Writing at Reason.com, contributing editor J.D. Tuccille has cracked the proverbial code about gun control and the disconnect between proponents, the media and gun owners who are expected to shrug their shoulders and comply.
“The people who would be affected by such laws overwhelmingly oppose them, and they’ve repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to defy rules that they don’t like,” says Tuccille.
Tuccille says there is a partisan divide on guns, and it is widening. His column should make some people think a bit about their position on Second Amendment issues, but it probably won’t.
“Why does the partisan divide on gun policy matter so much,” Tuccille asks the readers. “Because gun ownership has traditionally been divided just as starkly along partisan lines, “with Republican and Republican-leaning independents more than twice as likely as Democrats and those who lean Democratic to say they own a gun (44% vs. 20%),” according to 2017 polling by Pew Research. That may indicate an ideological difference, or it may be evidence that familiarity with firearms encourages a more relaxed attitude towards their legal status, or both. Whatever the reason for the deep disagreement, enforcing ‘tighter gun laws’ would require the cooperation of the people who actually possess them and oppose such policy changes.”
Tuccille also quoted a Hill-Harris survey done back in March revealing that 79 percent of Democrats “support tighter gun laws” but Republicans, at only 36 percent, don’t think so.
Over the past few years, as Democrats emerged not just as the “party of gun control” but of “gun confiscation,” the GOP has become the party more closely defensive of gun rights and the Second Amendment, drawing gun owners closer to their side of the political aisle.
But even Tuccille acknowledges there is no hard-and-fast rule here. He observes that more people on the political left “and members of Democratic-leaning constituencies” have been part of the past year’s gun buying frenzy. Millions of firearms were purchased over the past 15 months, and they weren’t all bought by Donald Trump supporters.
As the nation first was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic panic and then alarmed by BLM and Antifa protests that turned violent, leaving neighborhoods in several cities burning and looted, people from all political perspectives started buying guns, many for the first time in their lives. By some estimates, more than 8 million new gun owners emerged, many reportedly acknowledging they didn’t realize legally purchasing firearms at retail was more complicated than they’d been led to believe.
Waiting periods, background checks, and in some jurisdictions, they actually had to get a permit before they could purchase a gun. Liberty Park Press spoke to gun dealers in the Northwest and Southeast last year and their anecdotal reports were remarkably similar about this.
Gun control efforts will not end anytime soon, with Joe Biden in the White House and Kamala Harris waiting in the wings. But with genuine new peril in Afghanistan, the Biden-Harris administration’s attention could be focused elsewhere for the time being, putting gun control on a back burner.