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Opinion shifting after Sandy Hook

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 8:51
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Gun rights had been enjoying a miniature golden age.  Following the Supreme Court decisions of Heller and McDonald, gun rights advocates have kind of been skating on cloud nine.  Even the halfhearted pushed by President Obama for more gun control, spurred on by violent crime south of the border, sputtered and died following “Operation Fast and Furious” came to light.  Unfortunately, that seems to be changing.

From Politico:

More Americans prioritize gun control above Second Amendment rights by the widest margin since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new poll released Thursday in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

Forty-nine percent of those polled said it’s more important to control gun ownership, compared to 42 percent who say it’s more important to protect Americans’ rights to own guns, according to a Pew Research Center Poll.

Now, the Politico story goes on to mention a Gallup poll where people said they felt it was more important to focus on mental health issues and provide a stronger police presence in schools.  It also points out that the percentages of folks in favor of gun control was higher back in 2008, when 58 percent favored stronger controls.

However, since 2008, support for gun control had been steadily dropping as more and more information about how guns aren’t the problem begand to seep into the public consciousness.  Then, Sandy Hook hit.  Now, the gun control crowd is getting a short term bump in support, which is hardly unusual.

Anyone who follows politics has seen the fickleness of the American public.  One little incident can provide a multi-point bump.  A big event can be a whole new ballgame, and anyone who doesn’t recognize that Sandy Hook was a big event should probably be checked for anything approaching brain activity.

Of course, anyone who has seen these bumps also knows they’re short term.  Eventually, the emotions subside and people go back to how they were before.  That’s part of the reason why gun control advocates may be pushing so hard for a new law to get passed quickly.  Right now, they have gun rights supporters on their heals, and they’re seeking to press their advantage.

Which is why they seen no problem politicizing the tragedy, but will crawl all over a pro-gun advocate doing the same thing.  They have to keep the emotions on their side, and a reasoned argument probably doesn’t help their cause.



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