Was There Ever Strong Support for More Gun Control?
Everyone including yours truly is writing today about the new CBS poll that shows support for stricter gun control laws has dropped 10 points recently. Shortly after the Newtown killings, CBS polling picked up 57% for new gun restrictions. That support has dropped to 47% now.
But I wonder, was that 57% ever a real number? Was that support for more gun laws ever really there at all?
At the same time that a large majority professed support for more gun laws, millions of Americans went out and bought firearms. Millions stocked up on ammunition. Millions went to gun shows and gun stores, things they never did before, and though many of them didn't end up buying any guns or ammo, they voted with their feet in favor of gun rights.
The media and the left did their best to turn Newtown into a Greater Narrative. The gunman was to blame, in this narrative, but so were you. So were we all. Because we allowed the guns that he used to exist and be available. Thinking people instinctively reject Greater Narratives, but not everyone everywhere thinks all the time. Bullying can be very effective in getting people to say things that they don't really believe.
Politicians did their bit with speeches and passing laws. Obama campaigned and will campaign again. But citizens did our bit by buying so many guns that they became scarce, and buying up so much ammo that manufacturers still can't keep up with demand. It has become a routine, for millions of Americans, to head out to the local retailer to check and see of the latest shipments included any ammo that they use. Stores ration ammo now on the few days that they have it to sell, and so do many gun ranges. Many retailers still can't keep popular guns on their shelves. They sell too fast.
Even gun control advocate Mark Kelly bought himself a handgun and tried to by an "assault" rifle. There seems to be a gulf between what he says he believes, and what he actually believes.
The polls said what they said, but demand says what it says. Polls and demand are not saying the same thing.
Polls aren't always right. They routinely get the same-sex marriage question wrong. People seem to tell pollsters a politically correct answer that society's bullies expect them to give, then go off and vote their actual beliefs and consciences.
I wonder if the same thing didn't happen after Newtown. The politically correct, bullied answer was to support more gun control. But away from the pollsters, an awful lot of people have been arming up. Now that the heat's off and the table has been turned on bullies like Andrew Cuomo, the polls may be showing where Americans always were.