As if the anti-gun liberal crowd didn’t get the message anytime recently, another Pew Poll released by the Washington Post reveals that Americans have not changed their minds about our feelings towards the Second Amendment right to carry.
Even after the recent shooting in a Louisiana theater (which was “gun free”), Americans like us are unwavering in the fact that a good guy with his weapon does more for a bad situation sooner than a bad guy with a gun and 911. It seems that politicians on both sides have their heads in the sand when it comes to cold hard facts like the poll below clearly reflects.
It’s an echo of a familiar theme from NRA head Wayne LaPierre. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said frequently amid the more recent gun-control debate.
And most Americans agree with this logic, according to a 2014 Pew Research Poll. Since the 2012 Newtown, Conn., massacre of 26 people, including 20 school children, the poll found a nine-point rise in the number of Americans who think gun ownership could “protect people from becoming victims of crime.”
The post-Newtown shift was most significant among Republicans, whose support for gun ownership in the two years since the attack rose from 63 percent to 80 percent.
The poll also marked the first time in two decades of Pew surveys that more Americans supported gun rights rather than gun control (though public opinion had been shifting that way for years).
Politicians will often play both sides of the field to get more of their constituents to vote for them. Some even drop their obstinate stance against gun rights and remain largely quiet on the matter during election.
Why are U.S. congressmen reluctant to support gun control regulations, despite the fact that most Americans are in favor of them? We argue that re-election motives can lead politicians to take a pro-gun stance against the interests of an apathetic majority of the electorate, but in line with the interests of an intense minority. We develop a model of gun control choices in which incumbent politicians are both office and policy motivated, and voters differ in the direction and intensity of their preferences. We derive conditions under which politicians support gun control early in their terms, but oppose them when they approach re-election. We test the predictions of the model by analyzing votes on gun-related legislation in the U.S. Senate, in which one third of the members are up for re-election every two years. We find that senators are more likely to vote pro gun when they are close to facing re-election, a result which holds comparing both across and within legislators. Only Democratic senators “flip flop” on gun control, and only if the group of pro-gun voters in their constituency is of intermediate size.
Be sure to know your state representatives and all opposer’s stance on gun control long before election, and be sure to vote for those who stand with us and our right to bear arms. When elections come around you will be prepared to the silent, the liars, and the flip floppers.
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