Democrats See Gun Control as a ‘Winner’
After treating gun control as political poison for two decades, Democrats led by Hillary Clinton are again vigorously championing new gun restrictions as a central element of their campaigns.
It is a pronounced shift. Stung by the loss of the House in 1994 after they enacted an assault rifle ban, and wary of the proven influence of the National Rifle Association, many Democrats have shied away from gun control proposals for fear of provoking an electoral backlash with little to show for it. Democrats couldn’t race away from a discussion of gun laws fast enough.
But a string of mass shootings involving high-powered weapons, rising anxiety about domestic terrorism, and killings of and by police officers have emboldened Democrats. They say the shootings are intensifying support for gun control, elevating weapons policy to a top-tier issue, with particularly strong appeal to suburban female voters.
Citing polls showing strong support for new restrictions even among gun owners, gun control advocates believe the public is open to expanded background checks, new limits on gun purchases and more scrutiny of gun manufacturers and dealers. They intend to enthusiastically press the case in races across the country.
“For the first time, this is a winning issue in the general election,” said Senator Christopher S. Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who has become a leading proponent of gun control since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in his state in 2012…
Source: After Years of Setbacks, Democrats Again See Gun Control as a Winning Issue – The New York Times