Expert says high profile mass shootings don’t impact public opinion on gun reform
As key senators continue to hold negotiations on a possible gun safety reform deal – which would include increasing the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21 - an expert on politics says while tragedy can spark conversations, gun laws are not likely to see any significant change.
“These mass shootings actually complicate the issue,” Joshua Blank from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas said.
Public opinion on gun reform may also remain unchanged, Blank added.
A previous poll done in February 2019 showed nearly half of those surveyed wanted stricter gun laws.
The poll was taken again following the El Paso and Midland-Odessa shootings that happened in August 2019. Results showed that opinion on stricter gun policy remained split.
“Attitudes towards gun laws didn't really change despite these really high profile mass shootings," Blank said.
UT San Antonio political science professor Jon Taylor said the tragedy in Uvalde might be overshadowed at the polls with concerns over inflation, high gas prices and the power grid.