Ep. 26. Gun Policy & Politics in a Pandemic
On the latest episode of Policy Outsider, guest Robert J. Spitzer, a distinguished service professor at SUNY Cortland and member of the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, speaks with Consortium Executive Director Joe Popcun about recent developments in firearm policy and politics.
Over the past five months, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely and suddenly upended the lives and livelihoods of many Americans, generating fear, anxiety, and uncertainty across the country. In the midst of this crisis, there has been a record increase in gun sales and a reported increase in shootings and firearm-involved deaths. At the same time, the police-involved death of George Floyd ignited civil unrest and hundreds of protests calling for police reform and social justice.
Spitzer discusses New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the NRA and how that affects the battle between gun safety/control advocates and guns rights advocates. In recent years, several large, national not-for-profit advocacy organizations pushing for stricter gun regulations have refined their strategies and built up larger money pools.