I read this MSNBC story and instead of being dismayed at the results, I rejoiced. The bad news is that the nation remains split over the question of gun control even after the violence we’ve seen this week with opinions unchanged since Jan.

Six in 10 women think gun laws should be toughened, nearly double the proportion for men. Fifty-five percent of minorities favor stricter legal requirements, compared with 44 percent of whites.

“Would you put a sign out on your front lawn saying, ’This is a gun-free house’? That’s what you’re doing” by restricting guns, said building contractor Charles Clements, a 60-year-old white man who lives in St. Louis.

Federal law generally requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks on gun buyers, and prohibits sales to convicted felons and some people who have been legally declared to have mental problems. State restrictions vary widely, with differing rules over the types of weapons that can be sold, waiting periods for purchases and regulation of gun dealers.

Nearly 60 percent of Democrats favor stricter gun laws, almost double the number of Republicans, with more women in both parties supporting tougher standards.

The good news is that the changing demographics of our nation means that the power of grumpy old white guys like Charles Clements who want to reserve the right to shoot any suspicious looking nigras in his neighborhood will soon decline. It make take a generation or two, to be sure. Urban sprawl means that more people are living in or near cities and this trend is increasing. The surge of immigration combined with the maturation of the power of the African-American vote is already impacting electoral politics as politicians are forced to serve a diversified populace with different values. Values like keeping citizens safe from gun violence. Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a conservative guy, led his country after an attack in a different way than either Bill Clinton or George Bush. After the shootings at VA Tech, he had the courage to take guys like Clements to task and say what the rest of the industrialized nations (which also have strict gun laws) were thinking(Reuters):

Howard introduced strict gun ownership laws after the shooting massacre of 35 people in the southern island state of Tasmania in 1996.

“We had a terrible incident at Port Arthur, but it is the case that 11 years ago we took action to limit the availability of guns,” said Howard, who extended his sympathies to the families of the 32 people killed at Virginia Tech university on Monday at the hands of what he described as “a crazed gunman”.

“We showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country.”

In 1996 a gunman with a semi-automatic rifle killed 35 people at Port Arthur in Australia’s worst modern-day shooting massacre.

The horror of that massacre prompted Howard to confront Australia’s gun lobby and imposed laws banning almost all types of semi-automatic weapons. […]

The government spent A$300 million ($250 million) buying more than 600,000 weapons from farmers, hunters and other members of the public before the new laws took affect.

Change is coming, Charles Clement, I can assure you. The power of those who think quite differently from you on this issue grows. The question is, are you prepared to change?

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