Albion College Professor on the politics of gun control

Dec 20, 2012

Scott Melzer
Credit Albion College
 Last week’s shooting at a school in Connecticut has raised the issue of new laws regulating guns. But Albion College Sociology Professor Scott Melzer says don’t expect any meaningful action to come of it. 

Melzer is the author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War. In a recent opinion piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Melzer says the gun debate “has become so one-sided its specious to even call it a debate.”  Melzer told WMUK’s Gordon Evans that polling shows support for things like waiting periods and a federal assault weapons ban. But he says the National Rifle Association is able to stop such legislation because its members are more passionate than those who favor more stringent control. 

Melzer says there is a “passion gap” between gun rights groups and supporters of gun control. He says that supporters of gun rights believe it is part of a broader belief that they must protect freedom. Melzer says while supporters of gun control may believe strongly in their cause, but it doesn’t represent a broader philosophy.  The National Rifle Association has called a news conference for Friday and has said it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again.” Melzer says he would be “shocked” if the NRA supports any form of gun control. He says the group has held firm that any gun control is a “slippery slope” that will lead to more restrictions.