Impacts of the 2018 Election on Gun Legislation
You probably didn’t know that the current election has marked a turning point in our political system with respect to gun safety. With the Democrats winning the House, many new perspectives concerning gun control and legislation have come to light. Overall, the 2018 midterm elections had decent outcomes for gun control supporters. According to CNBC, at least seventeen newly elected House Democrats support stronger and stricter gun control laws including Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spangberger and Elaine Luria in Virginia who defeated opponents backed by the NRA, and more than two dozen gun rights supporters will not be returning to Congress. Despite these wins for gun control advocates, the GOP controlled Senate will still provide an obstacle for enacting controls on weapons and ammunition. However, many House Democrats are already promising to take action on guns after the string of recent shootings, including the one in Thousand Oaks, California.
After eight years of Republican rule of the House, measures including expanded background checks and a ban on assault rifles are likely to reach the House floor now that the Democrats have retaken it. In fact, many Democrats were running strong campaigns centered around gun control. One of these victorious Democrats was Lucy McBath, who became a strong advocate for gun control after her son was killed at Florida gas station by a white man angry at the loud music he was playing. She made gun control the centerpiece of her campaign and defeated Republican Rep. Karen Handel. Though gun control advocates were not as successful in the Senate, where candidates strongly backed by the NRA won in Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee, there is still good news for gun control supporters with significant gubernatorial wins. Alex Yablon and Daniel Nass at the Trace highlighted that the Democrats gained seven governor race wins, including Wisconsin where Republican Scott Walker was booted out despite over one million dollars in support from the NRA.
With the influx of new possibilities for common-sense gun reform, America is moving one step further in guaranteeing safer conditions for American citizens. Americans took charge of their power as voters and citizens, sending a strong signal to elected officials that they did not support the status quo on the current gun violence crisis. In order to continue this period of change, citizens must continue this pattern of recognition and active advocacy for advancement in gun control legislation. By continuing to be informed about current events and legislation being developed in their state, voters can and should remain involved with ensuring that these necessary changes are made.
To conclude, the 2018 midterm elections have brought about new hope for American citizens in creating safer conditions for children and Americans as a whole. Recent protests and movements have immensely impacted public opinion, and a vast majority of Americans believe in the requirement of universal and mental health checks, along with raising the legal age to buy firearms to 21. This internal shift in mindset, paired with the external, more visible, changes in our government, reveals the true impacts of the opinions and actions of American citizens. Through uniting under a common goal, we can instill meaningful and significant change in our surroundings, taking the necessary steps toward a more fair and equal nation.
Epstein, Rachel. “Gun Control Measures in The Midterms: How You Can Make A Difference
with Your Vote.” Marie Claire, Hearst Communications, 30 October 2018, www.marieclair e.com/politics/a24360764/gun-control-midterm-elections-2018. Accessed 10 November 2018.
Lopez, German. “The 2018 Midterm Elections May Have Exposed A Shift on Gun Control.” Vox, Vox Media, 7 November 2018, www.vox.com/2018/11/7/18072146/midterm-election-gun- control-ballot-initiative-congress-results. Accessed 10 November 2018.
Newburger, Emma and Schoen, John W. “By The Numbers: Here’s How Many Gun Control
Advocates Won House Seats in The Midterms, And How Many Gun Proponents Lost Them.” CNBC, 9 November 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/11/09/gun-control-is-winning- issue-in-midterms-as-advocates-gain-in-house-defy-nra.html. Accessed 10 November 2018.