The media will quickly forget about guns — unless Washington stops them

… In a post-election Gallup survey, fewer than one-half of one percent of Americans said that guns were the nation’s “most important problem.”

One reason the issue lacks salience is that citizens tend to take their cues from the media. When news outlets devote significant attention to an issue – health care or national security, for example – the public comes to view those problems as pressing. …

In time, however, the images of Sandy Hook will fade. And if gun control remains in the headlines a month from now, it will likely be only because Obama and the Democrats have taken up the political fight.

The media find it difficult to construct a compelling narrative around consensus, so policy issues tend to receive sustained attention only when the parties are engaged in loud, public conflict. [cont.]

Danny Hayes, GWU (Washington Post)

Recent polls: Guns