How a ‘missing’ movement made gun control a winning issue

How a ‘missing’ movement made gun control a winning issue

Gun Rights

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) Aimee Huff, Oregon State University and Michelle Barnhart, Oregon State University (THE CONVERSATION) On Thursday, April 4, 33 Republicans and all but one Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives passed additional restrictions on gun ownership as part of a renewed Violence Against Women Act. This move came on the heels of the February passage of two gun control bills: the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act, all of which were opposed by the NRA. As the first gun control legislation to pass either the House or Senate since the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the recent bills mark a historic shift in American politics. We have studied contemporary American gun culture for the past four years, tracing the foundation of the emerging gun control movement. Our research offers insight into the ways that gun violence prevention groups have promoted cultural shifts around guns, and why so many legislators are now willing to broach this contentious issue. For the past 25 years, gun control has been the untouchable “third rail” of American politics. Even in the face of multiple mass shootings – Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando and Las Vegas, to name a few – very few politicians have declared themselves in favor of gun control. On the other hand, many successful politicians have positioned themselves as “pro-gun.” By avoiding associating themselves with gun control, politicians have […]

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