The Gun Control Movement Is Losing the Messaging War

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

The gun control lobby recently received some horrific news. According to newly-released data, Americans are not as keen on gun control as they have been in years past. Indeed, it appears the anti-gun crowd has lost a significant level of support, as more and more Americans are purchasing firearms.

A Gallup poll revealed that support for stricter gun control legislation has dropped considerably. The report noted:

Americans’ support for stricter gun control has fallen five percentage points to 52%, the lowest reading since 2014. At the same time, 35% of U.S. adults think laws covering the sale of firearms should be kept as they are now and 11% favor less strict laws.

The results of the survey fell largely among party lines. Gallup noted that the most significant contributor to the drop in support for stricter laws occurred among Republicans:

While Democrats are nearly unanimous in their support for stricter gun laws, Republicans’ and independents’ preferences are not as clear-cut. A 56% majority of Republicans favor keeping laws for the sale of firearms as they are now, while the remainder divide about evenly between wanting stricter (24%) and less strict (20%) laws. Independents are mostly divided between saying they prefer stricter laws (45%) and wanting laws kept as they are (41%). Twelve percent of independents favor less strict laws.

In its report, Gallup noted that “Americans’ support for stricter gun laws has typically risen in the aftermath of high-profile mass shootings and fallen during periods without such events” and that “changes in the party occupying the White House may also influence preferences for gun laws.”

President Joe Biden laid out a radical anti-gun agenda during the 2020 campaign. But so far, he has been unable to gain much traction when it comes to making it more difficult for Americans to purchase and own firearms.

Biden’s agenda calls for a ban on so-called assault weapons – AKA scary-looking black rifles – and also high-capacity magazines, which are defined as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The president is also seeking to implement universal background checks on all gun sales and doing away with immunity for gun manufacturers “who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer recently chimed in on Biden’s plans to further restrict gun ownership. She said:

I think too that these were very vague calls. So none of these calls outlined specific measures, for example, what should constitute a so-called assault weapon in any of these bills? Would these bans be merely future bans? Which is what Biden seemed to call for during his campaign. You can keep the guns you have now, but we’re going to ban future sales or is it going to be a full-on Australian-style confiscation measure? So, it is pretty vague there, but again, it’s notable because it is his first real push as President to take on these issues.

However, regardless of Biden’s anti-gun efforts, it does not appear that this type of legislation has much of a chance of passing. CNN noted:

While the Democratic-led House passed two measures to strengthen background checks, the Senate is not expected to act on either one.

But it is not just Gallup’s data that revealed that attitudes towards gun rights are a-changing.

A Quinnipiac University poll showed that voters were split 47 percent to 48 percent on supporting stricter gun legislation and opposing such measures. “That’s also the lowest support for stricter gun laws among voters since late 2015 in Quinnipiac’s polling,” according to CNN.

Given the increased rate of gun ownership, it can’t be too surprising that people are no longer being swayed by the arguments coming from the anti-gun crowd. It was only a matter of time before people began seeing through them.

The left has typically relied on school shootings and other types of tragedies to push for gun control because they bank on the idea that they can use Americans’ emotions to push for stricter anti-gun legislation. It is a tactic that has worked well in the past because the reality is that nobody wants to see mass shootings occurring as often as they do. Moreover, people on both sides of the gun issue wish to see a decrease in gun homicides.

However, it appears more people are becoming educated on guns, and I believe this is the crux of the matter. One thing I have noticed over my career in political commentary is that the very best way to convert an anti-gunner into a gun-rights supporter is to educate them on the subject. I contend that the number-one reason why people are against guns is that they know nothing about them.

Once anti-gunners are educated, they seem to realize that guns are not evil objects enchanted with dark magic causing them to randomly shoot innocent people. Indeed, YouTube is packed with videos in which pro-Second Amendment individuals convert anti-gunners just by taking them to the range. The following video is an example:

Of course, this is not to say that education will cause an anti-gunner to start conceal-carrying and immersing themselves into the Pew Pew Life™. But it will certainly change their viewpoints when it comes to imposing more draconian gun laws.

Moreover, since there is more information about the gun issue, people seem to be figuring out that adding even more gun laws does not keep anyone safe. If anything, these results show that the pro-2A folks are winning the messaging battle.



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