A majority of Americans say that a ban on assault weapons would significantly reduce mass shootings, but beneath those findings lurks a huge gender gap, one that rivals the divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.
Women are far more likely than men to say that mass shootings could be reduced if there were a ban on assault weapons, such as the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school last December. Almost three-quarters of women say an assault-weapons ban would be effective, compared with 44 percent of men. A majority of men, 54 percent, say such a ban wouldn’t have a serious impact on reducing mass shootings.
Like the nation as a whole, opinion on the matter among Republicans is also riven by a gender gap. Republicans in general do not think an assault-weapons ban would be an effective way to cut down on mass shootings; only 42 percent say it would reduce them. But that skepticism is quartered largely among Republican men. While less than a third (29 percent) of GOP men and GOP-leaning men say an assault ban would be effective, a majority of Republican women and Republican-leaning women (57 percent) say a ban would reduce mass shootings.
The gender gap is less pronounced among Democrats, who overwhelmingly (72 percent) say an assault ban would reduce shootings. But it is still there: Democratic women and women who lean toward the Democrats are more likely than their male counterparts to say that an assault-weapons ban would reduce shootings, by 79 percent to 66 percent.
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The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."
The chairman of the DCCC said Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't be getting financial help from the organization this year, even as she faces a well-funded primary challenger. "Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said the committee’s resources will be spent helping Democrats in tough races rather than those in seats that are strongholds for the party." Executive Director Kelly Ward added, “We never spend money in safe seats."
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.
Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."