The Public Supports Gun Control, But Gun Rights Proponents Are Way More Active

In general, I’m skeptical about the prospects for new gun-control laws. The universe of people whose political activism is centered on opposing gun control is still much larger than the reverse, and few Republican lawmakers have any incentive to sign on to any kind of comprehensive law.

With that said, there is wide public support for several commonsense measures. A new survey from the Pew Research Center, for example, shows that 85 percent of Americans support background checks for private and guns show sales, 80 percent support preventing people with mental illnesses from buying guns, and 67 percent support a federal database to track guns.

Even still, gun-rights advocates are still more politically involved than their gun-control counterparts. Forty-two percent of people who support gun rights have either contributed money to a pro-gun group, contacted a public official on gun policy, signed a petition, or expressed an opinion about guns on a social network. By contrast, only 25 percent of gun-control proponents can say the same.

As long as that division remains, it’s hard to imagine a situation where gun-control advocates have any kind of political advantage over their opponents.