The gun control push that marked the first 10 days following the October 1 Las Vegas attack has now floundered and all but disappeared, in large part because the shooting did not impact American attitudes toward guns.
KPCC put it this way: “Las Vegas shooting didn’t change anyone’s mind about…guns.” And they back this assertion up by citing an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll which shows that American’s views on guns were roughly the same October 12-16, 2017, as they were in July 2016.
This means that three different positions continue to be held by Americans: 1. More gun control needed. 2. No more gun control needed. 3. Some gun controls should be repealed.
And while the majority of respondents to the AP-NORC poll believe more gun control is needed, that position is driven by Democrat respondents. For example, “nearly 9 in 10 Democrats…want to see gun laws made stricter.” Only one third of Republicans agreed with them.
On October 11 Breitbart News reported on a poll by Politico/Morning Consult that showed 47 percent of voters support gun rights over 42 percent of voters who support gun control. This is a significant poll because the respondents were Americans who actually vote. It is also significant because it, too, showed that the support for more gun control was driven by Democrats. Politico reported that 63 percent of Democrat voters supported limiting gun ownership while only 25 percent believed protecting gun rights is more important. Republicans were just the the opposite with “70 percent [saying] it’s more important to protect gun rights, compared with 23 percent who say limiting gun ownership is more important.”
The political dangers of this Democrat push for gun control has not been lost on party leaders like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is asking his colleagues to hit the brakes on their gun control push for now. Schumer is worried that Democrats could suffer losses during the 2018 elections if they are identified too closely with gun control.