U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- A stunning George Washington University poll conducted in June revealed that “Over half of Republicans (55%) supported the possible use of force to preserve the ‘traditional American way of life,’” while also finding that 47 percent of Republicans think there may be a time when “patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands.”
Another finding listed in the survey is that Republicans are far less likely (21%) than Democrats (83%) to say that “changing the nation’s gun laws is very or somewhat important.”
As reported by The Hill, “support for principles like free and fair elections, free speech and peaceful protest were nearly unanimous among Democratic and Republican voters.”
However, The Hill also noted, “Republicans were significantly less likely to have a strong amount of faith in local and state elections. Eighty-five percent of Democrats expressed trust in local election officials, with 76 percent saying the same of state officials, compared to 63 percent and 44 percent, respectively, for GOP voters.”
What this survey actually accomplished was to show the continuing, and perhaps widening divide between Democrats and Republicans on gun rights, and how political partisans disagree in their understanding of what the Second Amendment is really about. As grassroots gun rights activists repeatedly remind one another on social media, it’s “not about duck hunting.”
Considering the reductions to police departments in some major cities over the past year—a result of the “defund police” movement and an apparent decline in morale among police officers due to what they see as a lack of support from elected officials—it probably should not be surprising to see an increasing number of citizens concerned about having to act as their own first responders in life-threatening emergencies.
Amid the turmoil of 2020 and continuing into this year, gun sales have continued briskly in many parts of the country. Some estimates have put the number at 8 million new, first-time gun owners have joined the firearms community.
Back in April, The Hill reported on another survey, this one a Morning Consult-Politico tracking poll, that found 64 percent of registered voters support stricter U.S. gun laws, while 28 percent do not.
Alarming to gun rights activists, that survey also found 46 percent of respondents “said that limiting gun ownership was more important than protecting the Second Amendment, while 44 percent said that gun ownership rights were a higher priority.”
In May, Pew Research released a report citing eight “key facts about Americans and guns.” This poll also illustrates the divide between party philosophies on the Second Amendment.
According to Pew, the eight points are:
- Around half of Americans (48%) see gun violence as a very big problem in the country today.
- Attitudes about gun violence differ widely by race, ethnicity, party and community type.
- Roughly half of Americans (53%) favor stricter gun laws, a decline since 2019.
- Americans are divided over whether restricting legal gun ownership would lead to fewer mass shootings.
- There is broad partisan agreement on some gun policy proposals, but most are politically divisive.
- Americans in rural areas typically favor more expansive gun access, while Americans in urban places prefer more restrictive policies.
- More than four-in-ten U.S. adults (44%) say they live in a household with a gun, including about a third (32%) who say they personally own one.*
- Personal protection tops the list of reasons why gun owners say they own a firearm.
(*There is an interesting aspect to this question on gun ownership, and it came up recently in an Elway poll conducted in Washington State. When survey participants were asked whether anyone in their household owned a firearm, 42 percent said “yes,” 44 percent said “no,” but a sizeable number (14%) declined to answer. It is becoming more frequent that gun owners refuse to answer such a question because they do not believe it is anyone’s business whether they own a gun. Washington, incidentally, is a state with about 7.3 million residents, and there are currently more than 625,000 active concealed pistol licenses in circulation. That translates roughly to about one in nine or ten adults in the state who are licensed to carry, and roughly 20 percent of them are women.)
Among the prickliest of issues may be that 80 percent (or more) of Democrats “favor creating a federal database to track all gun sales and banning both assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, majorities of Republicans oppose the proposals,” Pew said.
Gun owners have long opposed a federal gun registry, a sentiment that could be more
However, 72 percent of Republicans “support allowing people to carry concealed guns in more places and allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in K-12 schools (66%)” Pew added. Democrats, on the other hand, are largely opposed. Only 20 percent support broader concealed carry and 24 percent supported the idea of armed teachers.
The George Washington University poll revelations about the differences between Republican and Democrat responses underscores the concern American gun owners have about the push to change the nation’s gun laws and make them more restrictive under Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Pelosi-Schumer Democrat majority on Capitol Hill.
The political landscape could change dramatically in November 2022, largely driven by those concerns. Between now and then, however, activists will have their hands full blocking the gun control schemes that have already been introduced, and those yet to be revealed.
About Dave Workman