Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

American Gun Attitudes Continue to Trend Pro-Gun

Friday, October 20, 2017

American Gun Attitudes Continue to Trend Pro-Gun

In today’s hyper-media environment, the over-reporting of polling results is an unfortunate reality of modern political discourse.  Instead of informing policy debates, this reliance on polls is often to drive a political agenda and suggest the American people want something when just the opposite is true.  

We’ve seen this time and again on gun issues.  Although the media will never acknowledge it, a “snapshot” poll of American attitudes on gun issues simply fails to tell the whole story.  Hillary Clinton and other anti-gun politicians who are shunned at the ballot box can attest to this fact.   

On the other hand, an opinion trend is entirely different.  A trend can show the direction of opinion change over time, and where the public exhibits a tidal shift in their attitudes on an issue, the momentum becomes an unshakable truth that cannot be denied, politics notwithstanding.  

Although seldom reported, the long-term trends on gun issues show a remarkable shift in American opinion over the last three decades.  Where a majority of Americans once supported gun control, this is clearly no longer the case.  From handgun and semi-auto bans to mandatory licensing and registration, our fight to restore the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans has moved the public to adopt decidedly pro-gun opinions over time.   

A poll from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News taken in late August is a great example of long-term opinion trending in our direction.  The poll asked a number of questions related to government policy generally, but there were responses to three items on guns that bode ill for anti-gun advocates and their ongoing assault of our gun rights.

First, Americans were asked whether they worried that the government would go too far in restricting gun rights or not far enough to regulate access to firearms.  The results are striking.   

50 percent said they were more concerned about government overreach on guns, while 45 percent said they feared the government would not do enough to restrict access to guns.  At first blush, one could suggest that this means the American people are about evenly split on gun control, with more worried the government might go too far in restricting our freedom.  But that’s just the “snapshot.”  Looking at the long-term trend on this question, a more complete picture emerges.  

When this exact question was asked in 1995, 58 percent of respondents took the gun control option while 35 percent favored gun rights.  This is a 15 percent increase in the number of Americans fearing government restrictions and a 13 percent reduction in those wanting more gun control.  This double-digit shift in American attitudes is remarkable, and tells something much deeper about gun policy opinion than the 50-45 split initially suggests. 

Next, the poll asked respondents, “Do you, or does anyone in your household, own a gun of any kind?” 48 percent replied “yes,” suggesting that 120 million Americans own firearms.  This is great news, and helps to confirm the recent expansion of gun ownership in the United States.  

But looking at the deeper trend, something even more significant emerges.  This poll question has been asked several times over the years, and 48 percent is the highest level recorded in the poll’s history.  In 1999, the poll observed a 44 percent rate, and between 2011 and 2015, the number ranged from 39 to 42 percent when the poll was fielded four different times.  Taken at its low point, this shows a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of respondents indicating they live in gun owning households.  

Finally, there was a question that illustrates precisely why these long-term trends matter more than any “snapshot” poll can possibly show.  When asked to pick among a host of policy issues that matter when voting, the gun issue was number one, chosen by 35 percent of respondents, beating out the environment, immigration, abortion, drug use, religion, gender equality, and gay rights. 

There is little doubt that the 35 percent indicating “gun rights or gun control” were choosing the gun rights side of the equation and vote accordingly.  Moreover, it indicates that more and more Americans are coming to oppose gun control and embracing the universal right to self-defense and our firearms freedom.

The NRA remains the most powerful political force on the American landscape, because of the dedication of our members and supporters to securing our firearms freedom for generations to come.  Nobody can match our intensity or passion, and this polling trend data shows we are slowly but surely convincing the American public to join our side in the ongoing struggle.  

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Chris W. Cox Polling
TRENDING NOW
Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

News  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

According to reports from Capitol Hill, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on two gun control bills as early as next week. The first bill, so-called “universal” background check legislation, would criminalize ...

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms. Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of ...

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

It’s widely understood that the current occupants of the White House, the Biden-Harris Administration, have positioned themselves as the most anti-gun team this country has ever seen on Pennsylvania Avenue. Leading up to the 2020 ...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Florida Alert! H.R. 127 - Federal Gun Control Proposal

Much is being said about H.R. 127 By Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) 117th Congress and we have had many folks contacting us seeking information. 

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

This week, hearings were held on the nomination of Merrick Garland for U.S. attorney general, with a final vote on confirmation expected to come next week. The prospect for gun owners is that the nation’s ...

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

News  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On Sunday, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons ...

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Constitutional Carry Legislation Advances in Both Chambers – Faces Backlash from Fringe Fundraising Groups

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Constitutional Carry Legislation Advances in Both Chambers – Faces Backlash from Fringe Fundraising Groups

Today, House Bill 786 passed out of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, and now heads to the full committee.  Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved NRA-backed Constitutional Carry legislation, Senate Bill 765, sending the measure to the ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Connecticut: Firearm Seizure Bill Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Connecticut: Firearm Seizure Bill Set for Committee Hearing

Tomorrow, March 5, at 10:00 AM, the Connecticut Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 6355, which will take away the constitutional rights of individuals, without adequate due process.

Ohio: House Committee Hearing “Duty to Inform” Bill

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Ohio: House Committee Hearing “Duty to Inform” Bill

Tomorrow, the House State and Local Government Committee is hearing House Bill 89 to amend Ohio’s “duty to inform” law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.