As Piers Morgan continues his antics on gun control, new polling data suggests that his efforts are not reaching others and are in vain. After the tragic massacre that took place at a Connecticut Elementary School this past December, public support for new restrictions on firearms jumped to 57%. A new poll conducted by CBS places support for stricter laws at 47% now. A ten percent drop over a matter of months.
Gun control has long been a third rail issue, though not as much as Social Security, it gives off some high voltage. The tragedies that have headlined news, such as the Aurora shooting, Sandy Hook, and the latest murder of an infant in coastal Georgia have bolstered the gun debate, and given some politicians enough guts to reach for that electrifying rail. President Obama and Vice-President Biden have led the charge to place bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and require background checks. Late in December the President vowed to take action. Support was high for the Administration’s measures, but other matters blocked the White House’s ambitions. The fiscal cliff, sequestration, and the Papal election dominated the mainstream media. Gun control gradually saw its way to the ends of newspapers and broadcasts.
The last of gun control?
Absolutely not. If you’re like me and watch CNN after the third loop on ESPN you likely stumble across Piers Morgan Live. If he doesn’t mention guns in five minutes, you’re viewing a miracle. As of late he has compiled a list of Senators who oppose, support, or are undecided on an assault weapons ban. He has made stricter gun legislation a personal vendetta, and criticized Harry Reid (D-NV) for taking assault weapons off the upcoming gun control bill. Though Mr. Morgan continues debating the issue, the public seems heading in a different direction. A few months ago a majority of Americans would have loved to see the White House’s plan pass. Now only background checks show a consistent majority in polling data with an unwavering 90% supporting. Even 86% among Republicans.
The President and Vice-President’s voltage
As far as history goes the last President to vow something lost his re-election. The last to touch a third rail issue saw the end of his agenda, but that was the least of his worries. The Obama administration vowed to touch the third rail, and the support has waned. At least until another maniac ignites the fire again.
The President has two choices: touch the rail that is closely associated will political suicide or lie. While being backed into a corner is very uncharacteristic of the President, he did it to himself. There is a way out though. The current bill coming through the Senate seeks part of his agenda. If he supports it, he somewhat gets off easily. If not, he is back where he started. Will this be the end of Obama? No, 2016 will be. That is until he sees his daughters off to college and begins charging six figures for speeches. If his approval rating rises maybe seven. Plus he has more to focus on than gun control. The issues voters care about the most, the debt and the economy, still have yet to see much attention. Gun control is not going anywhere, but it has lost its momentum, and to drastically change the status quo now would send lightening bolts all over the country.