The 2020 election saw a pair of presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate. Throughout all the questions asked and topics covered, none of the three moderators brought up the issue of gun control. This is reflective of a broader trend. Gun control advocates at many levels of government have decided to not address their desires to curtail people’s rights to bear arms in such a turbulent and hectic year.
This might be because so many citizens have made things clear about how the issue of gun control doesn’t interest them right now. Between a global pandemic and national unrest, citizens have been buying firearms at very high rates. The FBI broke the annual record for instant background checks by September. The NRA has Gallup data showing how fewer than 1 in 200 survey respondents consider guns or gun control to be the biggest problem the nation needs to deal with right now.
Anti-gun politicians and gun-control proponents are reeling, spending far less time and energy on this issue. A Democrat Senate candidate in Georgia even ran an ad touting his belief in the Second Amendment.
Voters in Montana had to put up with several anti-gun campaigns that were decidedly misleading, one of which claimed that Steve Bullock is a pro-gun candidate. The campaign was run by a fake hunting group funded by sources in California, and it suggested Bullock would approve of common semiautos and gun magazines that can hold over 10 rounds. He has, in fact, publicly offered to support a ban on such items.
The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris didn’t say much about gun control while on the campaign trail, but both leaders have been known to publicly endorse gun control measures in the past. Biden did so as a Senator in 1994 with a federal weapons ban, and Harris made anti-gun positions known in her time as a San Francisco prosecutor.
Despite how much the issue seems to be fading, anti-gun leaders and proponents haven’t really changed their plans. They’re just not talking about it as much. Gun owners and gun rights advocates cannot afford to assume the fight is over. Conversations with anyone who has yet to believe in the importance of the Second Amendment will continue to happen.