They are who we thought they were, as Dennis Green once famously said.
YouGov asked people whether they favor or oppose banning semiautomatic weapons. Note: Not semiautomatic rifles, which some might incorrectly but understandably treat as a question about AR-15s or “assault weapons.” YouGov asked about semiautomatic weapons. That means handguns too. Result:
Overall Americans are at 55/33, with even Republicans at a surprisingly narrow 37/53 in opposition. YouGov should have followed up by asking people to define “semiautomatic” and presenting them with four possible definitions. I’d be curious to see what percentage answered correctly. Instead they followed up by asking how people feel about banning all handguns (except those issued to officers of the state, of course!), which would include revolvers. Result:
Americans are strongly opposed overall but Democrats are on the fence at 44/46. Which way will those numbers tilt in coming years, do you suppose, as the party drifts left and gives up on working-class white voters to chase an Obama-style coalition of young adults, minorities, and the highly educated?
Democrats are also evenly split at 39/41 on, uh, whether to repeal the Second Amendment, which is a 21/60 proposition among the broader population. Their preference is much more popular nationally on a different question, though: Whether gun buyers should be forced to undergo a “mental examination” before being allowed to complete their purchase.
A plurality of Republicans agree. And when asked whether people with a “history of mental illness” should be barred from owning guns altogether — don’t ask me how to define “mental illness” here — both parties overwhelmingly support the idea, Democrats at an 86 percent clip and Republicans at 81 percent. Imagine POTUS’s reaction when he sees that. Everything’s coming up Trump!
Let’s check in now with the kids from Stoneman Douglas High as they continue to advance the country towards a lasting settlement of this bitterly divisive issue:
I haven’t had enough time to read R*bi*’s little proposals, but you guys know we don’t have to settle for less, right?
Dirty blood money politicians like him want to throw us 2 pennies and make us thank them on our knees as if they just paid off our mortgage. We won’t have it.
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) March 1, 2018
That’s the young man who led off his conversation with Rubio at CNN’s lynch-mob town hall by musing that it was hard to look at him and not see the Parkland shooter staring back from behind his AR-15. Another Stoneman Douglas student was on CNN yesterday and applauded Dick’s Sporting Goods for its new gun policy, noting that it’s the private sector that “will stop the NRA from doing what they’re doing, basically killing kids.” Wolf Blitzer let that last part pass without comment or challenge because, after all, CNN is as much a gun-control PAC as it is a news network now.
Here’s Dana Loesch responding this morning to Trump’s obnoxious gun-control summit at the White House yesterday. Exit quotation via GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, in deep, deep denial about where the president stands: “I don’t think that he was saying that there’s a place where you suspend the Constitution and suspend due process… I just don’t believe in my heart of hearts that’s exactly what he meant.”