Monday, October 5, 2015

Understanding the Country's Choice on Guns // Josh Marshall // Talking Points Memo

Understanding the Country's Choice on Guns
by Josh Marshall

Going slightly beyond what the data tells us, it seems clear that being pro-gun has become a key element of Republican self-identification. That is to say, it's not just that many Republicans' views have changed since Obama took office, but that being pro-gun has become an elemental part of what it means to be a Republican.

Some related questions are less clear cut. For instance, the belief that more guns make us safer rather than less safe (a proposition that appears to be belied by all available social science) has grown more widely. Notably, that belief has grown dramatically in recent years among African Americans.

It seems reasonable to anticipate that if more people come to believe that more guns mean more safety that opposition to gun control will eventually fall in line with those views. So far, it hasn't.

But the basic point is clear. The politics of guns has transformed dramatically because starting at the time Barack Obama was elected President, Republicans became dramatically more committed to the right to own guns.

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