Opinion: The next battleground in the gun debate may be taxes

Opinion: The next battleground in the gun debate may be taxes

A gun advocate (L) debates with a man protesting the NRA’s annual convention on Saturday, May 5, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. I’ve mentioned before—and I say this as a guy who’s pro guns and supports the Second Amendment— that demographics and changing consumer behavior are slowly nibbling away at America’s rich gun culture . I believe that we have seen the high-water mark for that culture and it is slowly receding. I emphasize slowly. Earlier column: Guns are on the same path to oblivion as cigarettes, soda This has less to do with who’s in Congress and how much cash the National Rifle Association is stuffing in lawmaker’s pockets—and more to do with something that is harder to see: the fact that the gun base in the United States skews 1) male, 2) white, 3) rural and 4) somewhat lesser educated—all trends that run counter to an America that is 1) majority female, 2) rapidly urbanizing, 3) more educated and 4) less white (white births are now a minority of all U.S. births) than ever before. Data on these evolving trends can be found in the recent “demographics of gun ownership” study by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan organization based here in Washington. As these changing demographics and consumer habits gradually erode the still-powerful gun culture, its political base is likely to erode as well. Like water running downhill, this is the natural order of things. And if you take this reality and layer it on top of […]

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