How media lose interest in gun control

… The gun control debate illustrates what is known as the “issue-attention cycle.” This occurs when a dramatic event — in this case, the Newtown shooting — causes the media and public to become intensely interested in a policy issue for a brief time, before moving on to other problems. …

These patterns have consequences for public opinion, which tends to take its cues from the media. Without sustained attention to gun control, Americans are not likely to view the issue as particularly salient. …

As a result, there is less pressure on gun control opponents, most of whom are Republican, in Congress to strike a deal with those seeking stronger gun controls, most of whom are Democrats. Opposing gun reforms that might be popular with Americans, but not important to them, may be less risky for many politicians than running afoul of a powerful interest group such as the NRA. [cont.]

Danny Hayes, George Washington U. (CNN)

Recent polls: Guns