Why Gun Control Bills Never Pass Congress

News & Politics

“Why don’t you do something?” liberals are screaming to no one in particular. They scream because they believe only they can truly feel for the families of the children lost while no one else can. They scream because they think they’re morally superior to those who disagree with them, standing on the mountaintop, railing against guns and those who support gun rights.

In fact, they are moral pygmies standing on an anthill shouting into the wind.

Of course, we all feel bad for the families, the kids, the community, and the nation. The difference is in problem recognition. The left thinks the problem is guns and those who support gun rights. Get rid of the guns, no more school shootings.

And we all live happily ever after.

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Blaming guns and gun supporters — especially the NRA — is a political no-brainer. It’s a reflexive reaction that’s been the go-to argument for the left for every tragedy with a gun involved. I’m old enough to remember when blaming “Saturday night specials” was in vogue and if we could only rid ourselves of these small-caliber handguns, there would be peace on earth.

Instead, criminals spent a little more money and bought .38s and 45s. And that’s the way it’s been since the 1960s.

On the other hand, the right sees the solutions to mass shootings as more complicated and nuanced. Mental health care and recognition of dangerous sick people by the psychiatric community, stronger enforcement of gun laws already on the books, and empowering the police are all good starting points to address the problem of mass shootings.

But trying to shut down the NRA isn’t going to save a single life. And neither are any of the gun control proposals currently under discussion.

The American people know this — have known it for years. After every mass shooting, polls are taken showing strong support for things like universal registration and stronger background checks.

But ask the question in quieter times and the results would surprise those who tout the polls to show the people’s desire for more gun control.


While there are certainly some Americans who want stricter gun control, the public at large is far more split on the issue than a lot of commonly cited polling data would have you believe.

Perhaps the best way to understand the public mindset on the gun control debate is to look at Gallup polling from earlier this year. The survey asked a simple question and a follow-up: Are you satisfied with the nation’s gun laws? And if you’re unsatisfied, do you want stricter or looser gun laws?

This year, only 36% of Americans said they were dissatisfied and wanted stricter gun control laws. Sixty-one percent were either satisfied (41%), dissatisfied but wanted less strict laws (13%) or dissatisfied and wanted no change (7%).

In fact, the”dissatisfied and want stricter gun laws” opinion has never been a majority this century.

Another tell is that the stricter gun control crowd has had limited success at the polls. You’d be hard-pressed to name a single politician derailed because they supported gun rights. The anti-gun organizations have never been able to muster the political power to unseat anyone.

But ask some politicians about the NRA’s ability to make their political lives miserable and you’ll get an entirely different answer. And even with the NRA’s power waning, there are plenty of other pro-Second Amendment groups who can rile up gun supporters against a member of Congress.

If all these liberal groups accusing the right of being unfeeling monsters when it comes to gun rights and gun ownership would propose any law, any rule — anything — that would have a chance of actually working to make these tragedies extremely rare, most members of Congress would jump on board.

But there are no such proposals and there won’t be. And that’s why the left’s cynicism on this issue needs to be called out loudly and strongly.

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