A week ago, CNN reported that its polling showed that momentum for gun control had halted, and support had begun to decline, falling below a majority. Today’s CBS poll reaches the same conclusion, leaving the soon-to-be-filibustered bill in the US Senate in danger of becoming an orphan:
Soon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced an assault weapons ban would not be part of a gun control bill, a new CBS News poll shows support for stricter gun control laws overall has dropped since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Currently, support for stricter gun control laws stands at 47 percent today, down from a high of 57 percent just after the shootings. Thirty-nine percent want those laws kept as they are, and another 11 percent want them made less strict.
Today’s level of 47% for making gun laws more stringent is the lowest it has been since April of last year (39%). The endorsement of the status quo (39%) is likewise the highest it has been since the same point in time. Eleven years ago, the split was 56/30 in favor of tougher gun laws — and that was while the federal assault-weapons ban was still in place.
Furthermore, the push for stronger laws appears to be a partisan and regional issue, but not quite in the manner portrayed by gun-control activists. Only in the northeast does gun control get a majority, at 58/30, even though the incident that has acted as a catalyst took place in a Northeastern state with an assault-weapons ban already in place. In the Midwest and South, the splits are virtual ties, belying the notion that this is somehow a “Southern problem.” It’s also within the margin of error among independents at 43/39, and Republicans are solidly opposed at 29/52. Democrats, on the other hand, want stricter gun control by more than a 2:1 ratio, 66/30.
It seems clear that the fundamentals on gun control haven’t really changed all that much. However, we do have an indication that the gun-rights message may be getting past the media filters … even at MSNBC:
Don’t tell us that Al Sharpton and MSNBC are hypocrites? Noooo!! The Reverend Al opened his show by praising President Obama’s efforts to promote tougher gun control laws. But 28 minutes into the show, a commercial appeared for, of all things . . . Henry Repeating Rifles.
Go to Henry Rifle’s website and you’ll find one rifle described as “big, brutal and beautiful” and noting that it fires ammunition “said to have killed more game, big and small, and more men, good and bad, than any other in existence.” Another model offered for sale, the AR-7, is based on a military rifle, Henry emphasizing that given its lightweight design “you can carry a large quantity of ammunition.” Oh the horror!
Mark Finklestein skewers Sharpton and MSNBC for hypocrisy, but a better question might be why Henry is buying advertising on MSNBC at all.