Poll: Support for Gun Control Dropping, Majority Feel Guns Make Them Safer


There are some new gun-related opinion polls out in the last couple days. They indicate further movement on the part of the public away from sentiment for more gun control laws. So let’s grab our calculators and dive right in . . .

Since Newtown, civilian disarmament advocates (including certain members of my own family) have been using the bandwagon argument to try to get gun owners on board with the idea of giving up some of their Constitutionally protected rights in order to “protect the children.” They’d justify the push by pointing out that “most of America agrees with me,” that all they want is “common sense gun control.” Well, now the groupthink line is working in our favor.


According to a USA Today poll, support for increased gun control legislation has dropped back down to around 49%. Let’s put that in a little perspective:

Pre-Newtown gun control support: 43% (Gallup)

Immediate Post-Newtown Support: 58% (Gallup)

Current: 49% (USA Today)

So we’re not quite back down to the pre-Newtown numbers yet, but support for gun control is definitely taking a nosedive. I get the feeling that seeing the horrors that Congress cooked up in the wake of the shooting (“assault weapons” ban, magazine capacity restrictions, universal background checks, gunpowder regulation) provided a useful reality check that tempered the nation’s desire to “do something.”


One of the reasons that the appetite for increased gun control is dropping faster than condom wrappers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is that gun owners are winning the culture war. A new poll by the Washington Post shows that, for the first time in recent memory, the majority of Americans feel that having a gun in their home makes them safer. No doubt the recent events in Boston, where terrorists engaged in running gun battles with police in the middle of a residential neighborhood, had something to do with that outcome.

Which leads me to my second poll of the week, namely a Fox News survey that shows the NRA having a higher approval rating than the Democratic Party.


The problem with a question like this is that it cuts both ways: those who look unfavorably on the NRA and the Democrats could be doing so either because their position on gun control went too far, or didn’t go far enough. So, it’s basically a wash from an analytic standpoint. But it gives you the warm fuzzies anyway, doesn’t it?


Similarly vague is a poll from the WaPo that shows the majority of respondents disapproving of the way President Obama is handling gun control. The only good thing we can take away from these kinds of numbers is that people are unhappy about the way Washington is handling things, and when that happens incumbent politicians have a good reason to fear for their jobs.

Finally, the icing on the cake: the actual numbers of those who are peeved that the Senate didn’t pass additional gun control measures, as reported by the Washington Post.


While the country may be split on this, that Washington Post poll shows that there is still some support out there for assault weapons bans, magazine capacity limits and background checks.


President Obama claimed that 90% of the country wanted this specific legislation to pass, which is what’s commonly known as a lie. 90% of Americans thought background checks per se were a good idea, but that’s a far cry from supporting the proposed legislation. Heck, I support background checks, but I still broke out the champagne when the Senate vote failed.

Many low-information voters (again, like certain family members) simply saw “universal background checks” and never dug any further into the details. Those people, ones that were specifically targeted by President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, and the Democratic Party’s advertising campaigns (which purposefully kept the content of the legislation vague) make up a large percentage of the people who are now “disappointed” or “angry” that the legislation didn’t pass, and will no doubt blame the Republicans for obstructing a “common sense” measure. But among Republican voters, 51% are relieved or very happy that the legislation failed to pass. That puts red state Dems in a very awkward position for the 2014 elections, since their votes are now on the record and will no doubt be a pain point used by NRA campaigns.

No matter how many Democrats are mad about this specific bill’s failure, the fact remains that it isn’t something that they’re willing to be a single-issue voter about. Democrats, by and large, don’t actually care about guns. They’d like to see more restrictions, but recent polls show only about 4% of them place it as their top priority when it comes to new legislation.

On the other side of the coin, there are people like myself. Those who used to vote for candidates based on a wide array of factors, and were as happy to vote Democrat as Republican, but who have now become single issue voters using gun control as the litmus test. And those pissed off voters are the ones that will make all the difference in 2014.


  1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

    Shhhh…don’t point out the facts. Messes with the gun grabber’s agenda. Just take this blue pill and get back into the Matrix. No red pills available.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:


  2. avatar DougieR says:

    This is one MO voter who voted for Claire Mccaskill who will not be doing so again. I trusted her statements on her rural bona fides, gun rights, and couldn’t stand Todd Akin and his loose lips. Her siding with civilian disarmers in the recent vote has turned me into a single issue voter for certain.

    1. avatar Not Your Mother says:

      Did you learn your lesson? MO would have been better off with Akin.

      1. avatar Bruce says:

        Are you kidding? I agree with Dougie, I won’t be voting for McCaskill again, unless she is running against Akin.

        1. avatar Taurus609 says:

          Same for me! She didn’t win a second term, she won because Taliban Todd opened his mouth, plain and simple.

          I’ve sent soooooo many emails to her about her votes against law abiding Americans, that I think there are drones over my house as we speak!

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Me too. If you or your political party support gun control, you don’t get my vote, and that’s all there is to it.

      But that’s not *really* all there is to it.

      If it came to a choice between a Democrat and a medieval-minded troglodyte like Todd Akin (of which the Republican party has plenty), I’d rather not vote at all. Or else I’d have to vote for a third-party candidate, which is almost the same thing.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        The option that’s crying to be adopted is the one that scares the Political Class the most: NONE OF THE ABOVE. We need it on ballots, and we need it BAD.

        But in the back of the pols’ minds is a truly terrifying prospect: what happens when “None of the Above” WINS?

        1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

          “…what happens when “None of the Above” WINS?”

          That’s easy, a new election with new candidates. Don’t allow the candidates that lost to “None of the Above” to run in the same election.

        2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          I actually like the none of the above idea.. 🙂

        3. avatar Ken Hagler says:

          I vaguely remember reading about some country in the Balkans that allowed for the office to be left vacant in such a case (or maybe it was if nobody got the majority of the vote), and they got away with not having a President for several years as a result.

      2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        In the sense that voting is really nothing more than a communication tool, I say that voting for a 3rd party candidate is significantly different from not voting. Voting 3rd party says “I’m pissed at both parties” while not voting can be interpreted to mean I’m ok with the status quo.

  3. avatar tdiinva says:

    The anti-Second Amendment lobby has been driving the debate based on pure emotion. Last week pure emotion said “I want a gun.” All things considered what the both Newtown and Boston say is it is better to be armed than not. Sometimes the sum of all emotions lead to a rational conclusion.

  4. avatar In Memphis says:

    But 99% of Americans support common semse gun control, for the children.



  5. avatar Dave says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Senate decides to hold another vote on a modified Manchin-Toomey. Some think it might:


    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      “Some think” usually means nobody thinks except those pushing for it.

      1. avatar Dave says:

        Schumer is not credible, of course, but I have had my own lingering doubts. Perhaps your less muddled view of the situation is the right one.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Chuck the Schmuck wants to keep this in the public eye. I don’t know when the Ayotte poll was taken but I am guessing that the numbers they quote are before Boston. McCain is obviously trying to put pressure on her but I think she realizes that she will lose more votes than gain by switching votes. Besides, she is not up for re-electiion until 2016.

          As I said in my original post, gun control is an emotional issue with the balance of emotions now favoring the status quo.

  6. avatar Chris. says:

    “On the other side of the coin, there are people like myself. Those who used to vote for candidates based on a wide array of factors, and were as happy to vote Democrat as Republican, but who have now become single issue voters using gun control as the litmus test. And those pissed off voters are the ones that will make all the difference in 2014.”

    I used to take pride in the fact that I wasn’t a single issue voter. I don’t know that I will be in the future, but I do know I cannot vote for my current senators again. (from Franken & Klobuchar) both cosponsored Fienstein’s abomination.

  7. avatar IronGiants1973 says:

    Most people just don’t care one way of the other. They want to make some $, spend time with family and friends and live their lives in peace and quiet. The President’s histrionics and child props don’t influence them because they don’t pay attention. Those of us who have a dog in the fight are the most passionate. And yes, I am officially a single issue voter. Can’t wait to get to VA where it will matter.

    1. avatar Jim Scrummy says:

      Don’t vote for that crony capitalist carpetbagging awb-ban loving McAuliffe. This guy is bad news all around.

  8. avatar IdahoPete says:

    I can develop a poll that would show “90% of American voters feel that the media should be more closely regulated by the government to prevent terrorists from organizing, and to prevent media outlets being racist” – or whatever drivel is your cause of the day. So let’s trash the First Amendment, because 90% of Americans agree.

    That is why it is called the Bill of RIGHTS, and it is not subject to a popular vote. Those who do not like the 2nd Amendment are welcome to follow the legal process to amend the Constitution.

  9. avatar mediocrates says:

    I would still like someone to point out under what authority the Federal government is going to use to intrude on private sales? Or even better, what imaginary precedent SCOTUS is going to use to justify it?

    Your recent article on the killings in Illinois(?) was a stark reminder that people HAVE to take responsibility first and foremost for their own DNA preservation. The objective of being an armed citizen is not to be a hero, but to survive.

    1. avatar Julian says:

      Not imaginary, read Wickard V Filburn. Replace wheat with guns, and there’s your precedent. It may be a slight stretch, but a secondary market impacts the primary market. It’s a huge crock of sh!t, but it’s precedent.

  10. avatar Aharon says:

    The government should pass a law requiring the mass media to hire an equal number of journalists and editors that are conservatives, liberals, and independents. So-called affirmative action and hiring quotas need to be seen in a new way; not just by sex and race.

    This country is more obsessed by the glass ceiling concept than the truly harsh reality that tens of millions of men are unemployed, homeless, and in prison because society does give a care about men (and boys) falling through society’s glass floor. Men are no less deserving than women of social support programs and care than women are who get about 95%+ of all the social welfare support programs.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      I agree with some of your points, but that 95% number is a bit of a stretch. Although when you take single moms into consideration it gets more believable. Do you have any references for that number?

  11. avatar Dr Duh says:

    “On the other side of the coin, there are people like myself. Those who used to vote for candidates based on a wide array of factors, and were as happy to vote Democrat as Republican, but who have now become single issue voters using gun control as the litmus test. ”

    As a slave state resident for at least 3 more years, I plan on volunteering to make phone calls against Red State gun grabbers.
    This is a promise…

  12. avatar William Burke says:

    This is unwelcome news indeed for the grabbers; I suspect it’s right around now that the call for a new, more horrific school shooting goes out.

  13. avatar EagleScout87 says:

    There needs to be more take a newbie to the range days (though that’s tough with the ammo shortage), grass roots efforts are every bit as important as sensational news.

  14. avatar JMS says:

    “there are people like myself. Those who used to vote for candidates based on a wide array of factors, and were as happy to vote Democrat as Republican, but who have now become single issue voters using gun control as the litmus test. ”

    +1… describes me to a tee as well. Although, it has been maybe 7 years since I first became a “single issue voter.” I tend to vote Libertarian now whenever possible (meaning, the election is not expected to be close one way or the other and I’m not “wasting” my vote).

  15. avatar Silver says:

    The fact that anyone could think a gun in the house doesn’t make them safer boggles the mind. Ask them if a fire extinguisher in the house makes them safer, or seat belts. Adult children, that’s all they are.

    Oh well…I guess without stupidity, how would we know intelligence?

  16. avatar Aharon says:

    A stove and cooking range in the house helps people eat more enjoyable healthier meals yet it also poses the threat of starting a fire, burning down the home, hurting and even killing people. Perhaps it is time to ban stoves and ranges?

  17. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    I listen to a black radio station in Milwaukee at times. For awhile I heard a lot of “got to get those guns”. Now I hear, take your CC class so you can protect your family. I almost feel sorry for the grabbers trying to sell death, Randy

  18. avatar Michael Bartlow says:

    How can people really believe that having no firearm in the house is going to make you safer that makes me laugh I can see the point of “well what if a child gets ahold of the gun” and you dont gotta be a genious to make sure your child or anyone any agre cannot access gun whether it be in a lockbox a safe or whatever Im gonna use that logic and say it is better for me to go outside in below freezing weather butt naked rather than have warm clothes to protect me from the cold… Sorry for rant just am truely amazed actually heres an idea lets all good people hand in our guns so only people that have em are the quote “bad guys” and then we will be even safer!!!

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