support universal background checks. Another more recent poll puts that number at 92 percent. A third poll found that 74 percent of NRA members supported mandatory background checks.” But because liberals imply that gun ownership itself is evil they miss out on making some reforms.
And speaking of liberals. . .