A recently published poll from the Pew Research Center found that there is "a substantial gap" between those who prioritize gun rights and those who prioritize gun control when it comes to political involvement, with pro-gunners being more politically active and donating more money than their anti-gun counterparts.
The poll found that "The biggest difference is in the area of making contributions to activist organizations: 25% of those who prioritize gun rights say they have, at some point, contributed money to an organization that takes a position on the issue, but just 6% of those who prioritize gun control have done so."
The poll also found that gun rights supporters are more politically active, with 16 percent of them having contacted a public official to express an opinion on gun policy, compared to just 11 percent of gun control supporters.
These findings should come as no surprise to NRA members. Back in May, we reported on the fact that many ignorant and politically motivated observers wrongly attribute NRA's victories in Congress last spring, as well as all of our past successes, to NRA's perceived financial might (which, by the way, is dwarfed by that of billionaire anti-gun zealots like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg).
We noted that financial resources, when spent wisely, are certainly crucial to any organization's success, BUT what makes NRA successful is our extraordinary grassroots efforts--and more specifically, those of our members and volunteers--who typically make the difference between legislative success or failure through--again--their continued political activism.
We also referenced a Forbes.com article, which surmised that NRA's success is based on the fact that we "simply execute the basics extremely well."
The article's author defines "five reasons the NRA won the recent gun control debate that have nothing to do with politics," including our leadership style, the superior quality of our grassroots base of support, and the knowledge of the gun issue exhibited by our volunteers and members. In other words, most NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are fully engaged in the legislative and political processes.
Speaking of polling data, a group called the "Third Way" also weighed-in on gun-related polls recently.
The Third Way is a liberal--and among other things, anti-gun-- "think-tank" based in D.C. In fact, according to their online biographies, three founders of Third Way also founded, and/or were high-level executives for, the anti-gun group "Americans for Gun Safety."
The Third Way claims to have "analyzed" recent polling data to "understand the political consequences of a vote against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill." (To learn more about Sen. Manchin's proposal, please click here.)
Third Way claims their findings show that "Americans are less likely to re-elect Senators who oppose background checks," and that "Americans are pledging to stand by Senators who voted for background checks and help them win re-election."
The group's anti-gun bias may have affected how they analyzed background check polling data, but given the activism gap that exists, the question of whether responses recently given to pollsters will result in action at the voting booth more than a year from now remains to be seen. The Pew Research Center's findings suggest it might not.