I have strongly criticized ludicrous gun enforcement that criminalizes ordinary citizens, but I also support New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's and Mayors Against Illegal Guns' (a coalition of over 700 Mayors of American cities and towns) efforts to Demand a Plan to reduce gun violence.
However, whatever our individual views, broad agreement on the proper level of gun regulation will be difficult because:
1. Americans Are Divided On the Issue of Guns -- According to a Pew Research poll conducted after Newtown, 42 percent of Americans strongly believe gun control is more important than gun rights. However, about 37 percent strongly believe gun rights are more important than gun control. A significant number of American citizens reject even the most basic limitations on gun rights. And such citizens vote for candidates based on this strongly-held issue. Citizens supporting gun control, however, don't let that issue determine how they choose their representatives.
2. Gun Advocacy Groups are Well-Funded -- Because many Americans are passionate about gun rights, groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) have the resources for a prolonged fight. The NRA's annual budget is approximately $300 million and it has about four million members. It's one of the largest, and most powerful, advocacy groups in America. For example, the NRA outspends gun control advocacy groups, in lobbying expenses, by 10 to 1. Many NRA members disagree& with the NRA's position on gun control, but they all receive its mailings -- giving the NRA a massive platform to highlight (positively or negatively) any politician (or issue) it targets. As a consequence, few politicians are willing to risk the NRA's ire by supporting gun control legislation.