What would you say if I told you that the state of Texas is getting closer to embracing additional gun control measures? Unfortunately, a recent poll indicates that might be exactly what is happening. Say what you want about the anti-gun lobby, their propaganda appears to be working better than expected.
Apparently, using mass shootings to persuade the American public to allow more restrictions on gun ownership might be a more effective strategy than it seems. If Texas is moving closer towards additional gun control legislation, it means that conservatives might be losing this debate.
The Texas Tribune published a piece discussing the changing attitudes among Republican leaders regarding gun rights. The article, titled “Analysis: Why Texas Republicans are launching trial balloons on gun laws,” explains that some GOP leaders in the state have begun flirting with the types of legislation that are typically anathema to those on the right.
In particular, they point to Governor Greg Abbot and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick as officials who might have been compelled to reconsider their stance on firearms after the recent mass shootings that took place in the Lone Star State. “The two have edged into conversations about red flag laws and increased background checks — positions that have been off limits for Second Amendment advocates housed mostly, if not exclusively, in the Republican Party.”
The author points out that after the 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School, Governor Abbot published a “School and Firearm Safety Plan” that included consideration of a red flag law. Lt. Governor Patrick and the state senate rejected the legislation. But only a year later, after the El Paso and Odessa shootings, Patrick indicated that he might be open to other restrictive firearm laws. “I’m a solid NRA guy, but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger-to-stranger sale makes no sense to me,” he said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
Abbot later issued his safety report, which asked the state legislature to “consider ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.” This isn’t exactly an endorsement of universal background checks, but it does indicate an openness to gun control that wasn’t present previously.
But even more disturbing was the study showing that the attitudes of Texas residents to gun control are changing. In February 2019, The Texas Tribune and the University of Texas conducted a poll showing that 49% of Texans supported stricter gun control legislation. But the results when they performed another study later in the year were telling:
“Nine months, and two Texas mass shootings later, support had increased almost imperceptibly to 51%. Changes in attitudes among partisans was also limited. While 83% and 81% of Democrats in February and October polling, respectively, wanted stricter gun control laws, the share of Republicans wanting stricter laws increased by 5 percentage points, from 19% to 24%, while the share wanting to loosen current gun laws decreased by 5 points, from 29% to 24% — notable, but by no means a significant shift.”
While The Tribune downplays the upward trend, it would be rather absurd to expect the number of Texans who support gun control to increase at a rapid pace. This is still Texas, after all. But their poll also revealed more disturbing truths:
“When asked in the October poll whether or not they support “requiring criminal and mental health background checks on all gun purchases in the United States, including gun shows and private sales?’ 81% of Texans said yes, including 93% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans.”
When it comes to red flag laws, their study showed that 68% of Texas residents favored them, including 53% of Republicans.
So what gives? Are we losing the debate on gun rights? Considering the fact that Texas — which has historically been a staunchly pro-gun state — seems to be creeping closer to adopting more restrictive gun laws, it might be a cause for concern for the national debate over the Second Amendment. The fact that President Trump has not exactly been a champion for gun rights is also not helping the cause.
Let’s face it: The gun control crowd, despite being ignorant on the issue of gun safety, has shown itself to be quite effective when it comes to persuading the American public to give in to its agenda. They have been largely ineffective at explaining how their proposed legislation would have prevented mass shootings like the ones that occurred in El Paso and Odessa, but the reality is that these incidents present the perfect ingredients for an emotionally-charged argument.
But perhaps there is hope. Americans might be shifting towards allowing more gun restrictions, but they are not shying away from gun ownership. USA Today just reported that background checks for gun purchases on Black Friday were the 2nd highest in history. But regardless, the results of this poll demonstrate that the right must find more effective ways to counter the emotional arguments of the progressive left. Otherwise, we might be closer to realizing the vision of those who are pushing for outright gun bans and firearm confiscation.
What do you think? Is the gun control lobby winning the debate? Let us know in the comments below!
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