Rasmussen Reports reports on gun control on a regular basis. Their latest survey informs us that “Support for the current federal system of background checks on gun purchasers remains high.” In fact, 85 percent of likely U.S. voters answered “yes” when asked “Should a strict background check be required for anyone to buy a gun in the United States?” OK, but do they think “universal background checks” would be effective? Rasmussen wondered the same thing. So they also asked the 1000 respondents . . .
Will strict background checks of all potential gun buyers increase violent crime, decrease violent crime or have no impact on violent crime?
The result wasn’t on their website, for some reason. I put in a call to Rasmussen’s Press Room. The nice lady at the end of the ‘phone reported that seven percent of respondents believe universal background checks would increase violent crime (go figure), 45 percent reckon they would decrease violent crime, 42 percent said they’d have no impact, and six percent threw their hands up.
Huh? 85 percent of likely U.S. voters support universal background checks but only 45 percent think they’d reduce violent crime? Can you say lip service? It’s get even curiouser . . .
Rasmussen asked a third question: “If government background checks are implemented, who should be prevented from buying a gun? Should be it just convicted felons and those with serious mental health issues, or should more people be prevented from buying a gun?”
The pollsters report that just 35 percent favor expanding the list of prohibited persons. To include whom? People who might commit crimes, such as accused domestic abusers? Not specified. Here’s the odd bit. Back in September, Rasmussen asked ” Should laws regarding the ownership of guns be the responsibility of the federal government, state governments or local governments?”
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 34% of Likely U.S. Voters believe laws regarding the ownership of guns should be the responsibility of the federal government. That’s down from a high of 38% in December. Slightly more (36%) believe gun ownership is a state government responsibility, while 18% say local governments should have the final say. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure.
So Americans want to expand the list of prohibited persons but roughly half don’t think background checks reduce violent crime and most don’t want the feds to do it. I’m so confused! Answer: people want the government to have less control until they want it to have more. There’s also another factor common to polling that comes into play: people don’t want to admit that they don’t know what the question means.
Let’s end with this: in another poll, 75 percent rated the right to bear arms or somewhat or very important (54%). I asked Rasmussen’s PR flack to submit the following questions to the editorial board: Do you know what the term “universal background checks means?” and “The Second Amendment says ‘the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ Does that prohibit the federal government from passing gun control laws?”