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Conservative Columnist Says Gun Violence Isn't a Priority -- Even Though Gun Deaths Projected to Outnumber Auto Deaths by 2015

The New York Times' Ross Douthat claims that curbing gun violence is a silly "pet" cause of liberal elites.

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But is Douthat right in his claim that Americans don't see gun laws as a priority? According to the Pew survey Douthat cited in his piece, 56 percent of Democratic voters point to it as being one of the country's most important issues. Is it surprising that Obama, a Democratic president, would pursue an agenda in sync with Democratic voters?

And if political agendas are supposed to mirror public opinion polls, what does that says about the Republican Party's relentless pursuit to pass an endless string of laws limiting women's reproductive rights? There's little indication, however, that curbing access to abortion ranks high as a national priority among voters.

Gun violence in America represents an escalating crisis in terms of human loss and financial impact. Writing it off as a presidential "pet cause" is offensive.

Eric Boehlert is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, and a former senior writer for Salon. Boehlert's first book, "Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush," was published in May. He can be reached at

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