Support For An AWB Hits Low

The Gallup released a poll yesterday that should cast doubts in the minds of any politician proposing a new “assault weapons” ban. Barely one-third of those polled would support a law that “would make it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.”

Support for any such “assault weapons” ban only amounted to 36% of those polled. By contrast, the number opposing such a ban comprise 61% of those polled by Gallup. This question has been asked for the last 20 years. The high point in support for such a ban was in the year 2000 when 59% of those polled supported such a law.

Support for a ban does divide along partisan lines with Republicans and independents being strongly against such a ban. Just as importantly, only 50% of Democrats support such a ban which is down from 63% as recently as year 2000.

Gun ownership does play a role in the results with those households owning firearms more likely to be against any new ban than those who don’t. Nonetheless, both groups, owners and non-owners alike, have a majority of respondents who are against a new ban.

A longer term question asked by Gallup has to do with whether the laws governing the sale of firearms should be stronger, weaker, or left as is. This question has been asked since 1990. Currently, 55% of those polled believed laws should be made stricter. This is up from 2012 when only 44% agreed that laws should be made stricter but down from a high of 78% in 1990.

This is just speculation on my part but I think if you were to run correlations of these numbers with the amount of money spent by Bloomberg’s organizations and other allied gun prohibitionist groups pushing “universal background checks” you would find a strong correlation. It does illustrate that the forces on the side of gun rights need to do a better job explaining that the “gun show loophole” (sic) is just a myth and that Bloomberg’s background checks cover a lot more than mere sales.

It should be pointed out that rights and the free exercise thereof should never be predicated on support in the polls. Public opinion is both fluid and fickle whereas rights should be solid and enduring. Polling is better reserved for determining which side is doing a better job of getting their message across than for making changes in laws.

54% Of People Surveyed Don’t Have A Clue

Gallup recently polled 1,014 Americans over age 18 living in the United States on their view of how good a job TSA is doing. Unbelievably, 54% of those polled think TSA is doing either an excellent or good job.

I knew there were a lot of stupid people but I never realized the numbers were that high.

It gets worse. Of those who have flown at least once in the last 12 months, 57% think they are doing a good or excellent job.

If there is anything encouraging about this poll is that less than half of all those surveyed – 41% –  believe that the screening procedures are either extremely or very effective. That said, only 13% of those surveyed don’t think the TSA is “not too effective” or “not effective at all”. I guess I should be happy that at least 13% of those surveyed have a grasp on reality.

Meanwhile, The Anti’s Are Spinning

Joyce Foundation funded Media Matters for America is desperately trying to spin the recent Gallup Poll as support for gun control. After attacking the question on handgun bans as outdated, they try to say that most people support “reasonable gun control”.

In other words, the vast majority of Americans support reasonable gun control measures; only a small fraction is actually opposed to gun control.

This finding is confirmed by other recent polling that shows that Americans support measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. According to one poll, 89 percent of respondents support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check at gun shows, 94 percent support requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen, and 69 percent support requiring those buying ammunition to pass a criminal background check. Another poll showed 86 percent of respondents supported background checks for every gun buyer.

And what are the polls that they use to “confirm” this? None other than the discredited push polls commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors. I think that says about everything.

UPDATE: Thirdpower has more on this and examines some of the comments made supporting the Media Matters’ spin on gun control.

SAF On Recent Gallup Poll

The Second Amendment Foundation released this in response to the recent Gallup poll showing support for more gun control at an all-time low.

For Immediate Release: 10/26/2011

BELLEVUE, WA – Today’s revelation by Gallup that a record low number of Americans support a legal ban on handgun possession by private citizens demonstrates a positive change in the public attitude about personal protection and the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment Foundation said.

According to Gallup, only 26 percent of Americans favor a handgun ban. The annual Gallup Crime poll was conducted Oct. 6-9.

“American citizens have become increasingly aware that they are the true ‘first responders’ when a crime happens in their presence,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The public’s attitude about gun ownership has changed dramatically in the last decade, and especially since the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling in 2008 and our victory in the 2010 McDonald ruling, affirming the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right.

“The public has also realized that all the doom and gloom rhetoric from gun prohibitionists about more crime and violence associated with increased gun ownership has been wrong,” he continued. “More Americans today own firearms than they did a generation ago, yet violent crime rates are at their lowest levels in many years.”

According to Gallup, there is also greater opposition to a ban on semiautomatic sport-utility rifles, often wrongly identified as “assault weapons.” Only 43 percent of those polled think these guns should be banned, down ten percent from the 2001 poll. Support for stricter gun laws has also declined, with 44 percent believing laws should be left as they are, and 11 percent favoring less strict laws.

“The pendulum has definitely been swinging in favor of expanded gun rights,” Gottlieb observed. “For too long, people were fooled by hysteria and misinformation from gun prohibitionists and their cheerleaders in the press. But their alarmist rhetoric has failed the test of time, and now Americans by greater percentages than we’ve seen in generations are realizing that gun rights are important, to our security as a nation and to public safety in our own neighborhoods.”

As SayUncle Would Say – Winning!

The Gallup Poll released a report today showing that self-reported gun ownership is at the highest level in 18 years. Currently, 47% of American households report that they have either a firearm in their home or somewhere else on their property. This is an increase from last year when only 41% of homes reported a firearm.

The bottom line according to Gallup is this:

A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Whether this reflected a true decline in gun ownership or a cultural shift in Americans’ willingness to say they had guns is unclear. However, the new data suggest that attitudes may again be changing. At 47%, reported gun ownership is the highest it has been in nearly two decades — a finding that may be related to Americans’ dampened support for gun-control laws. However, to ensure that this year’s increase reflects a meaningful rebound in reported gun ownership, it will be important to see whether the uptick continues in future polling.

While gun ownership is highest among men, Republicans, and Southerners, what is most interesting to me is not that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans but that self-identified Democrats or Democrat-leaning who report having a firearm rose from 32% to 40%. (See graph on gun ownership by Party ID.) This would correlate strongly with what Sebastian reported earlier about support for a handgun-ban being at record lows.