Even though we all knew there has been movement towards more stringent gun control since Sandy Hook (and Webster, and Aurora), the latest figures are really surprising. They come from Pew Research.
Going down the list — there’s widespread approval for background checks for private and gunshow sales. Republicans make up a large part of that widespread approval.
The number goes down to 80% approval for preventing people with mental illness from purchasing guns. That’s one that seems easy — certainly easy to approve. But “mental illness” is going to need defining. People in therapy for marriage counseling? Or for the loss of a spouse? The whole “mental illness” issue in our society is a tough one with enough ignorance about the subject to challenge even the most intelligent legislator and puts therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists in a problematical situation.
“Federal database to track gun sales.” That’s where we get down into the 67% level. NRA has managed, for years, to keep the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from keeping an effect database. Even though the NRA showed itself to be pretty weak during the last election (spent a pile of money for nothing), they’ll be sniffing around this effort to track guns.
Ban on semi-automatic weapons picks up 58%. Ban on assault-style weapons, 55%.
Ban on high-capacity ammo clips, 54% and ban on online sales of ammo 53%.
In the tank is the idea of arming teachers and administrators in schools. You can forget that one.
For the time being, gun rights people are far more active in fight to curb restrictions, according to Pew. I could see that changing.
One other obvious divide is between men and women in the survey. Once you get past the cliche that men just like guns better, it would be fair to ask whether, in their clear dependence on guns and ever more powerful weaponry — I’m being completely serious here — something hasn’t happened to American men and their self-confidence? That’s putting it politely. I guess some loss of masculinity is what I’m seeing, or maybe just the fear of loss of virility i haven’t seen elsewhere. Something to think about.