The recent violent phenomenon of tragic shootings such as the incident at Columbine high school in which 13 students and one teacher were killed and 23 other people were wounded has captured the attention of both the public and politicians alike and has stirred a need to take action. With shootings in Littleton, Colorado followed by Conyers, Georgia and yet another in Gibson, Oklahoma, gun control has become a pressing issue in congress. However while politicians use these incidents to maneuver their anti-gun legislation, public opinion and partisan support remains highly polarized. In addition, the fierce debate over gun restrictions are confronted with nearly 8o million gun owners in America and a federal guarantee by the Constitution to bear arms.
Gun Control as a partisan issue is complex. While anti-gunners typically are liberal and democratic, Democrats in Congress do not always support new gun legislation and instead vote against it quietly. It is also a notable fact that Congressmen’s’ opinions on gun control vary according to their electorate. For example, Jolene Unsoeled, a liberal Democrat from Olympia narrowly won her district by championing the NRA. Aside from the contributions the NRA provided to her election, she was able to entice enough ‘swing voters’ away from her highly conservative challenger. Due to the recent school shooting a new group of swing voters who may change the prospective support for pro-gunners has emerged and they are the ‘soccer moms’, professional middle class women who have also significantly influenced the gender gap.
Senator Charles Chumar (D-New York), considered to be one of the Senates leading gun control advocates, states that “’Demo...
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