President Barack Obama's tenure has been far from perfect. He advocates some policies that many Americans — both liberal and conservative — find disagreeable. What's unfortunate is not that many disagree with him, but that their hostility causes them to reject policies they otherwise would support.
A few days before Obama proposed legislation to address the tragic frequency of mass shootings in America, a Washington Post-ABC News poll asked about specific gun-control measures. Among Republicans responding to the poll, 89 percent favored background checks at gun shows; 69 percent favored background checks on ammunition purchases; 61 percent favored a database on all gun sales; and 59 percent favored a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. Just less than half of Republicans supported a ban on assault weapons.
After Obama made the same proposals, however — none of which can go into effect without congressional approval and all of which must be consistent with the Second Amendment — the percentages flipped. Of the Republicans polled, 72 percent had an unfavorable impression of Obama's proposals.
The first poll made no mention of Obama. The second one did.
As a nation and as a state, we somehow have to get past the lazy habit of condemning an idea merely because the president supports it.
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