Why gun control might backfire on the Democrats

What happens if their proposed fixes don't stop the violence?

Protesters.
(Image credit: Illustrated | KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images, -slav-/iStock, Juksy/iStock)

America's debate over guns has gotten so stale that a secondary argument over "thoughts and prayers" had to break out to keep it interesting. On one side, there are largely law-abiding firearms owners, frequently immersed to some extent in gun culture, who fear being disarmed in response to crimes mostly being committed by other people. On the other side are people who largely lack familiarity with guns who don't see why certain weapons are necessary for civilian use or how mild restrictions would really disarm or even inconvenience anybody in the first group.

The two camps have largely talked past each other, using the same set of arguments, for decades. When the predominantly gun-free suburbs were the important swing vote in national elections, the gun controllers had the upper hand (that's how the Brady bill and the since-expired assault weapons ban in the 1990s came about). When the battleground states were more gun-friendly, Second Amendment activists regained the advantage (that's why Democrats quietly shelved this issue for most of the 2000s).

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