The Difficulty with Passing Gun Control Laws

Danny Hayes in The Washington Post: Will the recent shooting in Virgina be “the incident that leads to reforms that gun control advocates have for years pushed for? … Recent history says we should be doubtful. Not only do numerous political interests make it difficult to enact gun control legislation, but without major efforts by politicians themselves, the gun debate is likely to fade quickly from public view.”

“That’s because of what’s known as the ‘issue attention cycle.’ Mass shootings often generate significant media coverage immediately after they occur. But as time goes by, journalists move on to other stories, leading the public to grow less concerned with gun control. This is what happened in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. As the graph below shows, news coverage of gun control in the nation’s newspapers surged in the shooting’s aftermath, but declined quickly through 2013.”

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