Editorial: Gun rights challenge - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Editorial: Gun rights challenge

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Las Vegas has put the issue of gun control back in the center of debate in the country, but will there be any meaningful changes made? To fully understand this, it’s helpful to see who owns guns, and who is most invested in this debate.

According to recent PEW research, 42 percent of all households have a gun in their home. That’s not even half the country. Broken down by race, 49 percent of white households, 32 percent of black households, and 21 percent of Hispanic households own a gun.

Look at the Rural-Urban split in America: 58 percent of rural homes, to 41 percent of suburban, and only 29 percent of urban homes own a gun. There is also a sharp divide between political parties, with 56 percent of Republicans, to only 30 percent of Democrats that own a gun.

So now we know who owns guns, but who cares the most and votes with more passion on this issue? In a recent NBC-Wall St. Journal poll, when asked what issue is most important, other than foreign policy, national defense, or the economy, 35 percent of those polled said gun control. But look at the difference between the parties: 47 percent of Trump voters, nearly half, say they vote based on the gun issue in an election, a whopping 20 points higher to only 27 percent of Clinton voters.

So those who support gun rights vote more often on this issue. Opponents do not vote as often or with as much enthusiasm. You can see, the challenge the Republican-led Congress has to bring forth any meaningful gun control legislation. They also fear the powerful NRA lobby, who may threaten to support a challenger in their Republican primary.

When you look at the numbers, one side is clearly more invested in this debate than the other. And in politics, enthusiasm does matter, and on this issue, gun rights advocates have a crucial advantage. 

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