In a new poll taken in the week after the horrific massacre in Parkland, Florida, nearly three quarters of respondents said they favored stricter gun laws. In a separate question in the same poll, almost two thirds believed federal, state and local governments could and should work with society in general to help prevent future mass shooting.
CNN teamed-up with polling outlet SSRS to conduct and analyze the poll, taken between February 20-23, or roughly 6-10 days after the shooting in Parkland, Florida. As the cable news outlet points out, the mind-boggling results suggest that support for more gun control in America is at its highest level since 1993.
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Overall, 70% now say they back stricter gun laws, up from 52% who said so in an October poll not long after a mass shooting in Las Vegas killed 58 people. Just 27% oppose stricter laws. Bumps in support for tighter laws following mass shootings have rarely lasted, but they have also rarely been as large as the shift seen in this poll.
Past massacres have indeed failed to move the needle on the gun control debate, and that’s largely due to the National Rifle Association. Like clockwork, the NRA goes on offense after every mass shooting tragedy with a media blitz designed to steer conversations in the public square and in the halls of government away from gun control and toward mental health, or gun free zones, or anything else that can distract Americans from the easy access to instruments of mass murder that their advocacy maintains.
This time, their talking point of choice appears to be that what we need isn’t more gun control to prevent future mass shootings from taking place, but more guns. The NRA thinks arming our teachers is the best way to stave off would be mass murderers, and President Trump is even discussing the idea openly. Cleary, the NRA’s “change the conversation” playbook has a track record of working.
Those past shootings, however, didn’t have the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They’re absolutely determined to make this mass shooting the last of its kind anywhere in the nation, and they’ve remained resolute in the face of the NRA’s inevitable all-out assault, as well as maneuvers by the bought-and-paid-for politicians that block any gun control legislation from consideration, both at the federal level and in red states like Florida.
As this new poll shows, their resistance to change is futile, and the Douglas High School survivors won’t be backing down anytime soon.