Guns and the gap between voters and G.O.P. leadership

We’re seeing a widening gap between citizens and Republican leadership when it comes to gun violence. People are coming to grips with the fact that the status quo is unacceptable.

Republican leadership, however, doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to get it. There are few exceptions, such as Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, who is promoting a six-point plan to decrease gun violence.

Based on a Quinnipiac poll, released on Feb. 20, 2018, here’s how Americans feel about gun violence:

  • American voters support stricter gun laws 66–31 percent, the highest level of support ever measured by Quinnipiac, with 50–44 percent support among gun owners and 62–35 percent support from white voters with no college degree, and 58–38 percent support among white men.
  • Support for universal background checks is itself almost universal, 97–2 percent, including 97–3 percent among gun owners.
  • 67–29 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons.
  • 83–14 percent for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases.
  • It is too easy to buy a gun in the U.S., American voters say 67–3 percent.
  • If more people carried guns, the U.S. would be less safe, voters say 59–33 percent.
  • Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, voters say 75–17 percent.
  • Mass killings by U.S. citizens is a bigger problem than mass killings by people from other countries, American voters say 70–20 percent.

Then there’s how Republican leadership sees the problem. The New York Times has created a video, entitled the “G.O.P Guide to Mass Shootings.” Sounds a little snarky, I know, but the video is worth watching.

The essence of the guide is to dodge and deflect:

  1. After a mass shooting, tell the country it’s not the right time to talk about guns laws. (As if there’s ever a good time to talk about a hard subject like guns.)
  2. Pretend that existing laws are sufficient and argue that we’re just not enforcing them.
  3. Offer prayers, not legislation.
  4. Blame the problem on the mentally ill.
  5. Continue taking money from the NRA.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5.

Better laws and a decrease in gun violence will happen only when politicians feel the pressure. Right now, they have no motivation to change. The gun lobby is a tremendous messaging machine that has captured their allegiance.

Republican legislators fear the gun lobby. They don’t fear voters who advocate for greater gun safety.

If you don’t like the status quo, then email your legislators. If you’re able to read this post, you’ve got the resources at your fingertips to tell your legislators what you expect of them. Here are links for the U.S. Congress: Here are links for the Ohio General Assembly:

And, no, I’m not advocating that we eliminate guns. There’s a place in America for self-defense, hunting, sport shooting and gun collections — but without losing 33,000 people a year to gun deaths.

The gun lobby is wrong. We can promote gun safety without violating the Second Amendment.


Jack D’aurora writes for


Originally published at Consider This by JD.