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Sneaky Gun Control

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Anyone looking at the political landscape would probably conclude that gun control legislation would have no chance. Republicans control both the House and the Senate, and many members of Congress who supported gun control legislation lost in the last election. That is why gun control advocates are changing their branding and strategy at the state level.

Genevieve Wood talks about sneaky gun control in The Daily Signal. She says that gun control advocates are using a strategy in the states they adopted from gay activists who want same-sex marriage legal in every state. They plan to get the public on their side in the states and eventually influence the courts and Congress.

The first step is to change the brand. They have stopped using the term “gun control” in favor of the term “gun safety.” That is probably a smart marketing move. After all, who would go on record as being against gun safety? The second step is to focus attention on state legislatures by talking about the need for gun safety and by calling for the expansion of background checks.

Still, this gun safety movement has to contend with a public that believes that gun ownership is a good thing. The Pew poll taken in December found that a majority of Americans believe it is more important to “protect the right of Americans to own guns” than to “control gun ownership.” Also, a majority of Americans believe gun ownership does more to “protect people from becoming victims of crimes.” A much smaller minority believed guns “put people’s safety at risk.”

Kelsey Harkness, also writing for The Daily Signal, says that firearms sellers say they are being choked off from payment processors like PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Spark Pay. Some processors publicly state their policy against gun sales, and it is quite possible that gun control advocates will work to get other payment processors to refuse to process gun purchases.

All of this to say that the battle over guns and gun control continues even if less visible than in the past.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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