Uncovering the Political Agenda Behind Gun Control Debates

It is important to know your enemy while fighting for your constitutional rights, and when it comes to the Second Amendment, your enemy is not just anti-gunners but also the media and the way things are covered.

The Missouri Independent reported on Monday that Democrats in the House held a “roundtable forum” to discuss potential changes to gun laws in the United States, but it was clear within the first couple of paragraphs that no one from a gun rights group was invited to participate. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a lifelong anti-gunner, was quoted as saying, “The National Rifle Association is the only organization fighting back against gun control.” The story referred to gun control as “gun reform” or “gun safety legislation.”

The March for Our Lives movement, the article noted, “advocates for gun control legislation at the state and federal level.”

The identical article appeared in the Louisiana Illuminator.

“Raskin was apparently accompanied at this “roundtable” session by fellow Democrats Maxwell Alejandro Frost (Florida), Greg Casar (Texas), Dan Goldman (New York), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.). Conservatives were apparently not invited.

In a nutshell, the event and its coverage were biased and too focused on language related to gun control.
To what extent would the media cover a “roundtable forum” on the ongoing assault on gun rights, hosted by the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Gun Owners of America, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Second Amendment Foundation and chaired by Republican representatives in the House?

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in the days following the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, “found that 46% of registered voters worried about becoming a victim of a mass shooting themselves,” as reported by ABC News.

That’s pretty amazing, right?

Take a look at the Quinnipiac poll report, which puts this in a different perspective: “Forty-six percent of voters personally worry about being the victim of a mass shooting, while 53 percent do not.” (Emphasis added.) Translation: A majority of voters are not worried about being a mass shooting victim, but that was evidently not the message ABC News wanted to convey.

The media glossed over certain key aspects of the Quinnipiac survey. One of the most surprising aspects of the survey results that received less attention was the vast divide between political parties on the issue of banning so-called “assault weapons.”

What Quinnipiac found was as follows:

“Democrats 89 – 10 percent support a ban on the sale of assault weapons, while Republicans 75 – 21 percent oppose it. Fifty percent of independents oppose a ban, while 45 percent support it.” Translation: Democrats are gun prohibitionists, Republicans come down on the side of gun rights, and they are joined by a slight majority of Independents.

Quinnipiac did report that 53 percent of voters “think the United States would be less safe if more people carried guns, while 39 percent think the United States would be safer if more people carried guns, very similar to a June 2022 Quinnipiac University poll.”

Gallup’s survey concluded, “Today’s partisan differences on guns contrast with relatively modest gaps two decades ago.”

The veteran polling firm drew attention to three significant points:

  • In 2001, 61% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans wanted gun laws to be stricter. Since then, there has been a 27-percentage-point increase in the percentage of Democrats favoring stricter laws and an 18-point decrease among Republicans. Independents’ views haven’t changed.
  • Compared with 2000, the percentage of Republicans in favor of a handgun ban has fallen 19 points. Democrats’ and independents’ views on this issue are generally similar to what they were in 2000.
  • The percentage of Republicans who think guns make homes safer has nearly doubled since 2000, from 44% to 86%. Independents also show a large shift in the same direction, from 36% in 2000 to 66%. Democrats are slightly more likely today (37%) than in 2000 (28%) to think guns make homes safer.

The Gallup survey also looked at gun ownership and found that 44 percent of U.S. adults acknowledge having a gun in the home “or on their property.” Of those, 30 percent own the gun personally, and the rest say the gun belongs to a “household member.” These percentages have remained fairly steady for several years.

Narrowing things down a bit—which you probably didn’t see reported by any major news organization—Gallup found that “gun ownership rates have increased among Republicans over the past two decades,” while “Democratic gun ownership has declined slightly.”

The survey said 45 percent of Republicans personally own a gun, and 58 percent live in a household with guns. On the other hand, only 18 percent of Democrats say they personally own a gun, and only 29 percent live in a household where someone else owns a gun. Among Independents, 29 percent personally own guns, and 43 percent live in a “gun household.”

One may argue that if these statistics were more widely publicized, it would shed light on why Democrats are more likely to support stricter gun laws than Republicans.

Voters may have further insight about who they should back in the next elections as a result.