Friday, September 13, 2019

#TXLEGE: Abbott's "safety action report" means Patrick's gun registry doesn't poll well

"Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me."
Nehemiah 4:18

From Texas Scorecard:
On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott released a list of suggestions for the state legislature on gun violence, following roundtable meetings in the wake of the El Paso and Odessa shootings.

Dubbed the “Texas Safety Action Report,” many of Abbott’s suggestions are either broad, such as his request to consider expediting the reporting of criminal convictions to the Texas Department of Public Safety” or duplicative, like prohibiting the straw purchases of firearms under state law—something already illegal under Federal law.

Most immediately notable in his list of recommendations, however, concerns expanding background checks of person-to-person sales.

While Lt. Gov Dan Patrick has been waging war against gun owners and advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association over the past week over his support for expanding mandatory government background checks on private firearm sales, the governor took a markedly different tact.

Instead, Abbott recommends that “The Legislature should consider ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.”
Lots to unpack.

The biggest takeaway is that, for the second time in as many days, a major statewide elected official has distanced themselves from Patrick's gun registry.

That being said, for the statewide official to be Abbott rather than Cruz is very noteworthy.

Whatever, else you want to say about Abbott...he polls EVERYTHING.

What makes this even more interesting is that Patrick has been citing alleged polling data to justify his gun registry.

While the following is nothing but informed speculation, here's what we suspect happened:
  • Patrick polled, or cited polls, framing the question in the friendliest way possible for Patrick's position.
  • Abbott polled the issue neutrally.
  • Abbott didn't like what he saw.
Thus, Abbott put out what he put out.

Bottom Line: Sometimes the actions of elected officials who govern by polls reveal interesting nuggets about public opinion.

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