In a Funny or Die PSA promoting more gun laws, actor Dennis Quaid claims gun control is an American as football and Taylor Swift.
The PSA starts with Quaid and actress Amanda Peet going back and forth about “things that most Americans agree on.” While they discuss possibilities, the camera cuts away to two guys on a couch watching football, and one of the guys looks the camera says, “49 percent of Americans love football. It’s like chess but with more broken bones.”
Then Quaid says, “America’s most popular musician is Taylor Swift.” The camera cuts away to teenagers jumping up and down in their bedroom to the sound of Swift’s music, and of the girls says, “53 percent of Americans love Taylor Swift.”
Amanda Peet then explains that a dog is America’s favorite pet.
Quaid summarizes: “Football, Taylor Swift, and dogs are some of the most popular things in this country.” Peet then asks if there’s something even more Americans agree on, and Quaid suggests there is. And he claims it is gun control.
Quaid says, “93 percent of Americans think that we should have universal background checks on every single gun sale.”
So there you have it. Gun control is as American as football and Taylor Swift.
There two problems here. First, even an apparently high level of support for universal background checks a year ago does not necessary mean there is widespread support for background checks now. And it doesn’t even mean that there was actual, widespread support then. In other words, strong support for gun control in certain states or regions of the country can show elevated support for gun control that simply isn’t there when you go Congressional district by Congressional district at election time.
Thus, the claims of near-90 percent support for background checks following Sandy Hook were tested by the the rigors of reality in the 2014 mid-term elections when candidates running on gun control were handily beaten.
Secondly, even if the polls on background checks actually reflected the opinion of Americans on a Congressional district by Congressional district basis, America is a republic–not a democracy. And our Founding Fathers set it up as a republic so that rule of law–including the Constitution’s divisions of powers and protections of natural rights–always trump majority vote or opinion.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.