It is sort of remarkable how slavery and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. have become part of the narrative on gun control. Most invocations of slavery by Fox pundits are blatant attempts to co-opt bits and pieces of the African-American legacy, but not this time. Fox News anchor Shep Smith seemed to suggest that lawmakers should be leaders in pushing gun control legislation instead of relying on polls.
In a conversation with The Hill editor A.B. Stoddard, Fox News Channel reporter Shepard Smith expressed his frustration with the lack of demand among lawmakers in Washington for new gun control measures.
Smith noted that President Obama had promised the public new gun control measures during his second term, and although Stoddard agreed, he added that he didn’t see where new strong gun control measures were possible. “We’re not going to see any kind of banning of ammunitions or weaponry,” Stoddard said. “We hope that there is some kind of consensus and that could be background checks.”
“Large capacity magazines?” Smith inquired. “No chance for that?”
“Right now, the numbers don’t exist on the Republican or Democratic side,” Stoddard answered.
“Closing the gun control loophole – I mean, the gun show loophole?” Smith again inquired.
“The polls show a change in support,” Stoddard insisted. “If you poll the members of Congress…”
“If we stuck with the polls, we’d have had slavery a lot longer than we did,” Smith countered.
“That is true,” Stoddard agreed.
And maybe Shepard Smith is right about our conflict averse politicians. Maybe the reason nothing ever gets done in Washington is because politicians are so busying following the American public, and reading polls, that they’ve forgotten how to actually lead.