Why Do Gun Control Advocates Keep Losing? The Answers May Surprise You

Gun control advocates have campaigned hard for stricter laws concerning the ease with which a person can gain access to a weapon.

Yet California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, recently witnessed the deadliest mass shooting since 2012’s Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Several miles east, Democratic-led Chicago, whose Mayor is a former White House Chief of Staff under the Obama administration, suffers from an epidemic of gun violence despite proudly wearing the moniker of “toughest gun laws of any other major U.S. city.”

With a staggering number of mass shootings and no new laws to combat them, it’s understandable that gun control advocates are now having self-doubt.

Everyone from message board regulars to the president himself can’t seem to figure out how they’re failing to pass new laws and restrictions. They look for answers in the form of a GOP-led Congress and the National Rifle Association (NRA), but as a recent Washington Post analysis points out, they are missing the mark.

The piece, entitled “What gun control advocates don’t understand about gun owners,” brings out some pretty surprising reasons as to why Americans are rejecting the gun control agenda.

Jim Tankersley and Scott Clement, the authors of the piece, point to three main reasons: fear of government intrusion into citizens’ lives, a belief that more guns lead to higher safety, and the partisan divide between gun support and gun control.

There are two additional reasons for the losses gun control advocates are experiencing that you’ll hear at the end of this piece, but here’s what Tankersley and Clement have to say.

First of all, there is a strong correlation between individuals who feel that government has too much control of Americans’ lives and those opposed to stricter gun control laws.

To be exact, around 70 percent of people who believe government is too involved also believe stricter laws lack any real noble cause and that it’s just, in reality, a way to centralize more control in Washington D.C.

Secondly, a CNN/ORC poll in June of this year found that 60 percent of total respondents felt guns were more about personal safety than causing harm. Also, from 1993 to 2007, Republicans became dramatically more opposed to gun law restrictions while Democrats largely kept the same level of support for gun control advocates.

Check out the full piece here if you want to look at Tankersley and Clement’s specific data points.

But before you do so, here are two additional reasons that are worth including with the Post‘s findings. Firstly, anti-gun rhetoric has lost all sense of discourse.

When left-wing media personalities like Geraldo Rivera are using crimes like the San Bernardino massacre to directly attack foundations on which the country was built, it makes a lot more than just conservatives nervous about giving the federal government any more control than they already have.

Secondly, Democrats mistakenly think they have the “common sense” argument on their side. However, they are touting statistics that are suspect at best.

Case in point, the New York Times recently decided to “loosen” the definition of what makes a mass shooting to pick up steam for gun control arguments.

Additionally, they try to make the point that people with guns do not save lives, which is a bit of a non sequitur since you cannot have a legitimate statistic on how many lives were saved if a gunman is stopped before he actually takes a life.

Gun rights advocates also have the fallback of being able to point to a plethora of situations throughout the U.S. that happen annually in which a gun owner uses their weapon to either kill or divert a would-be burglar or home intruder.

Finally, as the Tankersley/Clement piece makes clear, the numbers aren’t on their side. The country still feels the right to bear arms is a vital liberty to the American experience.

In short, the reason gun control advocates are losing in the U.S., and will likely continue to do so, has little to do with Republicans and the NRA and more to do with their arguments.

But what do you think, readers? Is there a middle ground that could bring both sides together on this issue, or is gun control doomed forever? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com]