The progressive position on gun control should be that we should ban all guns now. Can we negotiate on guns for cops, hunters & people in extremely remote areas that cops can’t quickly reach? Sure! Let the NRA ask for those & we can discuss!
Right now, Democrats are proposing limited or complex gun rules. There are three main problems with that strategy:
- Limited rules like assault weapons bans and universal background checks are fine, but send the message that mass murders can only be marginally limited, not eradicated. They’re depressing margin-tinkers, not world-improvers. Who’s going to get fired up to knock on doors for raising the gun age to 21? (The latest mass murder suspect in California apparently had no criminal record and was 28.)
- Complex gun regulations also don’t solve the problem and don’t fire up the Dem base, but DO fire up gun supporters who think only their guns will be regulated while the Minority Criminals get their Obama Guns. Just ban guns! (The parallel is Obamacare – hard to figure out how it benefited you, easy to demagogue as stealing from Hardworking Taxpayers to benefit The Poors. Just do a universal benefit like Medicare For All!)
- The NRA doesn’t compromise. Your incremental reform that won’t save lives? They’ll fight it and demonize you as if you’re trying to ban all guns. Why not actually ban guns and save lives?
Think banning assault weapons alone will solve the problem? The vast majority of homicides are committed with handguns. Homicides using guns are up 31 percent in just the last few years. Guns are also used in more than half of suicides.
The political argument? Gun violence is the #3 most important issue for young voters, according to Pew Research. A Gallup poll shows 61% of Americans want stricter gun safety laws. Banning guns is favored by 28 percent of Americans – and that’s with literally no one in public life making the case for it!
Democrats need stronger answers. I don’t expect Democratic elected officials to start making the case for banning guns tomorrow, but they need more political cover for tougher gun safety laws, and that starts with more of us speaking loudly & clearly.