Who’s winning the post-Parkland debate over guns? It depends where you look.
Legislatively, anti-gun control forces remain in control. President Donald Trump, after veering towards the NRA earlier in the week, veered away from it during a meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday. But he did something similar in January, vowing in a bipartisan meeting to legalize the immigrant “Dreamers” only to pull back as the legislative process evolved. And even if Trump remains sympathetic to modest gun-control measures, there’s no guarantee congressional Republicans will go along. Many responded negatively to his comments on Wednesday. And neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor House Speaker Paul Ryan have even agreed to hold a vote on measures the NRA opposes.
The climate isn’t much different outside of Washington. While some bluish states are considering tightening gun-control laws, red states like Kansas, Indiana, and South Dakota have actually responded to Parkland by making it easier to own a gun.
But shift your lens from public policy to culture, and the last two weeks look very different. More than 20 corporations, including United Airlines, Hertz, and MetLife have cut ties with the NRA. Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, two of America’s largest gun retailers, have both announced they will stop selling guns to people under the age of 21. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas gun-control activists have become national heroes, praised by numerous celebrities. And last week, at a CNN town hall, those students and their families booed NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch so loudly so that they almost drowned her out.