Friday, October 31, 2014

Americans And Guns - According To Gallup

As we go into the elections, gun control is once again in the news.  I think that in many races, especially in places like Colorado and Washington state, guns are going to be a huge issue.  What do people actually believe?

So, as reported in the above video:

Only 26% of Americans favor a handgun ban.

63% of Americans believe that having a gun in the home makes the home safer.
(This is in spite of decades of bogus propaganda in the news and entertainment media trying to convince people that having a gun in the home is dangerous.)

44% of Americans report that they have a gun in their home - a figure that is likely under reported.  (Many people simply will lie about having a gun for a variety of reasons.)  The fact that this figure is rising in spite of the average household size decreasing is even more significant.

Additionally, according to industry research, 48% of first time gun buyers are now female.  This fact will have long term implications for gun control support among women.

Today less than half of Americans support any changes to laws governing the purchase of firearms - while 52% want them to remain the same or made less strict.

Looking back 24 years, the trend is clear - support for stricter gun laws is dropping.

When looking at the issue of banning handguns, the trend becomes even clearer.  In 1959, nearly 2 out of 3 Americans were in favor - now nearly 3 out of 4 are opposed.
(Note: In 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that such bans were unconstitutional.)

Breaking the issue down by demographic group, there is not one group in which support has not dropped since 2012.  It is worth noting that support for gun rights among Democrats, Liberals, Non-whites and Women - while a minority view, is still significant.

Views of Mass Shootings

In spite of the media's effort to promote gun laws as the answer to mass shootings, the public believes that the failure of the mental health system as the greatest factor.  This makes a great deal of sense, given that every gun used in high profile a mass shooting was purchased with a background check.  Background checks cannot work without a good mental health system.

Comparing 2011 and 2013 figures on the same question, lack of good mental health screening remains steady - but "easy access to guns" has dropped by 6%.

So, what is the bottom line?  With the possible exception of background checks, gun control is a losing issue outside of California and the Northeast and many politicians will learn this lesson on November 4th.

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