April 25, 2013
Gun Control: The Origin of the Mysterious 90 Percent Figure
By David E. Petzal
That whooshing, gushing sound you heard last week—sort of like the spillways opening at Hoover Dam—was the collective bladder failure of everyone who rejoiced in the thought that this time, at long last, firearms owners were going to get a good dose of sensible gun control shoved up their collective fundament.
Manchin-Toomey did not get the votes, despite Michael Bloomberg’s money, the righteous exhortations of the New York Times, the arm-twisting of the Sandy Hook parents, and the impassioned speeches of both Obamas.
Ninety percent of the American people wanted this, everyone said, so how did it fail? That figure came up again and again, as sacred and immutable as anything that God said to Moses when he went up on the mountain. All but 10 percent of us, went the Revealed Word, wanted Manchin-Toomey.
In the past when an overwhelming percentage of the American public wanted something, it was enough to:
- End Prohibition
- Get us into World War II
- Get us out of Vietnam
- Throw Tricky Dicky Nixon out of the White House
An honest-to-God 90 percent of public opinion is an irresistible force that no legislature can deny. So what happened to Manchin-Toomey? Could it be that the 90 percent figure was off a tad? I went to Google and found that the sacred 90 percent was the result of a poll taken by the Washington Post, whose impartiality when it comes to gun control is, shall we say, less than perfect. Does anyone with the sense to pour piss out of a boot think that the Washington Post was going to take a poll on this subject and come up with a figure of less than 90 percent? Is this what all the speeches and the forecasts and the stunned disbelief were based on?
Let us draw the curtain on this sorry spectacle. And in the meanwhile, Senator Joe Manchin is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do when he goes home to West Virginia.