Two graphic representations of how we deal with gun laws. First this, from a new CBS poll:
Nearly half the country wants gun laws to be stricter -- and more than a third of the country wants gun laws to stay as they are. Only 12% of the country wants gun laws to be more lenient. Only 17% of Republicans want more lenient laws.
But what do we get? What have we gotten in the past year? This:
Last night, Rachel Maddow described the glass as half full, noting that gun-law looseners have been winning for years, while the year since Newtown has seen the passage of gun restrictions for the first time in years:
Before Newtown, conservative lawmakers in the states had already been on a years-long spree to loosen gun rules, right? To increase gun access, to loosen gun safety regulations wherever they could. Florida governor Jeb Bush signed the nation's first Stand Your Ground law back in 2005.... After Florida passed Stand Your Ground in 2005, more than twenty other states followed Florida's example. The gun lobby flipped those states like dominoes, with help from corporate-funded conservative groups like ALEC. In 2009 and 2010, red states started passing new laws that let you carry a gun into bars....But the gunners are still winning. They won last year. And they'll win next year, because the post-Newtown momentum is gone for gun control.
So, after Newtown, some red states kept up their efforts to get more guns and more powerful guns into the hands of more people, to give law enforcement less to work with, to loosen the restrictions that are supposed to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill. Some red states have kept up their long-standing efforts in that regard even after Newtown -- yes, that's true. But that kind of thing really was already happening. The thing that changed after Newtown ... was some new restrictions on guns. Movement in the law in that direction had not been happening at all before Newtown basically anywhere in the country. And that has changed in this past year....
What's the flaw in democracy that permits the 12% to trump the rest of us on this issue? When do the rest of us win?