“In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,009 American adults, 85 per cent of respondents believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution means that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, while only seven per cent openly disagree with this view.” Openly? Do the pollsters at angus-reid.com think that some Americans are secretly paying lip service to the Second Amendment? Anyway, I’m glad that’s settled. On to the important bit: regulations . . .
Americans are split when assessing existing federal regulations related to firearm ownership, with 44 per cent saying they are satisfied with these guidelines, and 44 per cent voicing dissatisfaction.
Here’s the actual question:
At this point, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with existing federal regulations related to firearm ownership?
Here’s my problem: I reckon the average Joe is pretty to completely ignorant about federal firearms regulations. I bet the only federal firearm regulation Joe Q. Public knows is that criminals can’t buy guns. And I bet that most of them wouldn’t be sure if that was a federal or state law.
AngusReid’s question is a general touchy feely sort of thing. On the other hand, I suppose that’s how people vote: ignorantly. How else can you explain the assault weapons ban? Anyway . . .
Republicans (52%), Independents (47%) and gun owners (54%) are more likely to say they are satisfied with the status quo, while Democrats (46%) and those who do not own a gun (47%) are more likely to be dissatisfied.
Huh? What percentage of each voting group are gun owners? How many non-gun owners in each political group were dissatisfied with current federal regulations (vs. gun owners)? What’s more important in terms of dissatisfaction with federal laws you don’t know: owning a gun or party affiliation?
Across the country, 46 per cent of respondents call for stricter firearms laws, with the highest level of support from Democrats (62%), Independents (51%) and Americans who do not possess a firearm (55%). Conversely, Republicans and gun owners would prefer to have either looser regulations or the continuation of existing ones.
OK, now were talking, only I still need to know how many members of each group own guns. And here’s a red flag for the pollster’s failure to cite the percentage of Republicans and gun owners who want looser regs and the percentage of those who favor the status quo.
Seven-in-ten Americans hold no reservations about people who are eligible to own firearms having access to handguns (73%) and rifles or shotguns (72%). However, only three-in-ten respondents (30%) feel the same way about semi-automatic weapons, with a majority (61%) suggesting that only the police and other authorized persons should have access to them.
Thirty percent of Americans believe that [an unknown percentage] of people who can own handguns legally shouldn’t? As for semi-automatic weapons, AngusReid’s question fails to recognize the fact that handguns, rifles and shotguns can all be semi-automatic firearms.
On the question of concealed carry—where states have enacted different regulations—half of respondents (51%) support the “shall-issue” notion of allowing citizens to carry a concealed weapon if they meet specific criteria laid out in the law. It is important to note that this prerogative is endorsed by a majority of Republicans (60%), Independents (53%) and gun owners (60%), as well as a plurality of Democrats (44%) and Americans who do not possess a firearm.
Eighty-five percent of people support the Second Amendment but only 50 percent believe citizens should be allowed to keep and bear arms so if they’re legally eligible. Go figure. [h/t to Phydeaux for the link]
NOTE: I failed to see the actual questions and the exact breakdown of responses in the methodology pdf. I apologize to AngusReid for this oversight. The text has been amended to reflect this new-to-me knowledge.