Gun control advocates are often quoted in media accounts as saying that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of stricter gun control laws before they spin off onto the particular “commonsense” new law they are espousing that day from that organization. Leaving aside the often dubious sources they cite, we are in a mid-term election year for Congress and many states have gubernatorial elections.
With elections squarely in mind, I bring your attention to the results of a new Rasmussen Reports national survey that finds only 40 percent of “likely U.S. voters” believe that the United States needs stricter gun control laws. This poll records a nine-point drop from last May. As the Rasmussen press release notes, “Fifty-three percent do not think the country needs tougher gun control laws, the highest level of opposition in over two years.”
These results nearly mirror a January Gallup poll that showed the percentage of Americans favoring stricter gun laws fell 7 points in 2014, from 38 to 31 percent. The country’s overall dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55 percent this year, up from 51 percent in 2013.
That increase stemmed largely from the 16 percent of Americans who say that gun laws are too strict, more than triple the 5 percent recorded by Gallup last year. “Americans have become more dissatisfied with gun laws over the past year, but this is attributable to a greater percentage who say gun laws are too strict, rather than not being strict enough,” the poll concluded. “Americans’ changing views could set the course for future gun law debates and legislation.”
The Gallup and Rasmussen survey results are encouraging for all of us who believe in the Second Amendment and lawful commerce in firearms. Most American citizens seem to understand that the “common sense” solutions invariably have more impact on law-abiding gun owners than on illegal gun use. Let’s hope that these poll results make at least some of our elected officials think twice before making a political calculation that jumping onto a gun control bandwagon will best serve their interests. The Rasmussen survey was of “likely voters”. Unless ensconced in a safe liberal district or blue state, politicians do tend to notice these details.