Sunday, April 12, 2015
Why the Gun Lobby is Winning
The NRA can never declare victory, for then what would be the point of it? After each concession, it demands more. Some day, perhaps, it will ask for something so outrageous that it sparks a backlash. But for now it strikes a chord. For the first time in two decades a new poll by the Pew Research Centre found more Americans supporting gun rights than gun controls. How can this be so, when such a huge majority favour background checks? The answer is that background checks are tools of the state and trust in the state has plunged in the past decade, notably on the right where it blends with loathing for Mr Obama. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s charismatic frontman, told a conservative crowd in February that when criminals attack, our wives, sisters and daughters face assault through “a kicked-down door”, “laws can’t protect you…You’re on your own.” That is the authentic voice of the gun lobby in 2015. Fear smothers rational debate. It is meant to.