Efforts to advance gun control legislation in the United States are stalling. Even in the state of Connecticut, where the Newtown shootings took place, legislative efforts to address gun related violence haven’t gone anywhere.
It is amazing to see how the political will to address the issue of gun violence has lost energy so quickly despite the national outrage at recent mass shootings and numerous polls showing that Americans support a range of gun-control measures.
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, appears to be concerned as well. He is putting forward $12 million of his own money to fund advertising campaigns targeting legislators in swing states to try and get them to support federal legislation on universal background checks.
Notably, an assault weapons ban no longer appears to be part of Bloomberg’s policy ask. In the month following the Newtown shooting, the public support and political will for an assault weapons ban of some type was high but 2 to 3 months appears to have changed at least the political will part. The NRA is predictably on top of it and is pledging to fight tooth and nail against even universal background checks.
The policy landscape surrounding gun control measures has shifted significantly over the past couple of months (or was it just my imagination). Despite some policy successes, including New York and Colorado, gun control proposals are loosing steam and it is frightening to think what an additional month or two might bring.