Gun Control Could Be A More Prominent 2016 Campaign Issue


After years of ducking presidential-campaign battles over gun laws out of fear of the powerful gun lobby, some Democrats may go on the offensive, reports Business Insider. Democrats are becoming more outspoken about gun violence after mass shootings, despite the fact that the public remains as opposed as ever to many gun-control measures. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton set the tone early in her campaign after a mass shooting at a historically African-American church in Charleston. She has become much more vocal in her calls for stricter gun laws, making it a recurring feature in her stump speeches. “This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it,” Clinton said this week.

Obama has called the failure of Congress to pass new gun laws the biggest frustration of his tenure. “Previously, people talked about an intensity gap, that, ‘Yeah, everybody agrees, but this isn’t anybody’s No. 1 issue,’ and we’ve seen that change dramatically in the last few years because of the big events, and the ones that don’t make as much news,” said Erika Soto Lamb, of Everytown, the gun-control group cochaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “I worked here in 2012, and I know how hard it was to get the candidates to address gun violence,” she said. “The candidates have been talking about guns far more than they did then.” On the other side, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, noted that Bill Clinton “admitted that threatening gun rights can be a perilous issue politically” when the Democrats lost control of the House in 1994. “Hillary Clinton is repeating the error her husband made in 1994 — pushing for gun-control legislation. He realized his mistake and said so,” Pratt said.

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