Here's the lede from the print version of the story:
A majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons for the first time in more than 20 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, with the public expressing vast doubt that the authorities can prevent “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and a substantial sense that armed citizens can help.So, the actual news is that a second poll now finds a majority opposed to an assault weapons ban for the first time since that scary term was invented out of whole cloth to sell gun control. The President has already moved on to calling these things "battlefield weapons," which they are not: the kind you take to the battlefield are automatic. But the shift in rhetoric is unlikely to be persuasive given that most Americans now doubt the government's competence to protect them from terrorist attacks of this kind. They're right, of course, to doubt it. The government can't possibly stop these sorts of attacks reliably. Even if they assume vast new surveillance powers and police powers, they just won't be everywhere all the time. The only institution that could possibly stop lone wolf attacks reliably is the militia, in the original sense of the ordinary people of the country armed for the defense of themselves as well as the common peace and lawful order. They're the only ones who will always be wherever the terrorist may pick to attack.
So, as a news story, this story is empirically opposed to the President's narrative and agenda.
Now, if you're inclined, watch the television version of the story at the link. Let us count the ways in which it bends this story into the approved form:
1) It opens with a "troubling headline" about a local news story in Albuquerque, which would normally never make national news, but which is elevated just so that ABC can link the shooting to the news story via a 'this comes at the same time as...' move.
2) The news story is built not around the poll, but around demonstrations in favor of the Second Amendment. These are described as having been organized "to push back against the President's campaign to rein in gun violence." That's right -- they're demonstrating in favor of gun violence! What they want is for gun violence to be unrestrained!
3) We still don't get the poll. First, an additional introductory feature about some accidental shootings, complete with footage of a bloody ambulance bed being moved to a hospital. We're now halfway into the story, and all we've heard is that people organized at rallies, shot each other accidentally, and "oppose the President's plans." Why? A man is allowed to explain just after the halfway point: he says that if you tell Americans they can't have something, they'll want it. So, really nothing more than childish defiance is at work -- no Constitutional principles, no concerns about government competence, no terrorism, just a kind of fit that Daddy won't let them have candy.
4) Now we get a segment about how the President is moved by the shootings at Sandy Hook. It runs for 1/6th of the length of the news story, and shows the President somber, hurt, and speaking "almost daily" about the need to "protect our children."
5) We are now 1:21 into a 2:00 story. The poll comes up: "The public agrees with the President on some of his proposals..."
6) We get specific numbers on those proposals the public agrees with.
7) "But a ban on assault weapons looks unlikely..." -- because the poll shows that public opposes it? No! "...as Republicans push back."
8) Ted Cruz is allowed literally half of a sentence in defense of whatever these "Republican" ideas might be.
9) Twenty seconds left! "The White House admits not all Democrats are on board." Do we hear from a Democrat explaining why? Of course not! No, we hear from a White House dude explaining that "We're going to twist the arms" of Democrats to get them on board.
10) They close without ever giving the numbers opposing assault weapons, never mentioning the doubts about government competence to stop attacks, and never allowing anyone to give any part of the countervailing principled arguments, nor the empirical ones either. Instead, they close with a pledge from the White House and its supporters to have a "fifty-state strategy" to get new gun control through Congress.
Television rots the brain. Sometimes, it's by design.