Another example of the Ratchet Effect


An early post on this blog was about the ratchet effect, the tendency to get more and more strong responses in order to appease a strong constituency, especially when the counter-arguments are less dramatic. Here’s another example: the ludicrous ratcheting of pro-gun legislation in red states.

Can pro-gun legislators ever be satisfied? Or is there always room for another bill catering to the wacko right? Is there anyone with the pro-NRA credibility to do a Nixon-in-China moment and say “hey, enough already”, or will we move further and further along the path to mandatory gun ownership and weekly target practice?

As a second thought, is there any possible vote penalty for over-reaching in this area, or are those electorates already so polarized that there is only a small minority that supports sane gun regulation?

Can anyone think of examples where this ratchet effect has moved leftward in recent years, or am I suffering from confirmation bias?

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