The Gap Between Public Opinion and Congress on Guns

In a highly informative piece on the state of play in the Senate over the president’s upcoming proposal for a universal system of background checks for gun purchasers, WaPo’s Greg Sargent goes through the list of Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2014, and expresses optimism that enough could come around to give such legislation a fighting chance in that chamber (the House, of course, being another matter).

But Greg also points out how vastly popular such legislation would be, with the idea commanding in recent polls support from 85% of Republicans, 93% of households with guns, and even 85% of households with a NRA member.

Thus is the political “center” sometimes defined by factors other than anything remotely reflecting public opinion.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.