Gun control is a long-running political dispute in the United States. It’s also a political issue that doesn’t often have any movement taken on it. However, that doesn’t mean that current gun control efforts have totally stopped.
Mass shootings are starting to dominate news headlines again in places where the pandemic is receding. Nearly two in three Americans say they support moderate boosts to gun regulations across the nation.
Other Takes On Gun Control
Other nations that practice democracy and have experienced mass shootings have passed stricter gun laws due to those incidents. These measures notably reduce subsequent gun deaths.
New Zealand might be the most prominent example. They suffered a mass shooting back in 2019 that made global headlines. The response by the government was swift and severe, and the results in reducing gun deaths have been just as substantial.
Gun Control in the U.S.
In the United States, gun regulations are often proposed but rarely become actual law. High-profile shootings mobilize advocates and supporters of gun control for a while, but the momentum quickly dissipates.
Opponents to gun control in the gun rights movement are entrenched and wield considerable political power. They rarely need media attention to remain active.
That staying power of guns rights groups alters the political equation in their favor. They also have a lot more money. A Washington Post analysis of tax data shows that gun rights groups take in ten times the level of funding that gun safety groups get.
The gun rights movement is led in particular by the National Rifle Association (NRA). It was actually formed just after the Civil War in response to data suggesting that Union troops would fire a thousand bullets or rounds of ammunition for every actual target that was hit.
More recently, the NRA took a very conservative bent politically, starting in the 1970s. Some of that led to the funding surge.
The tables might be turning, though. The increasing frequency of high-profile mass shootings has gotten the attention of several affluent individuals, including billionaire Michael Bloomberg. People with deep pockets who care about gun regulations might just swing the pendulum back a little.
Things will take time, but only one piece of serious legislation could result in saving hundreds to even thousands of lives on an annual basis.