Poll results depend on the phrasing of the question. “Do you support the people of Ukraine as they suffer?” will get a different response than “Do you support the people of Ukraine if it means that gas prices will hit $10 per gallon?”
A new poll found that 44% of Republican voters surveyed say that mass shootings are “something we have to accept as part of a free society,” while 85% of Democrats and 73% of Independents say they are preventable “if we really tried.”
The phrasing is clear. Nearly half of Republicans can live with mass shootings at schools, churches, movie theaters, and supermarkets as long as it does not interfere with their precious second amendment right to purchase an AR-15 when they turn 18 years old. That is frightening.
Of course, those Democrats and Independents are living in a dream world if they think that mass shootings are entirely preventable. No matter how hard we “really try”, a mentally-imbalanced person will find a way to obtain a semi-automatic weapon, will slip past security, and will kill innocent people.
But let’s make it as difficult as possible for that to happen. Let’s monitor sales of AR-15s and extended ammo magazines. Let’s establish Red Flag Laws.
Republican legislators are not fools. When nearly half of their constituency would rather live with mass shootings than place any restrictions on guns, they would be foolish to support those restrictions. “Campaign contributions” from the NRA and from forearms manufacturers don’t hurt either.
By Ed Dufton