If you were wondering why President Obama and Democrats were in such a hurry to cram through new gun control laws, here’s your explanation:
The poll’s Wednesday release comes a few hours after the president proposed background checks on all gun sales and bans on military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as part of a package of steps to reduce gun violence in the wake last month’s massacre, where a suicidal gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
According to the survey, 56% support a ban on semi-automatic guns, but that’s down from 62% in a CNN poll taken in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. The same is true for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips – 62% in December, down to 58% now – as well as a requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government – 78% last month, down to 69% now.
The “never let a good crisis go to waste” approach to policy making only works as long as the public perceives that there is a crisis. As we move on from the emotion and sadness over what happened in Sandy Hook, the perception that we have some sort of a gun violence crisis is fading. Especially in light of facts about declining violence in America in general.
Which is no doubt why President Obama surrounded himself with children during yesterday’s press conference. That was was about reigniting emotions, manufacturing the feeling of crisis, and hopefully support for new and restrictive regulations of gun ownership.
Meanwhile, is anyone asking if these new policy proposals will actually work to start the short of mass shootings that inspired them? Where’s the proof that these things work?