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PA – GUN CONTROL – How Gun Control Divides, And Unites, Western Pennsylvania Voters

Gun sales and gun violence have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, but the issue has been largely absent from the 2020 campaign. For WESA’s Split Ticket series, we’re following four Western Pennsylvania voters for a year, asking them about the issues that could sway their decision at the ballot box. This month, they weighed in on firearms. But while they shared common ground on some changes to gun laws, the gun debate is still divisive. Getting the pandemic under control is Democrat Linda Bishop’s top priority as a voter. But controlling guns isn’t far behind. Especially since more people in her town of Mars, Pa. have been buying guns. “Which is very unfortunate because we certainly can’t kill the virus with a gun,” she said. Linda is in her sixties and retired. She wants to see background checks for every gun sale, an idea she thinks Republicans could support as well. Linda said the cause may have been helped when the public saw armed protesters in Harrisburg demanding the economy be reopened. “There’s wide support for Second Amendment rights in this area,” she said.  “Republican candidates just simply say, ‘Second Amendment – we don’t want to pass any gun reforms.’ But for Democratic candidates and Democratic voters, it’s a little more complicated than that. I’ve talked to people about the protests that occurred at the state capitol, with the men carrying guns … to demand that the state legislature reopen the economy. Gun owners I’ve spoken to don’t approve of that tactic.”  [full article]

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