Only 28% of Americans Consider Gun Control a Top Priority, Despite MSNBC, CNN, and CBS Reporting Otherwise

As news outlets, notably MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, all tout gun control, it’s hard not to accuse these news outlets of exploiting tragedy to promote a left-wing political agenda when a new Washington Post/ ABC News poll shows that gun control isn’t a top political priority with the American people. 

Examining the results of a new Washington Post poll, the Post's Chris Cilizza in his The Fix blog noted today that Americans believe the national debt and the federal government's chronic deficit spending are greater issues than gun regulation.  In fact, only 28 percent of Americans, including a paltry 41 percent of Democrats, feel the gun control issue requires urgent attention:

Overall, one in three adults said that “enacting stricter gun control laws” should be of the highest priority for the president and Congress. But that number is somewhat inflated by the 53 percent of self-identified Democrats who felt that way. Less than one in five Republicans (19 percent) and just more than one in four independents (27 percent) said enacting gun control measures should be the highest priority of the federal government.

What was the highest priority? The economy, naturally. Overall, 68 percent of adults said dealing with the economy was a top job for Congress and the White House  – a priority that crosses all political party lines.

Even so, editors at the Post decided to pick the data that best pushed the liberal narrative. "Most support gun control," blared the front page headline to the January 15 paper about the Post/ABC News poll. "Poll finds Newtown affected attitudes," insisted a subheadline, again, even though gun control is far from the top priority among poll respondents.

What's more, while the Post poll found that 55 percent of Americans favor the NRA's suggestion of armed guards in America's schools, the paper buried that statistic deep in the article, along with the finding that poll respondents "with children at home are more apt than those without to want armed guards at schools, but [emphasis mine] they are no more or less likely to support a range of other initiatives."

In other words, parents of young children are not significantly more pro-gun control or anti-gun control after Newtown as their fellow Americans without kids. The way the media are spinning things, you'd think the political climate has shifted such that parents of small children are most of all clamoring for more stringent gun regulation.

It's all too clear that the major media outlets in the U.S. are clamoring for gun control, buoyed by President Obama's reelection and ghoulishly capitalizing from day one on the horrendous atrocity wrought by a disturbed young man who killed his own mother to acquire the weapons he used to kill innocent children and their teachers.

The Washington Post is no exception, even when it's reporting on polling data that undercuts the narrative of a wave of popular support for fresh gun control that would not have stopped the Newtown massacre in the first place.

Crime Culture/Society Guns Washington Post Chris Cillizza