There was a wonderful poll comparison a few nights ago on The Rachel Maddow Show.
The story was about gun control, and a poll asked whether the respondent supported background checks for guns. 91% of Americans answered "yes."
Now, by any stretch, 91% of Americans supporting anything would seem to be remarkable. But to put that number in perspective, the show offered poll results on several other matters.
When asked if they supported capitalism -- 64% of Americans said "yes."
Asked if they liked Italian food -- 85% answered "yes."
And questioned whether they think vacations are important -- 61% replied "yes."
So, more Americans support background checks for guns than they do capitalism, vacations and Italian food. And they support it more than the first two items on that list by a huge degree.
This is particularly notable because on Tuesday, a Senate Judiciary Committee passed out a bill on background checks. That's the good news. The unfortunate news was that it had a vote of 10-8, with all Republicans voting "no." To repeat, all Republicans voted "no," despite the issue being supported by 91% of Americans.
Actually, I'm not convinced that the big takeaway from this story is that 91% of Americans support background checks for guns. I think it's that 85% like Italian food.
To be clear, my initial, personal reaction is to wonder who are those 15% who don't?! But that aside, I find it seriously impressive that such a high percentage of Americans like any one, particular ethnic food. (Talk about a real melting pot...). I do think 91% of Americans supporting background checks for guns is massively impressive, but I understand it. With the so many horrific tragedies and massacres and clear danger, it's a rational number. But liking Italian food, that's personal taste -- no pun intended.
If I worked for Progresso, I'd put on an extra shift tonight and start cranking out more jars than ever before.
And if I made guns, I'd stop. But then, that's just me.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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