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Democrats Are Fooling Themselves On Guns

… among many other issues.


Did you know that 76 percent of voters support the Democrat’s “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022?” What kind of depraved fascist wouldn’t want to prevent domestic terrorism or the prosecution of domestic terrorists, right? Now, how many of those voters would support the bill if they knew the FBI had recently investigated law-abiding parents as “domestic terrorists” for protesting against identitarian curriculums and lockdowns in their schools? I suspect the numbers might look quite different.

Time and time again we see the same process play out. First, legacy media adopts the Democratic Party’s favored euphemisms or language to mislead the public — think, “Don’t Say Gay.” Pollsters then wrap their questions in ambiguous, disingenuous, or misleading terms to get the answers they seek from voters. Once pollsters reinforce their priors, the media reports on the results. After their rhetoric has been laundered, Democrats claim their agenda is widely popular and thus, democracy is being undermined by those who won’t support these preferred policies.

American voters, for instance, overwhelmingly back “loan forgiveness.” But do these voters believe that taxpayers — many of whom have either never attended college or paid their students loans or worked their way through college or graduated from less prestigious institutions to save money — should be on the hook for another $1.7 trillion? Because no one is “forgiving” any loans. The government is bailing out (mostly) middle- and upper-class kids who will have the means to pay their debt. If not, they’re being fleeced or borrowing money for the wrong kinds of degrees. Of course, if the underlying idea was popular as leftists claim, the president wouldn’t need to unconstitutionally enforce the policy by fiat.

A strong majority of Americans also oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. (And I’m sure they have exceptional legal arguments for the position.) Why not ask those voters if they believe states should be empowered to decide their own abortion policies? We know why. The polling would look completely different. A Morning Consult poll found that 41 percent of voters claim it is “very important” for them to vote for a candidate in the 2022 midterms who supports “abortion access.” Do they also believe unfettered access in the third trimester should be legal? That’s the Democrats’ operational policy position right now. Might be worth asking voters about bills that exist, as they exist.

Big majorities of Americans also support “voting rights.” But do they support Democrats’ efforts to nationalize elections and ban photo ID requirements in all states? Do they support the federal government compelling states to count ballots 10 days after Election Day? Do they believe that Washington should force states to enfranchise felons? These are real-life components of the Democrats’ efforts to take over elections. Do they support illegal immigrants voting? Because that’s another position, unlike, say, “Jim Crow 2.0,” that is growing in popularity.

Democrats have pulled this trick with socialized medicine, welfare expansion, and climate change efforts. And it’s no different on guns.

Pollsters gauge largely useless policy efforts like “universal background checks” because Democrats have made them the centerpiece of their agenda. How many people polled appreciate that a mere sliver of gun crimes are committed by those who evaded a background check (usually by breaking the law)? One suspects that most non-gun owners don’t understand that virtually every firearm sold in the United States today has featured a background check on its owner. Why would they? Gun control advocates have been telling Americans that getting your hand on a firearm is easier than buying books or groceries or voting.

Not one of the perpetrators of these recent mass shootings has evaded a background check. Straw purchases are illegal. As is lying on your background check. As Kevin Williamson pointed out Sunday, in 2019, the Department of Justice found that less than 2 percent of all prisoners had a firearm obtained from any retail source at the time they committed their crimes. Yet, retail sources are the central target of gun controllers no matter what the facts on the ground.

Monday, the president came out in support of banning most semi-automatic handguns in the country. Why aren’t pollsters clamoring to query voters to see if they agree with Joe Biden’s position? Because it wouldn’t be unhelpful. Longitudinal studies show that support for gun control has diminished. Support for a handgun ban is probably quite small. Things can change. Right now, however, it is unlikely that David Hogg’s views are more popular than the NRA’s.

Now, on a personal level, the moral value of your position isn’t predicated on its popularity. The problem is that the entire national conversation has been skewed in a way that rarely reflects reality. Maybe the left can fool the public from time to time, but these days it seems like they fool themselves into a false sense of political security.

If you only got your news from major outlets you wouldn’t even know anyone but murderers owned firearms. At some point, after the emotionalism and opaque do-somethingism, voters are confronted with the specifics of Democrat policy goals. And those specifics are always far less popular than the fantastical version offered by their allies.