Motivated opponents, ambivalent supporters
Everyone knew, after the massacre in Las Vegas, that gun control was not going to get anywhere. The public conversation about guns hit the usual notes — its very roteness is by now one of those notes — but this time more of it focused on why gun control has such poor prospects.
Much of the discussion centered on just why gun control’s critics are so irrational. CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza said that the central reason for congressional inaction on guns is that supporters of gun rights believe, baselessly, that liberals are out to grab their guns. Charles Sykes, a conservative disaffected by the rise of Donald Trump, argued in the New York Times that the National Rifle Association had made the issue part of the culture wars.