(courtesy cbsnews.com)

Gun control advocates would have you believe that banning “assault rifles” is job one. After all, they’re the guns used by spree killers and terrorists. According to President Obama, these “weapons of war” have “no business being on our streets.” (Except for the ones carried by police. And federal agents.) It was not always thus. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence started out as the National Council to Control Handguns. Handguns were – and remain – criminals’ first choice for ballistic weaponry. But the primacy of handguns amongst ne’er-do-wells isn’t the reason that Americans no longer support a ban on “assault rifles.” The real reason there’s been such a huge shift away from the pro-ban position in the last four years is . . .

Americans want these guns.

We could talk about the modern sporting rifle’s (a.k.a., “assault rifle”) general advantages over other types of rifles. Chambered in .223, MSR’s are accurate, soft-shooting, ergonomically adjustable for all shooters, reliable, durable, cheap-to-run and affordable. What’s not to love?

All of that has helped MSRs become widely popular. But the change in public opinion away from banning MSRs isn’t about one style of rifle vs. another. It’s about having a rifle vs. not having a rifle.

While MSR’s are wonderful hunting guns and tremendous fun for plinking, more and more Americans have taken to them because they are suitable for self-defense. Not walking-around self-defense. Major problem self-defense. Home invasions. Terrorist attacks. And this is the big one: the government.

Don’t get me wrong. MSR owners are not proto-insurrectionists. They’re not preparing to fight against government agents coming to take their guns away and/or send them to FEMA re-education camps. Some are. Most aren’t. Millions of Americans are buying “assault rifles” because they don’t trust the police or the government to keep them safe. They’re buying MSR’s as a hedge against government incompetence.

So why not a handgun? Not enough firepower. At the risk of inciting derision from the college-educated members of the anti-gun assault media, the average American isn’t stupid. They see police responding to serious threats with “assault rifles.” If cops (and the military) depend on scary black rifles for worst case scenarios, why would a citizen “settle” for anything less? Answer: they don’t.

As TTAG readers know, the more gun control advocates agitate for an “assault weapons” ban, the more they hype MSR’s as the worst possible weapon for bad guys, the more people think, well, if the government doesn’t want me to have one and the worst-of-the-worst use them, they must be totally bad-ass. And so they are. And so Americans want them and don’t want the government preventing them from having one. Or two. Or more.

Also true: the next time terrorists attack innocents on U.S. soil, that desire will grow. And support for an “assault weapon” ban will diminish. If you think about it, it’s simple common sense.

[h/t 6622926600]

60 Responses to CBS Poll: Americans No Longer Favor “Assault Weapons” Ban

  1. And this poll came from the gun-grabbers pet media sources so they can’t claim bias as if it was done by Fox or the NRA.

  2. Barack Obama has no business being in our White House. So as long as he is in league with the “Religion of Peace,” I will have a need for these “weapons of war.”

    • Honestly, as long as it makes a lick of difference what particular dimwitted scumbag happens to reside in the White House at any given time, we’re f’d regardless.

  3. Until we hit 60%, I’d say that things are still toss of a hat. However, the trend looks great.

    BTDubs, where are the error margins, I didn’t see any, even in the full report on the site.

  4. I live in a townhome arrangement. I feel for most situations in the home, a rifle might be a little too much. However, not every situation is “most situations”. In an urban environment which has flared over into violence before, I also have concerns about civil unrest, and in that sort of situation, a long gun would be of more utility.

    I sincerely hope to never need to deploy any of my guns in anger, ever, but I’ll be damned if others think they can prohibit me from purchasing and using the best tools for the job. Whether it’s a pistol, shotgun, or long gun, I should be able to buy it.

      • You prove my point. I don’t know everything and thus I’ll have rifles handy. The worst thing for any of us to do is go “Oh, it doesn’t affect me…”

      • You do need to train with it for it to be all that effective. Which can be a bigger problem in many urban locations, than finding a handgun range. Much of the “handgun only useful for fighting your way to your rifle” bravado, comes from people with military backgrounds. Who are in a completely different situation than your average San Francisco dot-com coder.

        As powerful and useful as rifles are/can be, most people are better off first, and AT LEAST, learning the basics of handling a hand gun. Even if one does know how to effectively wield a rifle, in any situation short of an all out TEOTWAWKI, the majority of time, one will, as a civilian, likely not be toting one around.

    • “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
      -Winston Churchill

      I take “…if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly” to be what happens after “win without bloodshed” is no longer on the table. You botched that long ago. So, if you are to take Winston’s idea, he’s saying

      If you won’t be troubled to spend time, money, and political strength on the right course when you can win and there has been no violent action happening; if you won’t use strength and violence to crush a rabid animal when you know its intent because “That’s not who we are” or you don’t want to get your hands dirty; then you surrendered all your advantages and will not get the kind treatment from the enemy. And you might lose now because your your hesitation.

      Another national gun law like B.O. and Hillary want would put us SOLIDLY in stage 2. At that point, my friend, let me remind you of your words.

      “I’ll be damned if others think they can prohibit me from purchasing and using the best tools for the job.”

      What’s your next move?

    • Well I think you hit the point, whether you think a rifle is too much or not should not have any bearing on the legality of owning one.

    • pod,

      Not sure if you ever heard about it: handguns (especially shooting “heavy for caliber” bullets) and most certainly shotgun slugs will dangerously overpenetrate drywall between townhomes. If you want to avoid overpenetration into your neighbor’s townhome (and I applaud you for thinking about that), your best bet might very well be a military-style rifle shooting light-for-caliber bullets … such as .223 with 45 grain bullets. Those bullets are light enough and travelling fast enough that they tend to fragment into light (e.g. much less lethal) pieces than the relatively heavy bullets for the caliber. And at home defense ranges, they would still be pretty effective for stopping human attackers.

      Another option to investigate is using a shotgun with an 18 inch barrel and birdshot. Within several feet, that birdshot is a blob of lead that does pretty horrific damage to a human attacker. (It doesn’t create as deep a wound as buckshot or slugs, but the relatively shallow wound is horrific.) Get much beyond something like 20 or 30 feet, however, and it spreads out enough to be much less lethal after going through drywall. Or at least that is what I hear. Do your own research.

  5. People are beginning to realize that the world is a dangerous place, and sometimes you need a firearm to defend yourself.

    • 20 years ago (when I was a young, dumb, and non-gun owning college student), I would have probably supported an assault weapons ban as well. I remember thinking that it would be ok to ban semi-auto pistols since people could defend themselves just fine with revolvers.

      My opinion has changed pretty dramatically over the last 20 years. Now, I say “we must not give another inch”, and “we need to seriously work towards repealing the NFA and GCA”.

      • I’m curious what your distinction was between autoloading handguns and revolvers. Was it assumed larger capacity with autoloaders? At a very basic level, both go bang repeatedly, requiring only a trigger pull. The operating mechanism shouldn’t make much of a difference when decided what is “reasonable.” Maybe the difference in reload speed?

        • Remember that I said I was “young and dumb”. My view didn’t necessarily have any rational basis. I believed that people had some sort of right to self defense, but thought that higher capacity autoloaders were perhaps overkill. I guess it was probably capacity. I guess I held to the notion that 5-6 rounds of .38 is good enough to defend yourself with.

          My regular EDC is a 5 shot .38 revolver, so in some sense I must still think that to be generally true. That said, I now understand that everyone has the right to own and carry whatever guns with whatever capacity they want. Also, while the S&W 642 is my “main” carry gun, it isn’t my only one by a long shot. I’ve got several of the “evil higher capacity double stack” pistols as well. There is a time and season for everything. There is a time and a place for a 642 and there is a time for an AK47 backed up by a Glock 22.

  6. When I was younger and living in New York Crappy, I remember reading about banning “assault rifles” as they have no purpose in civilian life, i.e. hunting, sport shooting. I thought that they were talking about full auto machine guns, never once thinking that they were basing their ban on the appearance of the gun. Well I was for this ban as I could not see any reason why someone would try and take a deer with a machine gun, thinking how bad of a marksman would you have to be to need that type of fire-power.
    Imagine my surprise when I left that place (NYC) and found out that they wanted to ban a rifle because it was scary (all black) or not traditional (my father didn’t use it so why do you). Well I have since come to my senses, and can’t see the need to ban any gun, even a machine gun.

    • During the lead up to the first AWB, I clearly remember watching the national, nightly news with Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw, both doing stories on the AWB and repeatedly showing footage of full-auto rifles being fired. This was done nightly for weeks. It wasn’t a one time mistake by a video editor. There was a deliberate disinformation campaign run by the MSM.

    • I think if we could explain to every American what the politicians really mean when they say “assault weapon” support for such a ban would drop to 25% or less.

    • Came from a similar place (NJ) and stance.. For the longest time, growing up, I thought the ‘assault weapons ban’ was about ‘machine guns’.

      When I found out (one day , actually, talking on the phone to someone who I didn’t know was pro-gun) that it was about cosmetics/aesthetics/”flash hiders”, I remember feeling kinda strangely betrayed and tried to uncover more misinformation. I don’t like dishonesty.

      So in a way, the antis “AWB propaganda” is what lead me down the path to (quite) enthusiastic gun ownership. I’d like to think it backfired on them in my case..

      That said, now I wish the Hughes Amedment was done away with but… don’t have any hopes of that. Barring that, making enough to own a papered MG.

  7. Back when they had the first assault weapons ban they carefully avoided the Mini 14, the M1A, SKS and Garand. Why, because they looked too much the rifles MOST people had at the time. Now they want to go after rifles that most people HAVE. What did they expect to happen. I really just have to laugh at gun laws that say that an AR with a 10 round magazine is more deadly than a M1a. I remember the old magazine limits, everyone just switched to 45s. If you are going to limit magazine size, I want the biggest bullets I can get. I always wondered if the only thing that keeps the Mini 14 alive is all the state AWBs

    • Feinstein’s last proposal was much broader, and included Garands and M1 Carbines, as well as Mini 14s (as I recall). The only exceptions were tube fed .22s.

      • Why exclude the tube fed .22s. Everybody knows that a Marlin 60 is a terrible weapon of war that no one should be allowed to own.

      • Feinstein’s last proposal used the “single feature” test. So it did include the “tactical” Mini-14s, but not the regular ones.

        It also had some firearms banned by name even if they passed the tests, like e.g. Kel-Tec Sub-2000.

    • There’s also the diehard Ruger fans. My brother in-law’s family are Ruger diehards. 10/22, Mini-14, Mark II, SP101, LC9, Super Redhawk, you name it and they love them. Of course they started buying AR’s when Ruger started making them.

    • The thing that gets me is the whole “weapons of war” thing. Who fields semi-only variants of rifles and smgs? The closest things you can buy to weapons actually used in war (excluding the actual MG market, which is practically irrelevant) are the battle rifles and bolt guns that are most similar to guns traditionally used for sporting purposes. It boggles the mind. Unlike most people here, I don’t hate Obama. I’d really like to talk to him and figure out WTF is going through his head when he says this crap.

      • There is a very good reason why every military in the world evolved from bolt-action rifles to semi and full-auto weapons during WW II – they are more effective for the job at hand. Except for snipers or third world insurgents who can’t get the weapon they would prefer, this is the plain fact of the matter. Even the Soviet Union, after manufacturing and issuing millions of Mosin-Nagants, realized that they needed automatic rifles because those Mosins were awkward in urban fighting (due to their length and 5-round clip-loaded magazines) and less than useless in the Soviet favorite tactic of frontal assault en-mass because you CANNOT fire a bolt action long gun accurately while you are running across no man’s land and it was nearly impossible to reload while moving and being shot at.

        As for B Hussein Obama, you may not hate him, that’s just showing your lack of political acumen, but you SHOULD fear him, because he does not like America or its Constitution.

      • I doubt he thinks much about it. He has aides who give him brief memos that say things like “we have this problem, AWB is a solution”. And let’s face it, AWB does sound “common sense” when you don’t know much about guns. It’s a classic case of rewriting the dictionary – you invent an arbitrary category, give it a scary name, and use pictures of guns that evoke a clear association with the military to illustrate – and the other side has to spend massive amounts of time and energy to explain that there really isn’t any meaningful difference between an AR-15 and your grandpa’s hunting semi-auto Remington.

    • If you look at the pics of officers responding to the San Bernadino terrorist attack there are some officers carrying Mini-14s. Some jurisdictions do seem to use them as well though Lord only knows why.

  8. The state of the art of the modern rifle.

    That’s not to say that better things have not come along in the past 50-60 years. But the AR pattern platform has been refined, improved and tested far more than any other type of firearm in history. The platform proves to be versatile and sound enough so that even better weapons systems do not offer improvements that are so compelling as to abandon an established and time-proven standard. Not even by the deepest pockets of the U.S. Military.

      • AKs had their pains as well. Early stamped ones did not work out so the receivers were machined. SKS was the predominate post war Soviet weapon.

        • You are right in saying that AK’s are not the “state of the art modern rifle”, but they are pretty damn solid weapons none the less. They will generally get the job done. I feel comfortable enough having one for my Homeland security/SHTF rifle.

          The AR’s also generally get the job done, and are more accurate, more ergonomic, and lower recoiling.

          I’d feel totally comfortable having one of those as well. Of course, I’d also feel comfortable with an M1 Garand, M1A, FAL, Mini-14, M1 Carbine, Tavor, Steyr, etc. I’m not terribly picky about it. Even an SKS or SU-16 would probably work.

          The main things I think you want for Homeland Security/SHTF are
          1. Semi-automatic
          2. Centerfire
          3. Fed by standard capacity (20+ round) detachable magazines

          The Garand and the SKS don’t meet the third requirement, but are much loved classics none the less.

          A PCC carbine on the other hand wouldn’t cut it for me.

        • Art out West,

          “3. Fed by standard capacity (20+ round) detachable magazines
          The Garand and the SKS don’t meet the third requirement, but are much loved classics none the less.”

          You have much to learn grasshopper. You can purchase 20 and 30 round magazines for SKS rifles … and they are even detachable. They are a little bit harder to insert. (You have to rock them into position versus just shoving a new magazine into the magazine well of an AR-15.) In light of that configuration, I would argue that an SKS rifle is almost as useful as an AK-47.

    • >> The platform proves to be versatile and sound enough so that even better weapons systems do not offer improvements that are so compelling as to abandon an established and time-proven standard. Not even by the deepest pockets of the U.S. Military.

      And yet, there’s IDF…

  9. The ship has sailed and the antis have screwed themselves. That is why they have become so vicious in their attacks. That are a pathetic bunch so desperate to sell their freedom.

  10. How many soldiers have trained on the AR platform since 1968? I bought mine because I know it inside and out. I know how to clean it to a drill sergeants satisfaction. I know how to shoot it to 300 yards without optics. If some thing goes wrong I can have it apart and in my hat in less than 30 seconds and back together in the same amount of time. I know i can take it everywhere I’d ever want to go and it will work every time. In every era Soldiers have returned home with their weapons from the field, why would now be any different?

    • This.

      I wrote a comment somewhere on TTAG over a year ago as to why the AR’s popularity has gone straight up since 1993, when the Senator Feinstein and then-Rep Schumer rammed through the “assault weapon ban” nonsense.

      Since the first war in Iraq, we’ve had huge numbers of people who have trained on the M-16, and then later the M-4. They know the manual of arms without thinking about it, they know how to clean it without thinking about it. The fact that their civilian model AR lacks the full auto giggle switch means nothing to either of these two points. To the younger (50 years and under) veterans, the AR in the civilian world is “their rifle,” just as the Garand/M1A was “their rifle” to the WWII/Korean vets. People who have spent a lot of time with a particular rifle think of it as part of their person; they don’t need to think about how to operate, clean, maintain or fix it any more. It becomes like breathing. They will not hear anything bad about it, and many of these vets want one of their own.

      Now, the political hacks can’t see the forest for the trees. They’ve gotten us involved in a never-ending war, cycling hundreds of thousands of young people through the military branches every few years. Every one of these people in the military has at least a passing familiarity with the M16/M4->AR-15 platform, and that’s just more sales & marketing happening. Now they’ve opened up combat MOS’s to women – that’ll be more AR-pattern rifles/carbines sold in the future – maybe in a slightly different configuration, but still they’ll be AR’s.

      The political class of this country is supremely stupid. They can’t find their plump posteriors with one, the other or even both hands. They don’t realize that the never-ending war that they have us engaged in is the biggest arms sales & marketing job ever done in history. At the rate we’re going, sometime in the next 15 years, AR pattern rifles will be so prevalent, it will be easy to find one under every other kitchen sink in America.

    • Not to mention the long, random intervals in between the polls. It would be much more valuable as data if they asked the same question of people at more frequent, consistent intervals, so trends could be accurately sussed out. As it is, if they’re asking every 5-10 years, you’d need to take into account precisely when the question was asked each time. What were the big news stories that month, and would any of them influence the results?

  11. Well, on a national level, there will not likely be an AW ban–not as long as the Republican Party controls Congress. That could change with the election. Senator Sununo opined that if Trump is nominated, Republicans will lose both houses and the Presidency. To Hillary. And that would be a disaster.

    On the state level, expect the NE to continue its decline to total semi-auto weapons bans, joined by California in the west, and possibly even gun-loving Washington state (controlled as it is by democrats in Seattle). [Oregon is kind of hit and miss at this point.] Indeed, I expect California to go full retard in the next legislative session, if Brown does not stop them, and certainly within two years if Gavin Newsome is elected to succeed Brown. It is written in stone at this point; only the Supreme Court can change the outcome.

    • Unless, of course, Obama does it by royal decree. Or, declares that Loretta Lynch can build her own prohibited list (which is what they are going for with the “terrorist watch list” thing), and then basically declare that if you are found to own an AR or AK, your name goes on the prohibited list since only a potential terrorist would be interested in owning a “weapon of war.” So, the cops find you own one, they leave. Then come back a few days later and collect all your guns. Likely? Hard to say. I wouldn’t put it past them anymore, though.

      • Look, while I admit that is technically possible, it’s highly unlikely. I feel like more people (irrespective of political affiliation) would object to de facto criminalization through abuse of a list of prohibited individuals than a decree that they’re illegal from on high.

    • >> and possibly even gun-loving Washington state (controlled as it is by democrats in Seattle)

      Many people assume that WA is blue through and through based on presidential elections, but this is not the case. It has an almost evenly split state House and Senate, with House having a Democratic majority, and Senate having a Republican majority. The latter is unlikely to change anytime soon, nor is the House likely to get a supermajority. As a result, any proposal that is strongly contentious is not likely to pass.

      Beside which, WA has RKBA written into the state constitution, and it’s much stronger than the federal version:

      “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”

      So it’s explicitly an individual right, and explicitly for self-defense purposes. Whatever may happen on the federal level wrt Heller, this won’t affect this restriction on state laws. To amend the state constitution, both House and Senate have to pass it with 2/3 majority to put it on the ballot, and then voters have to approve it with a simple majority vote. So long as Senate is Republican, this isn’t going to happen.

      Whether this is enough to block AWB or not is not certain, but my bet is that it won’t pass here in the foreseeable future. It would certainly have a much harder time than UBC, which did enjoy wide popular support.

      • So explain to me then, how Washington managed to pass the country’s worst written UBC law? Yes, I know that the rest of the state runs mostly red…but there seems to be a majority of voters who might take the issue away from the Legislature.

    • I suspect you are correct on CA at least, Mark N. The trend is pretty obvious in CA, and CT and NY, who havent learned their lesson, that WA is learning- people are simply passively ignoring the law and when the law-abiding do that, what next? Will Cuomo and Moonbeam send SWAT into the suburbs to seize guns, while jihadi’s blow up school kids, and gang bangers duke it out in the urban ghettoes?

      After Jackson, looks to me that the progtards heads have just completely come loose, spinning like that movie- REDRUM…

      every left wing city council has rushed to out-do one another pandering to the left, first LA, and now Oakland where Moonbeam’s homeboy OGs are much rougher, and only slightly wackier than Berkeley on the Hill.

      I sort of doubt Moonbeam has the influence you hope- as this council has just floated a new raft of stinkers, that will probably pass, and we’ll have to pony up to CGF, SAF, NRA to hire Michel and Gura to patiently bite them around the ankles, while the 9th delays and delays, allowing the illegal restrictions to stand.

      http://www.guns.com/2015/12/11/nra-rallies-supporters-against-oakland-gun-control/

      I mean, after wasting billions on high speed trains to no-where, wiping out agriculture in the Central Valley for some minnows, and now getting caught using state employees to survey his ranch for oil rights…I dont think Governor Brown has much moral authority left… he is out and Newsome is in, it looks to me. Leftists just double down- ends justify the means, and break a few eggs to make an omelette, right?

  12. Publish the list of names and addresses of those who do approve, and put them on a NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR YOU list. They can get their rights back M A Y B E if they manage to get their hands on an “assault” weapon (a real one, not some wet-sh_t definition one) before somebody fits them (not the weapon) for an oven.

  13. Historically the people of the US have wanted and got what the military was running. .45-70. Been in continuos use since the 1870s. Surplus .30-40s in the Americanized Krag started the bolt action smokeless powder craze that really took wings with the 1903 and its .30-06.

    Now comes generations of American soldiers that carried and used the m16 and its offshoots around the world during the cold war. Which wasn’t all that cold. The rifle that protected American interests and defended against the evil commie menace.

    Only seems natural that folks would want to tool up with ARs to protect against the evil jihadi menace.

    • Amazing what makes sense to you and I, jwm, is simply not interesting to SCOTUS- except to Thomas and Scalia, at least on Freidman. If you thought Jackson turned the spigot on for leftist scammers in CA city councils, wait until you see what percolates up on AWB around the country, where silly progtard city council have been passing climategate resolutions to save the polar bears…this has LOTS more potency, and will be harder to stop the MDA liars for Bloomturd pay, mark my words.

      Sorry, RF, this is CBS false flagging you- with everyone in the StateRunMedia jumping on the coordinated gun control campaign, to double down with the journolistas and slithering gun control activists from Brady to the Bloomberg Whores- we are going to see a LOT more action on AWB… Feinstein is an old fool, but when NYT posted their frontpage editorial, that was the signal that the last great gun control push is on for Obamas legacy, and since that static will cover a LOT of very bad news, in the ME, in the economy, and obamacare, that HAS to be the Narrative, or HRC gets slimed and tarred as Obamas accomplice in much of it, but default….

      Therefore- the Elite HAS to push gun control, to protect Hillary…

      • Once HRC is POTUS- then its on to anti-2A, which allows the anti-1A that protects the Executive, who can protect and administratively Executive Action the Progressive Agenda, while installing 2+ new SCOTUS to solidify the left-wing adjunct to lawfare by the left that it has become.

  14. Private citizens have always bought what the police carried. Semi-auto pistols have been around for a hundred years. Yet, when the police carried revolvers, that’s what the public bought along with shotguns. Now that the police carry semi-auto pistols with large magazines and AR pattern rifles, that;s what the public wants.

  15. Please define assault weapon.

    A poll is meaningless if the question under consideration does not have a consistent meaning. The same is true for polls about “background checks”, the so-called “gun show loophole”, and gun control in general.

  16. IMO, “MSR” is a bad term, as it plays right into the anti’s hands that these guns are for sporting purposes and not for purposes of war. “War” is not just something that happens between countries, it is something that happens at the base human level as well. Every human has the right to engage in a private war in self-defense of themselves, whether against other individuals or against a tyrannical state. As such, they will use the basic weapons of war, i.e. arms. Those are what the citizens have a right to.

  17. Very true, people simply want them. I got my ex wife, my girlfriend, my sister, and my dad into AR’s. In fact, my dad got so into it he now has 3, his Sig M400, Tavor, and Scar.

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