Category Archives: Public perception

Our gun problem IS a terrorism problem

by Doug Muder, The Weekly Sift, 6/20/15

When Democrats in Congress responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting by renewing calls for gun control, Ted Cruz made a sharp distinction:

This is not a gun control issue; it’s a terrorism issue.

In other words, if it’s one it can’t be the other. Gallup implicitly endorsed that framing by making its respondents choose. The result was the usual partisan polarization: 79% of Republicans described the Pulse attack as “Islamic terrorism”, while 60% of Democrats called it “domestic gun violence”. [1]

But following just half a year after the San Bernardino shooting, the Orlando shooting makes the guns-or-terrorism argument obsolete. It’s all one issue now. ISIS is actively encouraging lone-wolf attacks, and the easy availability of AR-15s and other military-style weapons makes the United States uniquely vulnerable to lone-wolf terrorism. Our political inability to control or track even the most destructive guns keeps that hole in our defenses open.

I’m amazed it took Islamic State strategists so long to figure that out. About a year after 9-11, the Washington metro area was terrorized by someone the press called “the D.C. sniper“. Over a three-week period he shot 13 people apparently at random, ten of whom died. Rather than a mass killing, these were individual attacks that seemed completely unpatterned and unpredictable: one victim was sitting at a bus stop reading a book, another was pumping gas at a self-service station, and a third was walking down a street.

That’s what made the attacks so terrifying: Wherever you were in the D.C. area and whatever you happened to be doing, if you were out in public you had to consider the possibility that you might suddenly be killed.

The press speculated about Al Qaeda, but the killers turned out to have no connection to international terrorism. They were just two guys with a rifle who had drilled a barrel-hole into the trunk of a rusty old car….

read more and see links at The Weekly Sift

Republican voters for criminal background checks

Public Policy Polling, December 16-17, 2015, survey of 532 Republican primary voters. See analysis and download full results here.

Background checks < Public Policy Polling 12-16+17-15

There is bipartisan agreement on this; counting R’s and D’s together, 85% support such a bill, 9% oppose it, and 6% are not sure.

Gun Control is an outdated Phrase: “Gun Violence Prevention”

As I watch the news programs give much voice to our issue these past few weeks, as a result of the horrible shooting in Roseburg, Oregon followed up quickly by two more college campus shootings, I am at first heartened by the fact that the sense of outrage and frustration voice by political leaders everywhere is evident. However, something bothers me, as the talking heads on TV, internet and the media, continue to call efforts to curb gun violence, ‘GUN CONTROL.’ Some make the point that polls show support for ‘GUN CONTROL’ has been steadily declining since the Sandy Hook shooting, hovering around 50%.

I wonder how can that be? Don’t we consistently have 90% of Americans in poll after poll supporting Universal Background checks, including a majority of gun owners? Doesn’t polling for reporting ‘lost or stolen guns’ show about the same level of support? Even banning assault weapons like AK-47’s and AR-15 semi-automatic weapons had 59% support in a Rasmussen poll from 2014.

So why is it that people voice less support for Gun Control? I have to believe it is the term itself. As trust in government is at an all time low, with the NRA and other gun rights organizations fanning the flames of government mistrust — that any Gun Control measure is a slippery slope towards ‘the government coming to take your guns away’, it is understandable that any phrase with the word ‘CONTROL’ is disdained. No one wants to be ‘CONTROLLED’ by the government. That is why when we, and talking head pundits continue to use this outdated term, we do a disservice to the cause of gun violence prevention.

In many ways, this issue is like ‘ObamaCare.’ The Republicans did so much negative attacking of the Affordable Care Act, giving it the disdainful monicker of ‘ObamaCare’, that when polling was done asking the public if they approved of Obamacare, the numbers were low. However, when individual parts of the Affordable Care Act were polled, like keeping children on the families’ plan through age 26, or preventing insurance companies from ever dropping someone, and not being denied due to medical condition, the polling was very highly favorable.

Let’s all take to heart the fact that words do make a difference, and use the term Gun Violence Prevention whenever we promote our issue with family, friends and the public, and gently correct others when they use the old ‘Gun Control’ term. After all, it is not about control, it is about prevention.

Gun Violence Too Big a Problem to Solve? WE DISAGREE!

Recently our local newspaper in Chester County, the Daily Local News, in editorials on August 30 and Sept. 2, sent a disturbing message about gun violence being “too complicated,” and a “disease without a cure.”  This is the wrong message to send.  Here is our answer to people throwing up their hands and thinking nothing can be done about the scourge of gun violence:

CCCPGV appreciates your spending the time to do a personal article on the gun violence problem, though we are disappointed in your conclusions. To summarize what you say, “the problem of gun violence is complicated,” “we can’t take people’s guns away,” and “it is impossible to stop unstable people from committing random acts of violence.” We don’t agree. It really is not all that complicated.

Easy access to guns is the main problem in this country. Continue reading