Support for the right to keep and bear arms has sharply increased, and support for restricting gun ownership has sharply decreased, over the last two years, according to the results of a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
The poll, conducted earlier this month, found that 57 percent of Americans believe that gun ownership does more to protect people from crime, while only 38 percent believe guns do more to put people at risk.
Viewed in conjunction with Pew’s previous polls on the same topic, the percentage of Americans who believe that gun ownership protects people from crime has risen by nine points during the last two years, a period during which President Obama, Michael Bloomberg and other gun control supporters have campaigned hard for restrictions on guns. By comparison, the percentage believing gun ownership puts people at risk has risen only one percent.
Pew also asked whether people believe that protecting gun rights is more important than restricting gun ownership. Again, the response trend shows increased support for Second Amendment rights. “Since January 2013, support for gun rights has increased seven percentage points -- from 45% to 52% -- while the share prioritizing gun control has fallen five points (from 51% to 46%),” the polling organization said.
Importantly, the polls find that over the last two years, the belief that gun ownership does more to protect people from crime than to place people at risk increased sharply among men, women, whites, African-Americans, all Republicans, conservative Republicans, Independents and conservative and moderate Democrats, and decreased only among liberal Democrats. Support for the belief that gun ownership does more to place people at risk decreased sharply among African-Americans, all Republicans and conservative Republicans, decreased slightly among conservative and moderate Democrats, stayed the same among women and Independents, increased slightly among men and whites, and increased sharply among liberal Democrats.
Similarly, the belief that it is more important to protect gun rights than to restrict gun ownership increased among men, women, all age groups, persons of all levels of education, all Republicans, conservative Republicans, Independents, all Democrats, conservative and moderate Democrats, parents, non-parents, urbanites, suburbanites, and rural dwellers, and decreased only among liberal Democrats. Support for the belief that it is more important to restrict gun ownership increased among persons ages 30-49 and persons with a Bachelor’s degree (but not among persons with a graduate degree), and remained the same among liberal Democrats.
Perhaps the most shocking of the polls’ findings, for gun control supporters who have convinced themselves that time is on their side, support for gun ownership rights increased eight points, while support for restricting gun ownership decreased seven points, among persons ages 18-29.
Also, the belief that gun ownership does more to protect people from crime increased a whopping 25 points, while the belief that gun ownership places people at risk decreased 12 points, among African-Americans. Similarly, the belief that it is more important to protect gun rights rose 10 points, while the belief that it is more important to restrict gun ownership decreased six points, among African-Americans.
Asked by the Washington Times to comment on the polls’ findings, Ladd Everitt, of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (formerly the National Coalition to Ban Handguns), said the wording of the survey might have influenced the results.
Sorry, Ladd. Americans of nearly every description are embracing the Second Amendment at historic levels, even as its opponents pour historic amounts of money and effort into suppressing it. These results support what we’ve said many times before: American freedom is not for sale.