Gone are the days of brief public attention to the need for more restrictions on gun sales and ownership. And instead it will be a sustained campaign to keep gun issues – and mass shootings committed – at the center of the public’s mind.
However, nearly four years on from Parkland, a familiar cycle has asserted itself.
That marks a significant erosion of the question just three years ago when the country was still reeling from the 17 deaths in Parkland. At the time, two-thirds of respondents supported stricter gun laws.
In 2019, still 64% of people told Gallup they wanted stricter gun laws. This number drops to 57% in 2020 and now to 52% in 2021.
There is no doubt that there is some truth to that sentiment. Not only have they supported stricter gun laws in the more than a year after the Parkland shootings, state legislatures have taken unprecedented action to limit guns.
But, at least at the federal level, legislative dynamics have been harder to exploit.
On the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting in February, President Joe Biden called on Congress to act.
So what happened? It seems that after a long period of public support for stricter gun laws, the old political rules of the gun debate have been reasserted.
What Parkland did was keep the issue on the news – and in people’s minds – longer. But these latest numbers from Gallup suggest the problem has now begun to subside again.