Gun Control Enters the Narrative After Mass Shootings

Mike Theiler/UPI

Mike Theiler/UPI


We ran the numbers: There are 1890 news articles covering this topic. 18% (334) are left leaning, 49% (923) center, 33% (633) right leaning.

In the aftermath of two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, gun control has become a major talking point across politics and the media.  President Trump has said that he would support strengthening background checks for people to purchase weapons, drawing criticism from the National Rifle Association. Gun control activists have demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell call the Senate back into session in order to consider gun control measures.

Left-leaning coverage from the Washington Post focuses on immense public pressure on Congress and the president to advocate for gun safety. Groups such as the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action are holding rallies across the country–pressuring McConnell and his colleagues to pursue background check measures in the Senate. The Post also discusses the potentially waning influence of the NRA, writing “Simultaneously, the groups are emboldened by what they see as a vacuum created by turmoil within the National Rifle Association. (The NRA denies its influence is slipping and has been talking directly to the president and others in the White House.) Gun-control activists are also aware of — if not completely reassured by — President Trump’s comments that he would support expanded background checks.” In general, left-leaning sources emphasize that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are trying to capitalize on this moment to advocate for gun safety.

A right-leaning article from Fox Business emphasizes President Trump’s comments supporting background checks and the possibility of McConnell moving forward on a background check bill. “‘There’s nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don’t want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac,’ the president told reporters before boarding Air Force One on Tuesday.” Most right-leaning sources also focuse on Trump’s support of background checks.

Centrist coverage from The Hill focuses on a conversation between Trump and Democratic senator Chris Murphy on the issue of gun control. Murphy tweeted that he told the president that the Senate will be unable to pass a background check bill “if he and the GOP give the gun lobby veto power." Generally, centrist sources emphasize that gun control will be a major issue in the 2020 presidential election.