Until former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley went full CSGV in a desperate effort to garner some media attention, gun rights have largely been absent from the 2016 presidential campaign so far. Still, a growing proportion of Americans believe that a candidate’s position on guns and gun control is important to their decision on who to vote for, and overall the majority seem to think that keeping the laws as they are right now is the right thing to do . . .
From the CNN Poll:
In June 2011, 22% of voters called gun policy an “extremely important” issue in their vote for president, that’s risen 20 points since to 42%.
I think Robert hit the nail on the head when he started TTAG — guns are the most important topic of our generation. The laws around guns and gun control are the most hotly debated topic of the time, and the candidates’ opinions on guns are a reliable litmus test of their beliefs and philosophy for concerned voters.
That’s not surprising. Neither is the growing sentiment that increased gun control isn’t the way to go.
Overall, 41% say existing laws make it too easy for people to buy guns, down from 56% saying so about a month after the shooting deaths of 27 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. About half, 49%, say current laws are about right, and 10% that they make it too difficult to buy a gun.
The majority of Americans (59%) now believe that current gun laws are either just right or still too restrictive. That’s a far cry from the constant chanting of Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown minions who claim that what we really want and need are more “common sense” “gun safety” laws. That’s probably because people have seen what they consider “common sense” and are sick and tired of the lies and disinformation.
That notion is backed up by the data (something Everytown somehow never bothers to do). While Americans appear to think that background checks are a good idea, the majority understand that more restrictive laws (making illegal activity more illegal-er) won’t do anything to stop “gun violence” or keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.
At the same time, many express doubts that expanded gun laws would be able to prevent those with mental health problems from buying guns (44% see that as likely, 56% unlikely), or that such laws would keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals (42% say that’s likely, 58% unlikely). But most also say it wouldn’t necessarily make it harder for a law-abiding citizen without mental health problems to buy one, 57% say it’s unlikely to do that.
While that’s all good news for gun rights supporters, the person who makes out the worst in this poll is Barack Obama. The Democrats fault him for not doing enough about guns. The Republicans fault him for doing what he has against guns. He just can’t win, and that’s led to his current stellar 35% approval rating. With a solid 59% of Americans disapproving of his handling of gun-related issues, gun rights supporters have carried the argument.
I’m guessing we’re going to be seeing more discussion on guns and gun rights as we get closer to the election and the importance of that topic will only increase. While the ball has clearly been moved forward, whether most people see the importance of firearms freedom largely the same way as TTAG — personal liberty and self sufficiency versus government control and fascism — I’m not sure.