With last night’s debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, it seemed likely that gun control would be a topic of discussion. After all, it was a driving issue during the Democratic primary, one at least two candidates decided to make a focal point of their campaigns. It was a recurring theme during Democratic debates as well.
However, now, things are different. It seems that everyone is trying to pretend that gun control was never a topic to begin with, from the gun control groups and now, even the presidential campaigns.
Oh, guns weren’t absent. It seems that gun violence was a major topic of debate. Especially in places like Chicago.
With the surge in violence we’re seeing all over the nation, that’s hardly surprising. It’s an alarming development in a year of alarming developments, to say the least. Yet this one, at least, feels like something people can turn to politicians to solve, so they have.
But absent from any mention of the debates? Gun control.
This issue that seemed poised to shape at least part of the presidential election has largely fizzled out. Oh, Biden still wants gun control and we know that if he’s elected, we’ll likely see it, but no one wants to talk about it, apparently.
Following the shooting in Marjory Stoneman-Douglas Highschool in Parkland, gun control was all anyone could seemingly talk about. It made gun control fashionable.
What’s more, gun control didn’t fade into the background like it normally does following a mass shooting. The media made it a point to push people like David Hogg in our faces to keep gun control in the foreground. It couldn’t die if the media kept focusing on it.
Then COVID-19 hit.
At that point, the media had more important things to talk about. Further, millions upon millions of Americans went out and bought guns. After all, a deadly pandemic was here. People were going to die and it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for there to be some real problems with our supply chain. In fact, there was, and no one had any reason to believe it couldn’t get worse. What happens when people can’t get food?
For times like that, you need a gun.
Millions flooded their local gun stores. They bought everything they could get their hands on. In the process, they had a harsh awakening. They found out that no, you couldn’t buy a gun on the internet and not have to go through a background check. They learned the hopelessness of needing a gun but being told you have to wait 7 days in some places. They learned that so much of what the media has feed them over the years was bull.
So now, you have millions of Americans–many of them Democrats–who are now in the ranks of gun owners. That means there’s reason to believe they’ll be gun voters.
Democrats have tried to sweep their support for gun control under the rug, hoping voters will forget about it. Last night’s moderator, Chris Wallace, seemingly did his part to help with that by not bringing the topic up. The president accused Wallace of basically trying to help Biden, and not mentioning such a key topic is certainly evidence of that. Not definitive evidence, to be sure, but evidence none the less.
So gun control was absent from the debate. It’s suggestive that yes, in fact Democrats have figured out that gun control isn’t the winning issue they thought it was late last year. They’ve figured out that the American people aren’t in favor of restricting their right to protect themselves.
The question is, have they figured it out to such a degree that if they gain power, they’ll leave those guns alone?
Personally, I wouldn’t bet on it.