Why the gun issue baffles the left
How is it possible that specific gun restrictions seem overwhelmingly popular but do not get enacted into law by the people’s elected representatives? News outlets constantly note that gun restrictions are favored by 60 to 80 percent of the public. That includes red flag laws, banning large magazines, waiting periods, background checks, and age limitations.
Conversely, the anti-gun media notes that passing such laws is not detrimental to the political careers of legislators who vote for them. They specifically note that then-Governor Rick Scott signed several of the aforementioned restrictions into law that were passed by the Florida Republican legislature – and he went on to be elected to the United States Senate.
In a spirit of simplistic partisanship, those wondering why such popular legislation does not get enacted place the blame on the money and influence of the National Rifle Association. They claim that the mostly Republican legislators like the money and fear getting a primary opponent if they do not go along with the NRA.
There is a logical misfire in that thinking. If voting for gun restrictions is not harmful to political careers – as they claim – the threat of opposition over that issue is not effective. And the money is not a deal maker. Most legislators would do very well without NRA dollars. But there are more fundamental flaws in the arguments of the gun control advocates.
It is true that specific gun restrictions are popular with the voters. It is also true that legislators face very little danger of getting ousted if they vote for gun restrictions. But there is the other side of that coin.
It also does not threaten the career of legislators who vote AGAINST gun restrictions. While the left-leaning media is quick to point to the cases in which legislators who voted for restrictions got re-elected, they fail to note that virtually every legislator voting against restrictions also gets re-elected.
There is a simple reason for that. Gun restrictions are not an issue upon which most voters cast their votes. It is not a decisive issue except for a very few one-issue voters—and they do not impact significantly in the final vote count. As I have noted many times in past commentaries, that issue does not drive votes in any meaningful way. It has little impact on outcomes. Same with abortion.
So, two things are possible – and in play. I will use myself as an example. I tend to favor banning bump stocks, and high-capacity magazines, while supporting red flag laws, and background checks. I am one of those 70 percent of the voters. BUT I never consider gun restrictions when I vote. In my mix of issues that direct my vote, gun restrictions are not in the mix. Whether a candidate favors them or not, is irrelevant to my vote.
I am a pro-lifer, but I do not determine my vote by the candidates’ stand on abortion. If a candidate meets my philosophy on a wide range of issues – but not on abortion or guns – he or she may still get my vote.
I tend to vote conservative on a broad range of overarching issues – such as personal freedom, constitutional rights, low taxes, and limited government. I think I am typical of the conservative voter.
The fact that so many on the telly seem mystified about how such popular issues can be ignored has to do with how they fit in with a wide range of other issues. They are mystified either because they do not understand the dynamics of voting – or they are just peddling partisan propaganda.
Whatever Congress does about gun restrictions, that issue will not be the issue determining the outcomes of the elections … period.
So, there ‘tis,