Assault Weapon Ban Support ABC Poll Dec 2015

The chart above illustrates the trajectory of support and opposition for a federal “assault weapons ban.” The chart starts in the middle of 1994, when Congress passed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act).The Act banned “assault weapons.” At the time, the mainstream media’s influence on American option was near its height. With the full support of the media, proponents of the AWB were not bothered by . . .

the truth about “assault weapons.” The fact that “assault weapons” accounted for a fraction of violent crime (easily rounded down to zero) and that millions of Americans used the weapons specified for hunting, target practice and self-defense. The fact that the Second Amendment prohibited government infringement on Americans’ gun rights, regardless of firearm type.

Gun control advocates controlled the media, with almost no effective opposition. But that was changing quickly. Conservative talk radio had already begun to make inroads into American culture, and the Internet was just starting to become a viable method of mass communication.

The opponents of the ban managed to include a sunset to the bill ten years in the future. By the time the sunset came due, enough people had learned the truth about “assault weapons” to prevent an extension of the bill.

I recall talking to a former military officer who was a manager in the Civil Service sometime in 1992. He was astounded that the AWB only affected semi-automatic firearms. He had assumed, from the propaganda, that the AWB was solely concerned with fully automatic arms; which had been excessively regulated for 60 years. It only took a minute to explain the folly of the federal AWB..

That’s what has happened to a large plurality of the electorate: they have become educated on the issue. Some 35 percent completely reversed their positions. As they have been exposed to facts and rationality — instead of emotional arguments and falsehoods — they have changed their opinion.

You see the same effect in multiple attempts to pass more infringements on Second Amendment rights. The current campaign for “Universal Background Checks” (UBC) is a case in point. The percentage in favor and against started at about the same level shown for the AWB in 1994. According to selectively worded polls in 2013, Americans were about 80 percent to 90 percent in favor of UBCs . Nearly all the support was based on ignorance, emotional arguments and misleading representation of the actual legislation.

As more and more people are becoming informed on the issue, largely through “alternative media,” support for UBC is eroding. Even in liberal Washington state, with massive funding by Bloomberg and several other wealthy elitists, the actual vote was only 60 percent in favor, an erosion of 20-30 percent. (UBC proponents outspent opponents by 15-1, and the major media in the area actively supported UBCs.)

Clearly emotion-based arguments and lies can sway an electorate to support gun control. But when the facts are disseminated, support diminishes. That’s why the proponents of civilian disarmament push so hard to pass gun control measures quickly.

The good news: once former voters are educated they’re much harder to fool again. Gun control advocates lose a bit of credibility each time this happens. That credibility was built up over decades of biased “reporting.”

Faith in news reporting is at a historic low. A Gallup poll taken in 2015 rated trust in the media at 40 percent. And now, as The Huffington Post reports . . .

Only 6 percent of people say they have a great deal of confidence in the press, about the same level of trust Americans have in Congress, according to a new survey released on Sunday.

The study mirrors past reports that found the public’s trust in mass media has reached historic lows, according to data gathered by the Media Insight Project, a partnership between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. The report found faith in the press was just slightly higher than the 4 percent of people who said they trusted Congress.

Alongside the dire findings, the report found respondents valued accuracy above all else, with 85 percent of people saying it was extremely important to avoid errors in coverage. Timeliness and clarity followed closely, with 76 percent and 72 percent respectively saying those attributes were imperative among media sources.

Even more mainstream media skepticism is likely in the future; the liberal press shows no signs of changing its tune. That’s a good thing for those who are Second Amendment supporters, and Americans who own or will consider owning “assault weapons.”

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

39 Responses to Mainstream Media’s Support for Gun Control Increasingly Ineffective

      • BigJim is expressing how much he despises mainstream media with a variation of the antagonistic theme, “If you were dying of thirst, I would not let you lick the sweat off of my balls.”

        • I understand satire. I was feeding him back the return line from “Good Morning Vietnam”. That was the meaning of the smiley face at the end……..

  1. Not surprised in the least, it’s easier than ever to find alternative sources with information that lets you make your own mind up.

  2. With those polling stats, shouldn’t we be working on repealing the parts of the NFA that ban assault rifles?

    • Give it time. The suppressor portion of the NFA will be gone before the end of the decade provided Hitlary is kept out of office. Then we can reverse the machine gun ban. (That should only take a few more years.) After that, you’ll see the NFA crumble like a house of cards. The Barady checks aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but the most agregious bans are on their last legs.

      Personally, I’m working on a design for a drop-in burst and auto trigger pack for AR pattern rifles. Right now, it’s just a few CAD drawings, but if the registry is opened, I think I can make a small fortune.

        • Yeah give it time. You have to show the sheep that there is nothing to be scared of, sort of like open carry. Pass open carry and wait a year and when there isn’t “blood in the streets” they realize they were scared of nothing. Then you do the same with suppressors etc. You cannot do it all at once.

  3. Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average American. I’d be surprised if the MSM was the first to go broke. Surprised and thrilled.

    • To get some idea of the basic stupidity of the average amerikan, think of all the people that you know. Then just image that half are even stupider than THAT! – paraphrased from George Carlin

    • I think you’re giving the Old Media establishment way too much credit; a wet fart is something to be taken seriously indeed.

  4. In the 1990s, the only real source of information for the people was the MSM. The internet, if they knew about it, was that thing college people used, and “online services” were things like Prodigy and Compu$erve, which were extensions of the MSM, since publishing to all was still restricted to a select few. Thus, it wasn’t difficult to demonize “assault weapons”. Alternative points of view were hard to come by.

    Fast forward ten years, and internet access was a common thing, hence the sunset of the AWB going through. Why? Because the pro-gun people spread the word via the internet in a major way. Legislators were contacted, campaigns were mounted, all straight to the inbox, with nary a filter in the way.

    Current battles over gun rights are almost exclusively waged online. Look at the reactions in comment sections whenever the MSM posts an anti-gun piece. The POTG show up in droves, and I’ve never been prouder.

  5. A military officer was clueless about the AWB? If even he doesn’t know what the heck our gun bills are about, no wonder the general public is equally clueless.

  6. Is it because the tyrannical gun-lobby is taking control of everything with it’s heavily debunked propaganda and turning the USA into a 3rd world hellhole.

    I don’t see Europe, Australia or Japan turning into police states.

    I don’t see the australian SAS dragging people off to death camps.

    I don’t see the Japanese self defence force pulling out of thier homes forcing them against a wall and killing them.

    I don’t see dictators anywhere in europe.

    But what I do see in the USA is constant mass shootings everyday. People morning the loss of thier families due to the easy access to firearms.

    Families that are told and shammed by the NRA and the “law abiding gun community” for the vicitims not being armed.

    I see people everyday wantonly killing themselves because of easy access to firearms.

    I see “gun reich” supports dancing on the graves of victims who day everyday from gun violence.

    Studies show your more likely to turn your own weapon on yourself or a loved one than stop a criminal attacks.

    • “morning” mourning*

      “day” die*

      “Studies show” I don’t trust studies written by shills for antis in pursuit of federal grant money*

    • I’ll make you a deal. If you become a victim of “gun violence”, I won’t just dance on your grave. I’ll take a long, hard piss.

    • It is sad that you have been so completely indoctrinated. All of Europe had no change in murder rates when they implemented their draconian “gun control” policies, or their murder rates went up.

      The number of guns in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last 20 years while the homicide rate fell to half of what it had been.

      Gun in private hands simply do not increase homicide, suicide, or accident rates.

      It is sad that you “know” so much that is not so.

      We refuse to disarm simply to satisfy your whims. And you cannot make us do so.

      • “The number of guns in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last 20 years while the homicide rate fell to half of what it had been.”

        Preach it, Brother Dean….

    • I don’t see Europe, Australia or Japan turning into police states
      Nah, they just have half the French Army on the streets.

    • Willy_Lunchmeat,

      Suppose there is incontrovertible data that shows:
      (1) Males between the ages of 16 and 36 brutally maim and/or murder more than 100,000 people every year because they are sexually frustrated and have no sexual outlet.
      (2) We could eliminate ALL of those 100,000 annual attacks if all males age 16 to 36 could have sex on demand with any woman they desire.

      Thus, it would be good and right for government to pass a law compelling women to submit to the sexual demands of any male between the ages of 16 and 36 years old, right? (Under such laws a woman who resists sexual advances would be guilty of a felony and imprisoned for several years.) After all, this law would prevent 100,000 brutal assaults and murders every year.

    • The reason you cannot see those things is because you have your eyes squeezed wide shut. If you aren’t even capable of understanding THAT, watch the Tom Cruz movie of the same name. Perhaps it is yet possible for information to form in your brain, if you have both pictures and a big celebrity along to help you out…

    • Relax, folks. Ol’ Willy is just another Liberal plant ordered to troll Conservative and pro-2A sites. I’m sure this same individual trolls multiple sites under different names and parrots the talking points provided to him/her/it by his/her/its masters.

      Don’t even waste your time debating with it.

  7. More owners of fun guns means more people who don’t want their fun stuff taken.

    I work on converting as many people to the joys of the AR rifle.

    Biggest thing is having a place to shoot and a purpose to shoot. I think the more low key, low stress competitions they more people you can entice out to play.

    Think about if you wanted to increase baseball bat ownership. How would you do it? Trying to convince everyone to buy a war club for a pending attack will only have so much effect on the average person. Telling them about the local baseball league and how they need a bat to play, much better.

  8. It’s probably not a coincidence that 1994 was probably the last year before the internet really began to take hold among the general population. It was the year Netscape Navigator was released.

    Can’t stop the signal.

    • Bill Gates sure managed to shut down netscape, though, didn’t he? So now we have firefox. As you stated, can’t stop the signal. Only slow it down. You can’t fool ALL the people ALL the time. Just most. But they do wise up…. eventually….

  9. I am confused. The media loves to plaster the gory details about some innocent person murdered, raped, tortured, kidnapped, and any other horrible crime. I see this daily and finally decide to take the necessary steps to protect my family to try to keep us from being one of those stories on the news. This leads to practice, learning, and reading to educate myself (still have a really long way to go), including a conceal carry license. The media’s own reporting and glamorization of these shootings pushed me to take action, and then they tell me that having a tool to defend my family is wrong, unnecessary, and only a danger to people who follow the law?

    • Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding !!!!! We have a winner.

      Mainstream media would be MUCH more effective if they never showed any violent crimes or their aftermath. This would lead the masses into a HUGE false sense of security. And under that false sense of security, the masses would much more readily accept disarmament with smiles and cheers.

      What is the saying, “Never stop your enemy when he is making a mistake.” or something like that?

  10. “The number of guns in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last 20 years while the homicide rate fell to half of what it had been.”

    Poor 2ASux…

    Those pesky ‘facts’ keep tripping him up…

  11. I would say that the mainstream news media has lost the trust of the majority of Americans. Sadly, there are a lot of people that still view the world through the straw of the evening TV news and the New York Times.

  12. My wife and I go to the range weekly. She is a ‘legal’ immigrant from Europe who entered the USA legally and jumped through all the appropriate government hoops to become a Permanent Resident.

    And for all those Libs out there who try to tell us what a Utopian state Europe is, when she talks to her family in Europe they all express how scary things have become. How they are becoming afraid to even go and walk around downtown because of what is happening. They are a continent of sheep who have been stripped of their God given right to protect themselves by the Libs they stupidly selected to rule them.

    Her reply is to simply smile and tell them about her latest trip to the range, show them her very impressive targets and her 1911, and to smile and say ‘God Bless America.’

    Never surrender brothers and sisters. Do not sell your freedom cheaply.

    Stand and fight.

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