Political Animal


January 22, 2013 5:17 PM The Gap Between Public Opinion and Congress on Guns

By Ed Kilgore

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 is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on January 22, 2013 6:13 PM:

    No, no, no, Ed, the "center" now, is everyone has a gun.

    The ideal Conservative position, is that only Conservatives have guns.

  • beb on January 22, 2013 7:38 PM:

    Just close the background check loophole. That's one thing you can most people agree is "reasonable." Limits on magazine size can come later.

  • neildsmith on January 23, 2013 6:49 AM:

    Never in my 25 years of working life have I ever heard so much discussion about pending weapons purchases by co-workers as I have in the last couple of months. The notion that you can stop all this is just fantasy.