Republican Pollster Luntz: NRA Not Listening to Public

Republican pollster Frank Luntz says the NRA isn’t listening to the public. But if the NRA isn’t listening to the public and many Republican conservatives (and some Democrats) are listening to the NRA, then guess who also isn’t listening to the public?

Pollster Frank Luntz, who has studied attitudes about gun control, said on Wednesday that he doesn’t “think the NRA is listening” to the American public in the wake of the massacre of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

“The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “And they are not asking for a security official or someone else. I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think they understand most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. At gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there without any kind of check whatsoever.

He added, “What they are looking for is a common sense approach saying those who law-abiding should continue to have the right to own a weapon, but don’t believe the right should be extended to everyone at every time for every type of weapon.”

The operative phrase here is “common sense.” So far there is little indication that NRA bigwigs are approaching this issue in terms of common sense a)what the reality of recent gun-related bloodshed means and how this is perceived by the vast majority of Americans b)what they can do defuse some of the controversy by doing along with some measures in a move to (here comes the dirtiest word in 21st century America) compromise and, c) allowing those who’ve they contributed to in campaigns do some adjustment in the law.

Rather, they are becoming the most liberal liberal’s caricature of the organization some NRA members say they are not. And they’re going to eventually drag some friendly politicians down with them.

I’m still seriously pessimistic on meaningful reform since he who pays the politician gets the vote. And dead kids, dead firemen, dead theater-goers don’t have much of an opportunity to make campaign contributions.

But I’ll be happy the day I can write a post on this issue that begins:

“Well, I was wrong..”

2 Comments

  1. Good post Joe, “common sense” has indeed been in short supply of regarding this problem and is something we could all use more of.

  2. The NRA is not listening to the public because it is not funded by the public. It is funded primarily by gun manufacturers and affiliated businesses. http://www.thenation.com/blog/.....gun-owners

    It is in their best interest to encourage more gun ownership and (therefore) more purchases of arms, ammunition, and other products like scopes, camo gear, body armor, and what-not. They are the primary marketing arm of the gun fetishist industry and, like any Madison Avenue firm, their consumer is always right and (more accurately) anything that garners more business for their client is good.

    It is not in their best interest to cut down on gun violence. Gun violence is their primary mechanism for selling more guns: if you listen carefully to the gun fetishist culture they love sayings such as “if the other guy is armed then I need to be armed”. In this aspect, the gun industry is actually more insidious than tobacco, alcohol, and even illicit drugs. Those items encourage you to consume more of the product yourself due to their addictive nature; in the case of guns, the more guns others own encourages you to purchase more. It’s devilish in how well it works to expand a market, I don’t think there’s anything else like it.

    The big problem any of the anti-gun, restrictive-gun, or responsible-gun movements is they do not have a commercial aspect to them. The NRA wants people to own weapons and the weapon manufacturers are happy to fund it. The various reform-gun movements don’t have a commercial angle, therefore there is no funding, no marketing arm, no lobbyist effort, no nothing that can possibly offer any competition.

    This is going to be a hard problem to crack.

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