In a CNN op-ed, Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, argued that we’ve reached the “tipping point” in the debate over laws that restrict one’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Gross believes that “change is in the air” and gives various reasons to substantiate his argument. For the sake of brevity and clarity, I’ve recapitulated his article in a “five reasons” format.
1. Pop Culture Echo Chamber
Gross believes that increasingly actors, singers, artists and other pop culture icons are jumping on the gun-grabbing bandwagon. He cited a recent SNL skit as well as a “Blacklish” television episode that looked at the issue through a comedic lens; and mentioned a Kim Kardashian appeal for universal background checks on Twitter.
“As with smoking, drinking and driving and same-sex marriage, the sentiments of the American public are being reflected in media and culture beyond victims and advocates,” wrote Gross.
2. Presidential Debate
At the Democratic debate last week it was rather evident that candidates weren’t shying away from gun control, notes Gross.
“Long considered a “third rail” issue, major presidential candidates are actually running on it,” argued Gross. “In last week’s Democratic debate, candidates were falling over each other to demonstrate the strength of their stance for sensible gun laws. They were actually bragging about their negative NRA ratings.”
3. Public Polls
Public polls consistently show widespread support for universal background checks.
“An astounding 93% of the American public, including 90% of Republican voters, more than 80% of gun owners and more than 70% of NRA households support expanding Brady background checks to all gun sales,” wrote Gross.
4. State-Level Gun Control
Gross touted the success of draconian gun measures enacted at the state level following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“In fact, since 20 children and six teachers were killed at Sandy Hook, six states — Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon and Washington — have expanded Brady background checks to all gun sales,” wrote Gross.
5. Ballot Initiatives
The future of the gun-control movement, according to Gross, is ballot initiatives.
“Ballot initiatives, where citizens can vote directly on a new law, illuminate a true path forward,” explained Gross. “Turns out it’s a lot easier for the gun lobby to bully a small number of politicians than to bully millions of voters.”
“After we win in Maine and Nevada, there are 14 more states that have the ballot initiative process that don’t have expanded background checks,” he continued.
Gross concludes by saying that “to see all this clear evidence that our mission is turning into a true movement, into a collective outcry of “enough,” and that the tipping point for the gun issue, finally, is here.”
Most of what Gross says is quite accurate. Hollywood is becoming increasingly involved in the gun debate, Democratic candidates are for the first time in a long time proud of their anti-gun policy positions, polls are showing public support for background checks, certain states have passed onerous gun laws, and background checks are popping up on ballots across the country.
That said, the war is far from over. I think, if anything, their progress will only harden the resolve of gun owners to stand and fight. We saw what happened when president Obama was elected, and then re-elected. Through grassroots efforts, donations to gun rights groups, public rallies and demonstrations, letters to Congress and the ATF, the gun community showed up in full force to retard the efforts of the Obama administration and for the most part we succeeded. Did we win every battle? No. But did we win more than we lost? Absolutely. Last time I checked, we’re still winning the war. And moving forward, if we continue to do what we’ve always done, remain politically active and engaged, we’ll keep winning the war.
(Heck, and even if we lose the war, we got the guns and they’ll have to come take em. They’ll need more than tweets from Kim Kardashian to get that job done).