2020 Election Odds: Gun Control Becomes Major Issue Following Mass Shootings, President Trump Blames Media

Posted on: August 5, 2019, 08:23h. 

Last updated on: August 5, 2019, 10:07h.

The issue of gun control in America is once again a major political talking point following two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. How President Donald Trump and the 2020 Democratic contenders vying for the White House respond to the crisis could impact the result of next year’s election.

gun control law 2020 odds
Calls for tougher gun control laws are increasing in the deadly aftermath of two mass shootings. (Image: Rey Jauregui/ZUMA)

Twenty-nine people are dead after shooters opened fire with semi-automatic weapons in two separate attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The incidents came less than a week after a gunman killed three people in Gilroy, California.

Democratic lawmakers in Congress immediately called for gun reform, and urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to reconvene the chamber and pass legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled House that would expand firearm background checks.

As of now, Trump’s 2020 odds at PredictIt remain relatively stable at 47 cents. That’s down just a penny from where his shares were trading before the weekend shootings. Former VP Joe Biden (D) is next at 18 cents, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) third at 13 cents.

Trump Blames Media

The odds on Republicans and Trump adhering to Democrats’ demand to pass gun control legislation are long.

“The back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio – one of which authorities are investigating as a possible hate crime – thrust back into the national spotlight the debate over gun-control laws, which is likely to dominate the presidential campaign in coming days even as legislation faces steep odds of passing,” Wall Street Journal reporters Rebecca Ballhaus, Paul Kiernan, and Natalie Andrews said.

A Reuters poll earlier this year found that 69 percent of Americans want strong or moderate restrictions on firearms, and 55 percent said it should be harder to own a gun. But Trump has repeatedly told supporters his opponents are trying “to take your guns away.” On Monday, the president blamed the media for potentially inciting the El Paso shooting.

The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!” the president tweeted.

He continued, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”

Democratic Candidate

Biden is the frontrunner following last week’s Democratic debates to secure the party’s nomination and take on Trump.

The former vice president’s shares of winning the party ticket are at 31 cents. Warren is next at 23 cents, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) third at 17 cents. According to Politico, all three have publicly supported a ban on assault weapons. They also endorse universal background checks on all gun sales.

Prior to the mass shootings, online oddsmakers asked bettors which topic would receive the most time during the Democratic debates. Gun control was at +800, far behind foreign policy +150, immigration +200, healthcare +300, economy +400, and climate change +600. That will change in the debates ahead.