It’s hard to believe Parkland was almost 9 months ago. When 17 students were killed and 17 others injured, gun control seemed to be front and center. But after the synagogue massacre just a week ago, the outrage has faded to wimpier. Are we becoming immune to the violence? Indeed polling by Gallup shows gun policy ranked 5th in importance to voters.
Despite ranking below health care, the economy, women’s issues, and immigration, guns are still on the ballot in ways we have never been before. The New York Times reports:
“So many candidates for Congress, particularly women, are running on this issue — not just making it part of their platform and not just supporting it, but actually running on it,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the grass-roots arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown, which is largely funded by Michael Bloomberg, has endorsed 196 candidates this year in 36 states, and more than 40 volunteers for Moms Demand Action are running for office.
The group “Everytown for Gun Safety” also hopes people have gun safety on their minds when they head to the polls tomorrow.
Be one of the millions of Americans voting on the side of gun safety this Tuesday: Text VOTE to 644-33 to find your polling location and Gun Sense Candidates. pic.twitter.com/qHbP5ue2R0
— Everytown (@Everytown) November 4, 2018
Many of the families and friends of Parkland students have also made it their mission to make sure people remember gun issues as they fill out their ballots. PBS writes:
Nine months after 17 classmates and teachers were gunned down at their Florida school, Parkland students are finally facing the moment they’ve been leading up to with marches, school walkouts and voter-registration events throughout the country: their first Election Day.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activists set their sights on the 4 million U.S. citizens turning 18 this year. They’re hoping to counteract the voter apathy that’s especially prevalent among the youth during midterm elections. Many of the activists, now household names like David Hogg, postponed college plans to mobilize young voters. Many of them support gun reform, in the name of their fallen classmates.
Candidates will win elections this cycle because they stand for gun safety. When our new Congress sits, they will have mandate to act on this issue. My life in the past 9 months has been about nothing more than creating this mandate. VOTE and we succeed!https://t.co/xVqORbFMVh
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) November 5, 2018
On the flip side, Trump has recently been trying to stoke fear in Georgia voters by lying about Gubernatorial Stacey Abrams stance on guns.
Trump baselessly: “If Stacey Abrams gets in, your Second Amendment is, is – gone. Gone. Stacey and her friends will get rid of it.” He suggests people will come knocking on their door and say “please give us all guns right now.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 4, 2018
But this may not be an issue Trump and fellow GOP members will win this time around, as McClatchy points out:
Republicans note that for all the talk of gun control among House candidates, few if any have put the issue into TV ads, widely considered the most important form of communication during an election.
“I’m not seeing tv ads on gun control,” said Glen Bolger, a GOP pollster. “When they do that, that’s when they’ve said they’re no longer afraid this issue.”
Bolger said like a lot of issues this polarizing election, he thinks gun control might be becoming more favorable to Democrats in left-leaning areas while less favorable in right-leaning ones.
When we asked about the issues you care about the most, here’s what some people told us about guns:
Debbie Ashburn Crosslin (Tempe, AZ) Gun control. My nephew committed suicide last year and if there was any doubt that gun control is necessary just ask folks who are affected by gun laws.
Patti Edzant (Stevenson Ranch, CA) One of my biggest concerns is gun laws. How Congress can justify doing nothing is appalling. I have vowed to be a “one issue” voter inspired by President Obama.
Lissette Rozenblat (Parkland, FL) A major issue that will affect the candidates I vote for has to do with: Gun Safety – gun reform & keeping our kids safe in school. This is why I have aligned myself with Families vs Assault Rifles PAC.