Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks described the ongoing gun control debate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas to be a “proxy” for the larger culture divide underway in America.
Brooks argued that the divide, which he was similar on many other issues, fell along the lines of education.
“You know, one of the things that struck me about the polling on people’s gun rights or gun control is that, in 2000, not that long ago, two-thirds of Americans supported gun control, and only 29 percent supported gun rights,” Brooks said. “Now it’s about 50/50. And so the gun rights people have just had a massive shift in their direction. And that’s because the issue has now — perfectly mirrors the political divide in this country and the cultural divide between coastal and rural, between more — higher education and lower education, the divide we see on issue after issue.”
“And it’s become sort of a proxy for the big cultural dispute,” he continued. “And a lot of the people who are trying to resist the post-industrial takeover of the country have seized on guns and immigration and the flag and a few other issues as the issues on which they are going to rally their people. And there are a lot of those people. One in four households has a gun in this country. And so it’s become a symptom of a larger culture war between some people who thinks it’s horrific, guns, and some people who think it’s a symbol of families being responsible and taking care of themselves, of freedom, and of Americans.”
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