Good…am stoked they might get off their ‘do nothing’ approach (from Canadian Bloomberg)
The 2018 election reflected a changing landscape on guns. Republicans were swept out of the House majority after losing suburban bastions where they were once dominant — in places like Orange County, California, and around Dallas and Houston in Texas. Voters in 2018 favoured stricter gun control by a margin of 22 percentage points, and those who did backed Democrats by a margin of 76 per cent to 22 per cent, according to exit polls. Gun policy ranked as the No. 4 concern, and voters who cited it as their top issue voted for Democrats by a margin of 70 per cent to 29 per cent.
And the mood has changed since 2016.
The gun issue propelled Trump in key states like Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania among voters who opposed Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s support for gun control, said Republican strategist Brad Todd, whose firm polled on the issue. Todd said swing voters may still “see upsides and downsides to both approaches” on gun policy.
There have been 255 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which counts incidents where at least four people were shot or killed, not including the shooter. With the presidential election 15 months away, it’s unclear just how salient the issue of guns will be in shaping voter behaviour.
“Every time the country experiences a tragedy of this nature the Republican brand takes a hit,” said Carlos Curbelo, a Republican former congressman who lost his suburban Miami-area district to a Democrat in 2018. “Because many, many Americans perceive that Republicans are unwilling to act on gun reform, due to the influence of the NRA and other organizations.”
A Marist poll last month, commissioned by NPR and PBS, found that 57 per cent of American adults support banning “the sale of semi-automatic assault guns such as the AK-47 or the AR-15,” while 41 per cent oppose it. Support for such bans was 62 per cent among suburbanites, 74 per cent among women in the suburbs and small cities, and 65 per cent among white college graduates.
But the survey found broad opposition to banning semi-automatic assault weapons among the core elements of Trump’s coalition — 67 per cent among Republicans, 67 per cent among conservatives, 65 per cent among white men without college degrees, and 51 per cent among rural Americans.