The politics of gun control are changing before our eyes, Rachel Maddow said on Monday, and Republicans are likely to finally pay a price if they continue to block any meaningful action on this issue.
On her program on Monday night, the MSNBC host said Republicans continue to think that they can get away with doing nothing after every mass shooting massacre, even though the public has reached a consensus that America needs common-sense gun safety reform.
“The public sentiment and public pressure on this are not going anywhere, and thus far Republicans are refusing to engage on the most moderate, the most popular reforms,” Maddow said. “Eventually this is going to break.”
This universal background checks thing, if there was strong support for such a measure from President Trump and he actually put his shoulder into it a little bit, that might be enough to persuade Mitch McConnell to actually bring that thing up for a vote, that be enough to persuade enough Republicans to say yes to it given how popular that policy is. Well, President Trump did initially come out and say he was strongly in support of universal back checks and now he has already flip-flopped on that. Now he has taken it back and signaling that he might not support that at all, despite what he said just a couple of weeks ago. Looking around at all these rallies around the country, looking at the polling on this issue, even among Republican voters, Democrats continue to believe that Democrats at all levels can and should run on this issue. Democrats running for president, for Senate, for Congress, for everything else, all over the country – Democrats continue to believe that Republican intransigents on this issue, even specifically on the issue of background checks to buy a gun. Democrats think that the Republicans are so out of step with public opinion that they will pay an electoral cost for it if they stick with this position. Republicans apparently do not share that view. They are apparently as dug in as ever. And now we know that whoever is whispering in the president’s ear about this turned him around on this background check issue so hard and so fast, it’s like he was on a three-inch leash. Literally, two weeks ago, he was talking about how much he’s in favor of intelligent, strong, universal background checks. It’s gonna be the best background checks ever. Now he’s not for background checks. So again, we shall see. But the people matter on this. Right? The public sentiment and public pressure on this are not going anywhere. And thus far, Republicans are refusing to engage with even the most moderate, the most popular reforms. Eventually, this is going to break.
As more mass shootings tear apart small towns and big cities all across the country, the American people are growing increasingly tired of Republicans refusing to offer anything but empty thoughts and prayers.
From universal background checks on all gun sales to an assault weapons ban, common-sense gun safety legislation is no longer controversial. Voters overwhelmingly support these measures.
Despite all of that, Republicans continue to operate as if they will pay no political price for putting the gun lobby before their constituents. But as the 2018 midterm elections showed, the gun lobby’s influence is waning while pro-gun safety groups are seeing money pour in from people who view this as one of the top issues.
Republicans should no longer be concerned about what the increasingly weak NRA will say about them if they vote for smarter gun laws. They should instead be worried about the overwhelming majority of the country who is ready to make them pay a political price for putting gun lobby donors over American lives.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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