Democrats may have waited too long to move forward with gun control legislation, resulting in a loss of public momentum. Support for stricter gun control spiked right after the Sandy Hook shooting, but since then it has dropped significantly. From CBS News:
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.
Partisans hold different views on gun control laws: 52 percent of Republicans want the laws kept as they are, while 66 percent of Democrats want stricter laws (down from 78 percent in February).
As with everything, the country has only a limited attention span. Sadly, when it comes to tragic shootings, that attention span appears to be only a few months. Attention is naturally going to be turned to more recent and pressing issues.
If you want to seize on a powerful moment to push for change, you need to move quickly, not wait four months before having the first vote.
Opponents of gun control have a clear playbook for stopping new regulation after a tragedy. They do not need to vote down the proposed laws – they only need to slow walk the process.
Photo by Elvert Barnes released under Creative Commons License